Enhancing Australia Philippines cooperation: Diversifying strategic options


College of Liberal Arts


International Studies

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Stratbase ADRi


The Australia-Philippine relationship prides itself in having a long history of bilateral cooperation. Since establishing diplomatic relations in 1946, the two countries have strong people-to-people links, sustained development assistance, deep economic ties, and robust security cooperation. Growing people-to-people links are sustained through trade, investment, cultural exchange, education, tourism, and migration. Thousands of Filipinos go to Australia for further studies while hundreds of thousands Australian come to the Philippines as tourists. The relationship, which embodies their shared interests and values, was upgraded to a comprehensive partnership in 2015. With this new arrangement, the two sides reaffirmed their commitment in the areas of politics, economics, defense, law and justice cooperation, education, and development cooperation. Despite the sound foundations, Australia-Philippine relations are hampered by domestic factors, which then begs the question of how to sustain the upward trajectory of the partnership, especially amidst President Duterte's controversial war on drugs and Australia's frequent leadership change.

We argue that Australia-Philippine cooperation can be enhanced by leveraging transnational communities: professional networks with authoritative and policy-relevant expertise. We focus on the critical role that these transnational communities can play in influencing the existing mechanisms of Australia-Philippine security relations, specifically in the areas of maritime security, counter-terrorism, and the emerging field of cybersecurity. We posit that tapping the crucial role of transnational communities can be the key to diversification of strategic options for Australia and the Philippines, given the unique dynamics in the Indo-Pacific's security architecture.



Asian Studies | International and Area Studies


Philippines--Relations--Australia; Australia--Relations--Philippines

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Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F, Henry Sy Sr. Hall

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