Change and continuity in strategic culture: the cases of Australia and New Zealand
McCraw, D. (2011). Change and continuity in strategic culture: the cases of Australia and New Zealand. Australian Journal of International Affairs, 65(2), 167-184.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/6319
The relationship between strategic culture and defence policies has not yet been much explored. Australia and New Zealand provide some evidence of the impact of strategic culture on defence policy. Australia has a dominant strategic culture which is strong enough to prompt both the major political parties to adopt realist defence policies, even though Labor has a traditionally ‘idealist’ outlook. Until the 1970s, New Zealand had a similar dominant strategic culture which influenced both major political parties, but it was always less strong than Australia's. In recent years, the Labour Party has rejected that culture, and allowed an alternative strategic culture based on its ideology to influence its defence policies. The result has been that on the last two occasions when Labour has been in government, New Zealand's defence policy has changed dramatically.