We Need to Talk about America: Australian Foreign Affairs


This issue of Australian Foreign Affairs examines Australia’s evolving ties with the United States as the power balance in Asia changes and as Washington continues to face bitter domestic divides.

We Need to Talk about America looks at the future of the alliance in an era in which the US’s global role and stature – which once seemed so constant – are becoming less stable and less certain.

Join Dr Emma Shortis from RMIT University and Sam Roggeveen, director of the Lowy Institute International Security program, for an in depth discussion with Allan Behm, International & Security Affairs program director at the Australia Institute.


  • Dr Emma Shortis is a historian, writer and commentator focused on the history and politics of the United States.

Her first book, “Our Exceptional Friend: Australia’s Fatal Alliance with the United States”, was published by Hardie Grant in 2021.

She also hosts RMIT’s popular history and politics podcast Barely Gettin’ By.

Emma is a Lecturer in the Social and Global Studies Centre at RMIT University. Before that, she was a Fox-Zucker International Fellow at Yale University.

  • Sam Roggeveen is Director of the Lowy Institute’s International Security Program.

He is the author of “The Echidna Strategy: Australia’s Search for Power and Peace”, out in August 2023.

Before joining the Lowy Institute, Sam was a senior strategic analyst in Australia’s peak intelligence agency, the Office of National Assessments.

Sam has a long-standing interest in politics and political philosophy, and in 2019 he wrote “Our Very Own Brexit: Australia’s Hollow Politics and Where it Could Lead Us”, about the hollowing out of Western democracy and its implications for Australia.

  • Allan Behm has long experience in international policy, national security policy and defence policy.

He was Greg Combet’s Chief of Staff in the Rudd and Gillard governments dealing with climate change (a truly serious strategic issue), and more recently Penny Wong’s senior foreign policy advisor.

He was also the inaugural chair of the Canberra Writers Festival and remains a member of the Board of FearLess, a not-for-profit that addresses the needs of those many Australians who live with PTSD.


(ended on )




Looking for speakers for your next event?

Our experts