Outback or integration frontier?
Northern Territory government paradiplomacy in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore, 1978-1992

  • Juan Francisco Federer

    Student thesis: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) - CDU


    This thesis looks at the efforts by the Northern Territory Government in the period 1978-1992 to develop economic, social and cultural links with the neighbouring Southeast Asian states of Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore.

    The Northern Territory Government's attempts to advance Territorian interests overseas are an instance of international relations by non-sovereign government actors, referred to as paradiplomacy in this study. The thesis begins with a literature review on this increasingly prevalent new phenomenon in international relations, introducing also the political geographical concept of integration frontiers.

    The main paradiplomatic activities of the Northern Territory Government in the target area are critically reviewed and assessed, and factors facilitating or impeding the achievement of paradiplomatic objectives are identified.

    It was found that contrary to aims and governmental rhetoric, this paradiplomacy has not significantly achieved its objectives. The aim of boosting Territory economic development through integration with the Southeast Asian neighbours has not taken place, nor has the NT been able to place itself in a key position as a nexus or integration frontier between Australia and Southeast -Asia. Thus, despite its efforts, the NT remains a peripheral Australian outback.

    Results have been achieved towards increasing Northern Territory links with Indonesia, particularly its eastern provinces. This has not been due to the economic pull of the Territory, but primarily due to the interest of the Indonesian Government to strengthen its influence in the Northern Territory given Indonesian security concerns, particularly in relation to challenges to its annexation of East Timor.
    Date of AwardFeb 1993
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorDennis Shoesmith (Supervisor)

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