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Middle Powers and International Organisations

Australia and the OECD Aynsley Kellow, Professor, School of Social Sciences, University of Tasmania, Australia and Peter Carroll, Professor, Tasmanian School of Business and Economics, University of Tasmania and Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University
This book provides a unique examination of how a middle power uses international organisations to achieve greater global influence. The authors focus on the OECD, ‘the rich man’s club’ of most of the world’s wealthiest nations. It demonstrates how the decision by Australia to apply for membership was a long drawn out process, delayed by political factors. Eventually agreement was reached with assurances that membership would provide access to valuable and timely policy-related information, especially in relation to international trade and finance. In addition, membership would potentially increase influence by providing greater access to its powerful member states at an earlier stage in their policy discussions and agreements.
Extent: 400 pp
Hardback Price: $155.00 Web: $139.50
Publication Date: 2017
ISBN: 978 1 78811 063 1
Availability: In Stock
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  • Politics and Public Policy
  • International Politics
  • International Relations
  • Public Administration and Management
This book provides a unique examination of how a middle power uses international organisations to achieve greater global influence.

The authors focus on the OECD, ‘the rich man’s club’ of most of the world’s wealthiest nations. It demonstrates how the decision by Australia to apply for membership was a long drawn out process, delayed by political factors. Eventually agreement was reached with assurances that membership would provide access to valuable and timely policy-related information, especially in relation to international trade and finance. In addition, membership would potentially increase influence by providing greater access to its powerful member states at an earlier stage in their policy discussions and agreements. On gaining membership, Australia found that the OECD’s comparative research and policy development activities, across a wide range of areas and issues, were a valuable source for policy learning which, in turn, helped the ongoing maintenance and further building of policy capacity in the country.

This detailed study of how a nation state engages with an international organisation will be a great source of insight and information for scholars and advanced students of international relations and public policy. It will also be a valuable resource for policymakers and practitioners working in the field.
‘This book is a tour de force. It helps us understand international organisations and their member states. It casts fresh light on the OECD. It reveals how middle powers like Australia manoeuvre on the world stage, and it traces the evolution of key global public policies, from taxation to the environment. It does this seamlessly, with grace and economy, drawing on rich archival materials (from the UK, the US, Australia and the OECD), and extensive interviews.’
– Leslie A. Pal, Carleton University, Canada
Contents: Preface 1. Introduction 2. Australia, International Organisations and Foreign Policy 3. A Search for Access and Influence 4. Organising the Relationship with the OECD 5. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the OECD 6. Trade and Agriculture: developing an effective strategy 7. The Development Assistance Committee: a slowly declining priority 8. A extensive involvement: the Treasury Portfolio and the OECD 9. Australia and OECD Tax Work 10. The OECD’s Work on the Environment 11. Australia and the OECD work on Education 12. A Leading Role for Australia: Health work at the OECD 13. Australia’s Role in Organisational Maintenance, Reform, and Adaptation 14. Conclusions Index