Chasing the Norm

Australian academic and blogger on politics, international relations, and culture

Is Australia a Middle Power: The Systemic Impact approach

‘Is Australia a Middle Power: The Systemic Impact approach’ – Australian Journal of International Affairs 68 (1), 70-84 2014

This article examines whether Australia is a middle power. It identifies the
three most popular approaches to defining a middle power: by a country’s
position, behaviour and identity. The article tests each definition against
Australia, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of each. Highlighting an
earlier systemic approach to defining states, an alternative ‘systemic impact’
definition for middle powers is proposed. This approach, it is argued,
provides a more comprehensive manner for identifying whether a country
like Australia is a middle power, along with the implications for international

Keywords: Australia; international relations theory; middle power

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