Accommodating Asia: The View from Australia

  • Robert Ayson
Part of the Palgrave Studies in International Relations Series book series (PSIR)


In 1967 Canberra was a fast-growing but still small city of 100,000 people. The bush-lined suburb of Aranda where Hedley, Mary and their children would make their new Australian home had just been established as the first suburban outpost beyond the capital city’s inner north area which accommodated many of the nation’s civil servants. The contrast with an inner London of over three million inhabitants and many centuries of established human settlement must not have been starker. The thirty-four year-old official and scholar explained to his parents that over a lunch in London the British Opposition Leader Edward Heath ‘had heard I was going to Canberra and he said he had heard it was “ghastly”’.1 In another letter sent to his parents while travelling between Eastern Europe and the United States, Bull explained that ‘Most people when I tell them that I am going to Australia look at me as if I was going into a monastery’.2 There was a palpable sense of foregone opportunities which he would also endure when he eventually came to leave the ANU: ‘I shall miss being out of the North Atlantic swim. Also a Fellowship at All Souls College at Oxford has come up tailored for me and I shall have to let it go’.3


Foreign Policy Nuclear Weapon Great Power Australian Government International Order 
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    Hedley Bull, ‘A View From Abroad: Consistency Under Pressure’, Foreign Affairs, 57: 3, 1978, p. 446.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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Copyright information

© Robert Ayson 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Ayson
    • 1
  1. 1.Victoria University of WellingtonNew Zealand

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