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Thursday 17 Aug 2017 | 13:39 | SYDNEY
Thursday 17 Aug 2017 | 13:39 | SYDNEY

Liberalism, conservatism and foreign policy

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23 October 2008 12:42

Terrific op-ed from Shadow Attorney-General George Brandis today on the tensions between former Prime Minister John Howard's conservatism and the liberal traditions of his party. We've talked before on this blog about the uneasy fit between liberalism as it relates domestic policy and its application to foreign policy. I have argued that, altough bilateralism and a strong commitment to the US alliance have come to be associated with the Liberal side of politics, there's no necessary link between those policy stances and liberalism as a political philosophy. Former Shadow Foreign Minister Andrew Robb disagreed with me (here's my response to Robb).

Similarly, although the Howard Goverment came to be known for its close association with the US, there seems to me no reason to regard this as a necessarily conservative stance. In fact, conservatives like Owen Harries have expressed their discomfort with this close association.

Brandis' essay is an extract from a soon-to-be released book called Liberals and Power — The Road Ahead. I look forward to reading the foreign policy section.

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