LUNCHEON - 30TH APRIL 2014
Speaker: Professor Damien Kingsbury
Topic: ‘Global Order – The Way it is Changing’
Chairperson: Rae Kingsbury – Hon. Consul Timor-Leste
Professor Damien Kingsbury holds a Personal Chair in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and Deakin University and is Director of the Centre for Citizenship, Development and Human Rights in the Faculty of Arts, Deakin University.
In 1999, Damien coordinated the largest international observer group to Timor-Leste’s ballot for independence, and again to Timor-Leste’s elections in 2007 and 2012. In 2005 he was adviser to the Aceh peace talks which ended three decades of separatist war, advised the Moro Islamic Liberation Front on its recent peace agreement and last year brokered a peace agreement between warring factions in the north-east of India.
Among more than two dozen books, Damien is the author of International Development: Issues and Challenges, Sri Lanka and the Responsibility to Protect, Political Development, East Timor: The Price of Liberty, The Politics of Timor-Leste, The Politics of Indonesia and South East Asia: A Political Profile.
Damien is also a regular media commentator on international affairs, including his ‘World According To ...’ segment on ABC774 and as International Affairs Commentator for Crikey.com.
Synopsis Of The Lunch
Professor Damien Kingsbury discussed the changing world order, with the decline since 2001 of the economic and strategic power of the United States, the increasing influence of China and the reassertion of Russian regional hegemony.
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Damien said there was a view that the West had been triumphant. However, that triumphalism was squandered in the wars in Afghanistan, with the US taking its eye off the ball, and Iraq, serving no useful strategic purpose.
These wars – the most expensive in history at $US6 trillion – have added substantially to the US’ national debt of over US$17 trillion, the highest now at any time since the immediate WWII period. Meanwhile, China has grown to become the world’s biggest exporter and second biggest economy, due to overtake the US some time before 2028. Russia, too, has strengthened and is reasserting its historical desire for greatness.
As Damien noted, the world is no longer unipolar, in great power terms, but has changed to become tripolar.