Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/2440/97158
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Type: Journal article
Title: A shared history?: Postcolonial identity and India-Australia relations, 1947–1954
Author: Davis, A.
Citation: Pacific Affairs: an international review of Asia and the Pacific, 2015; 88(4):849-869
Publisher: University of British Columbia, Pacific Affairs
Issue Date: 2015
ISSN: 1715-3379
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Alexander E. Davis
Abstract: This article challenges the validity of recent suggestions that shared history underpins India-Australia relations through an historical analysis of little-known diplomats who worked for the Indian High Commission in Australia and the Australian High Commission in India immediately after Indian independence. Based on largely unexplored archival material from India, Australia, and Canada, it argues that Australia's racialized identity, as expressed through the White Australia policy, thoroughly shaped Indian perceptions of Australia. While Indian policy makers never officially voiced their distaste for White Australia, Indian diplomats put their efforts into reshaping the image of India in Australia through travel and personal contacts as part of an effort to educate Australia about India. Likewise, Australia's colonial identity led it to see India and Indian foreign policy as "irrational" due to its emphasis on racial discrimination and decolonization. It is argued that, far from underpinning the relationship, colonial histories and subsequent postcolonial identities have played an important role in fracturing India-Australia relations.
Keywords: India-Australia relations
postcolonialism in international relations
diplomatic history
identity and foreign policy
Rights: © Pacific Affairs
DOI: 10.5509/2015884849
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 7
Politics publications

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