Toward principled pragmatism in Indigenous diplomacy in the Indo-Pacific

Rory Medcalf*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    Mary Graham and Morgan Brigg provide a compelling foundation for developing Indigenous diplomacy for Australia, pointing to principled pragmatism and the integrity of a ‘relationalism’ grounded in landscape. However, Indigenous diplomacy and First Nations foreign policy will be difficult to translate into practice. This is not least because of the diplomatic tension which consistent First Nations advocacy would bring in a region of sovereignty sensitivities, including with regard to some of Australia’s most important foreign relationships: Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and China. A First Nations foreign policy offers significant potential advantages for Australia, such as reinforcing environmental stewardship while projecting the image of a nation reconciled with the land’s custodians and neighbours alike. Difficult work lies ahead, informed by a principled pragmatism.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)644-648
    Number of pages5
    JournalAustralian Journal of International Affairs
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 2023


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