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Continuity or Change? The Strategic Culture of Australia

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Important puzzles remain in security policy literature, including whether strategic culture can change over time, and if so, under what conditions. This study proposes a model of strategic cultural change that identifies key actors and conditions at work in the process. The article then applies the model to chart the evolution of Australian security policy in the past two decades. We find that structural changes, including geostrategic situation and new security threats, coupled with elite interpretation and discourse, have produced a new “regional defense plus” strategic cultural frame for Australia. This, in turn, has led to measureable changes in defense policy. This work concludes with insights on the implications of change for the broader literature on strategic culture and constructivist security studies.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Political Science,The College of Wooster, WoosterOhio, USA

Publication date: September 1, 2011

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