Old and New Fears of Invasion in the South West Pacific: Australia and Vanuatu

Elizabeth Rechniewski, The University of Sydney

Part 1. Australia ‘steps up’ in the Pacific

From the middle of the nineteenth century on, the issue of control of the islands of the South West Pacific was a constant preoccupation of the Australian political class, and intermittently of the press and public too: the British colonies feared ‘encirclement’ by hostile foreign powers who might use the islands as a staging post for invasion. These security concerns found expression in the ‘Russophobia’ of the mid 1880s which reached a high degree of public hysteria in March 1885 with belief in imminent Russian invasion; in the hostile reactions to American and German annexations in the Pacific in the late 1890s; and increasingly in fears of being ‘swamped by Asian hordes’, focused at first on the Chinese and later on the Japanese. Wild rumours of a ‘Chinese Invasion’ could be found throughout the Australian press in the 1880s and imaginary invasions were serialised in popular fiction. While these concerns extended to the whole arc of islands that spanned the east coast of Australia, I have been particularly interested in tracing policy towards the New Hebrides (after independence Vanuatu): by the late nineteenth century the uncertain status of these islands, divided between French and British control, first through the Joint Naval Commission and then from 1906 as the Anglo-French Condominium, made them, it was argued, more vulnerable to invasion. The issue of control of the New Hebrides, and expulsion from Australia of the Kanaka workers, most of whom came from these islands, was a major motivating factor in the move towards Federation. But although the Constitution apportioned responsibility for Pacific affairs to the new nation, Australia had to be content with lobbying the British government to ‘take back control’ of the jointly administered territory. And this Australia did regularly, but unsuccessfully, until the Second World War saw the arrival of hundreds of thousands of Allied troops on the islands.


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Jeudi 12 décembre, un événement OREMA/LERMA/DEMA: “From Barack Obama to Donald Trump: US migration policies (and politics) in perspective”

Une conférence du Dr Andrew Selee, Président du Migration Policy Institute

(Washington DC) et ancien membre du Woodrow Wilson Center.

Contact : isabelle.vagnoux@univ-amu.fr 
Faculté ALLSH
Maison de la recherche – Salle 2. 44
29, av. Robert Schuman – Aix-en-Provence

Brexit and the Union of the United Kingdom

Dr. Philip Rycroft, Centre for Constitutional Change, University of Edinburgh; Bennett Institute for Public Policy, University of Cambridge.
Retranscription conférence du 08/11/19

Ecouter l’introduction de Valérie André (LERMA-OREMA):


Thank you for the opportunity to come to this beautiful part of the world to talk about a less beautiful subject, Brexit.
The UK is deep in its own peculiar political agony just now, unable to go forwards, unable to go backwards. The political class has given up on trying to resolve this themselves and have called on the electorate to help them out.
The UK faces another general election, perhaps the most important in the post-war era and one of the most uncertain. With politics across the UK fractured, calling the result in our first past the post constituency system is difficult. Voter sentiment is volatile. The pattern of politics in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is now distinctive and different from England. In England, many constituencies up and down the country are now more open contests than they have been for decades. Relatively modest swings in voter sentiment could have a very big impact on the eventual outcome.
I’ll come back at the end to what paths might open up after the votes in this election have been counted. But I want to use this lecture to look a bit deeper and longer term, to ask what Brexit says about identity in the United Kingdom and what Brexit portends for the future of the UK as a Union state. These are big issues, erupting from time to time in the political discourse, but rarely the subject of structured political debate. We risk in the UK re-making our country without really understanding what we are doing or why.
I’ll start by reviewing briefly the UK’s relationship with the EU, to seek to discern the factors that led to the rise of Euroscepticism and the eventual promise of an in-out referendum by David Cameron. I’ll look at the referendum campaign and explore how the argument for leave resonated with wider discontents to ask what this says about deeper divisions within the UK.
I’ll look at the different outcomes of the referendum in the different parts of the UK and seek to understand how those outcomes relate to underlying questions of identity in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England. I’ll assess what this means for the cohesion of the Union of the United Kingdom before concluding with a brief survey of the forthcoming election and what different outcomes might mean.
First, the UK and the EU.


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Les Etats-Unis et les Amériques

L’Amérique latine a déjà un modèle pour résoudre la crise vénézuélienne. La doctrine de Larreta – et non le Traité de Rio – devrait servir de cadre à l’action collective de la région.

Max Paul Friedman et Tom Long

Face à une crainte de guerre à la frontière colombienne, avec deux présidents en duel à Caracas et aux propos visant à sauver une économie en ruine avec de la crypto-monnaie, la crise vénézuélienne se poursuit alors même que la communauté internationale fait son possible pour changer les faits sur le terrain. Lors de la dernière escalade de pression régionale, seize États de l’hémisphère occidental ont voté en septembre en faveur de l’application de sanctions coordonnées aux termes du Traité de Rio contre le président en exercice Nicolás Maduro. Le pacte, invoqué 72 ans après sa signature, donnera-t-il à ces États le moyen de repousser Maduro du pouvoir ?
En réalité, le Traité de Rio est un instrument maladroit pour promouvoir la démocratie. Pour comprendre pourquoi, il est utile de voir le Traité de Rio, officiellement le Traité interaméricain d’assistance réciproque, dans son contexte historique. Signé en septembre 1947 et en vigueur depuis 1948, les fondations du traité ont été construites pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale et au lendemain de celle-ci. Considéré depuis longtemps comme une imposition états-unienne et un instrument de la guerre froide, le traité est né de la victoire diplomatique de l’Amérique latine dans le but de créer un espace pour les organisations régionales lors de la conférence des Nations Unies à San Francisco en 1945.
Bien que les mêmes années d’après-guerre aient connu un épanouissement relatif de la démocratie en Amérique latine, le Traité de Rio n’a pas été envisagé comme un instrument permettant de faire progresser la démocratie. Le Traité a consacré la démocratie à un préambule non contraignant. Toutefois, les premières discussions sur l’ordre du jour de la conférence sur la sécurité ont porté de manière beaucoup plus explicite sur la protection et la promotion de la démocratie.

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