In this episode, Ben Habib is joined by James Blackwell, Research Fellow in Indigenous Diplomacy in the College of Asia and the Pacific at Australian National University in Canberra. A proud Wiradjuri man, James is one of Australia’s only practicing Aboriginal international relations academics, writing and speaking about global Indigenous movements, US electoral politics, and defence policy. Outside of international relations James is an Indigenous public policy researcher, specialising in Australian First Nations constitutional reform, higher education policy, and racial cultural competency in practice. He’s also a member of the Uluru Dialogue out at the University of New South Wales, supporting implementation of the Uluru Statement and a Voice to Parliament.
See original episode on Podbean.
00:04:42 James’ career path into International Relations.
00:08:59 Incorporating Indigenous scholarship into political science-public policy-international relations curricula.
00:13:03 First Nations perspectives are integral to teaching an International Relations curriculum.
00:17:04 The modern states system exported globally from Europe through colonialism.
00:20:05 First Nations diplomacies vs First Nations foreign policy.
00:23:24 DFAT Indigenous Diplomacy Agenda.
00:31:25 Dominant governance models and institutions misunderstand relationality of First Nations diplomacies.
00:34:21 Individual responsibility within the collective, as part of a web of relationship.
00:39:04 Being ‘of’ Country, not ‘from’ Country.
00:42:12 Uluru Statement from the Heart, the Uluru Dialogue, and constitutional enrshrinement of a Voice to parliament.
00:45:10 Logic of the Voice-Treaty-Truth sequencing of the Uluru process.
00:52:25 The Voice as a sovereign representative body for First Nations under joint sovereignty with the Crown.
00:54:23 Uluru process of Voice-Treaty-Truth is developing a new, uniquely Australian governance model.
00:57:33 Where to find out more about the Uluru Dialogue.
00:58:46 Decolonising the university: Encouraging and discouraging signs.
01:04:12 Who is decolonisation of the university for?
01:08:13 Reflections on allyship.
01:13:06 How James prepares for TV and radio appearances.
01:18:05 Social media and #BlackfullaTwitter.
01:23:27 Indigenous language reclaimation and the Wiradjuri language course at Charles Sturt University.
01:30:18 James and Ben flesh out a ‘zero fucks’ analysis of AUKUS.
01:34:00 Disconnect between the Australian foreign policy and defence establishment and the public.
01:38:13 Democratic back-sliding of the United States.
- James’ Twitter call-out for First Nations representation in IR.
- James Blackwell. “A successful referendum on a Voice would be a Christmas gift to all”. The Canberra Times. 22nd December 2021.
- James Blackwell. “Where were First Nations people at COP26?”. The Canberra Times, 16 November 2021.
- James Blackwell. “Australia is pursuing a more Indigenous-focused foreign policy. But does it miss the bigger picture?” The Conversation. 26 May 2021.
- James Blackwell, “With Dutton in defence, the Morrison government risks progress on climate and Indigenous affairs”. The Conversation. 26 April 2021.
- Jamese Blackwell. “Foreign policy’s “Indigenous moment” is here”. Lowy Institute: The Interpreter. 12 February 2021.
- Kate Clayton and James Blackwell. “Young Australians turn from the US towards Asia. And it isn’t Trump”. Lowy Institute: The Interpreter. 3 August 2020.
- James Blackwell. “Voice to Parliament design report still doesn’t meet international human rights standards”. The Conversation. 20 January 2022.
- “The U.S. Presidential Election: Managing the Risks of Violence”. International Crisis Group. 28 October 2020.
- DFAT Indigenous Diplomacy Agenda.
- Brigg, M., Graham, M., & Weber, M. (2021). “Relational Indigenous systems: Aboriginal Australian political ordering and reconfiguring IR”. Review of International Studies, 1-19. doi:10.1017/S0260210521000425.
- The Uluru Statement from the Heart.
- Tuck, E, and KW Yang. (2012). “Decolonization is not a metaphor”. Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society. 1(1), pp. 1-40.
- Linda Tuhiwai Smith and Eve Tuck. (2013). “Decolonizing Methodologies“. CUNY Graduate Center. YouTube.
- Charles Sturt Unviersity. Wiradjuri Language and Cultural Heritage Recovery Project.
- Emma Shortis. “‘What’s the plan?’: Australia needs to prepare for the collapse of American democracy”. Sydney Morning Herald. 5 January 2022.
About James Blackwell
About Ben Habib, host of Edge Dwellers Cafe
Support Edge Dwellers Cafe
Send a one-off monetary contribution to help cover the costs of producing Edge Dwellers Cafe via Ko-Fi. Contributions of any amount are welcome and much appreciated.
This podcast is broadcast from Naarm/Melbourne on the unceded lands of the Wurundjeri people. Edge Dwellers Cafe pays respect to their elders past, present and emerging.