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Michael Wesley

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International)
political science
business & economics
international organization
biography & autobiography
Michael Wesley's Profile Picture

Michael Wesley

The University Of Melbourne
Primary Interest
State-building interventions
Michael Wesley's Profile Picture

Michael Wesley


I am a Professor of International Relations and Deputy Vice Chancellor International at the University of Melbourne.
My research focuses around three themes: Australian foreign policy, particularly in relation to the Asia Pacific; Asia Pacific security competition and geopolitics, and state-building interventions.

My work on Australian foreign policy began with a collaboration with Allan Gyngell, a long-term practitioner, on a book about how Australian foreign policy is made, Making Australian Foreign Policy (Cambridge, 2003, second edition 2007). I have also explored traditions of thought in Australian foreign policy, comparative approaches to foreign policy by Labor and Coalition governments (The Howard Paradox: Australian Diplomacy in Asia 1996-2006, ABC Books, 2007) and the objectives, techniques and dilemmas of Australian foreign policy in Asia (There Goes the Neighbourhood: Australia and the Rise of Asia, NewSouth Books, 2011).
My research on Asia Pacific security competition has focused on the rise of China and the implications of this for the regional order (Restless Continent: Wealth Power and Asia's New Geopolitics, BlackInc Books, 2015). A significant part of this work concentrates on American alliances and security responses to the rise of China, and its impact on smaller allies such as Australia, Japan and Korea (Global Allies: Comparing US Alliances in the 21st Century, ANU Press, 2017). I am also interested in the economics-security nexus in Asia, and how this is driving new forms of competition (Energy Security in Asia, Routledge, 2007).
I began working on state-building interventions during my PhD research at the University of St Andrews. My thesis compared 8 interventions led by the United Nations at the end of the Cold War (Casualties of the New World Order, Macmillan, 1997).
Currently I am completing a book on the Australian-led RAMSI intervention into Solomon Islands, 2003-2017, a project which combines my interests in Australian foreign policy and state-building interventions.

Scholarly Works

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Honours, Awards and Fellowships


John Button Prize for There Goes the Neighbourhood: Australia and the Rise of Asia

John Button Foundation







Social And Political Sciences



Doctor of Philosophy

University of St Andrews

Bachelor of Arts (Honours)

University of Queensland