Every US general election carries implications for Australia. But as they say: this time, it’s different. To most casual observers, the trajectories of the United States under a second Trump administration or a Biden administration seem quite different, as do the implications for Australia.
But what is really at stake for Australia? What policy arenas — or elements of politics, the economy, or culture and society of the United States — are likely to be impacted by either election outcome? Among these points of change or continuity, which are of relevance to Australians and Australia’s national interests? How might Australia best respond?
To discuss these issues, the USSC hosted a webinar event to launch the United States Studies Centre’s seminal report for the 2020 presidential election: Red Book/Blue Book: An Australian guide to the next US administration. This event featured Centre experts Ashley Townshend, Director of Foreign Policy and Defence; Dr Stephen Kirchner, Director of Trade and Investment; Dr Charles Edel, Senior Fellow; and Dr Gorana Grgic, Lecturer in US Politics and Foreign Policy in a conversation with CEO Professor Simon Jackman.
Dr Charles Edel
Australia Chair and Senior Adviser, Center for Strategic and International Studies
Dr Charles Edel is the inaugural Australia Chair and a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He was previously a Senior Fellow at the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney. Prior to this, he was Associate Professor of Strategy and Policy at the US Naval War College, and served on the US Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff from 2015-2017. In that role, he advised Secretary of State John Kerry on political and security issues in the Asia-Pacific region.
Dr Gorana Grgic
Senior Lecturer in US Politics and Foreign Policy, United States Studies Centre (jointly appointed with the Department of Government and International Relations, University of Sydney)
Dr Gorana Grgic is a jointly appointed Senior Lecturer at the Department of Government and International Relations and the United States Studies Centre. Her research interests include US politics and foreign policy, transatlantic relations, conflict resolution and democratisation. She is the author of Ethnic Conflict in Asymmetric Federations (Routledge 2017).
Dr Stephen Kirchner
Dr Stephen Kirchner was Director of the International Economy Program at the United States Studies Centre until April 2022. He is a senior fellow at the Fraser Institute in Canada, where he has contributed to research projects comparing public policies in Australia, Canada and New Zealand. Previously, he was an economist with the Australian Financial Markets Association, where he worked on public policy issues relating to the efficient and effective functioning of Australian financial markets and Australia’s position as a regional and international financial centre.
Non-Resident Senior Fellow, United States Studies Centre
Ashley Townshend is a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the United States Studies Centre and Senior Fellow for Indo-Pacific Security at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He is the founding co-chair of the annual US-Australia Indo-Pacific Deterrence Dialogue and was the Director of Foreign Policy and Defence at the United States Studies Centre from June 2017 to June 2022.
Professor Simon Jackman
Professor Simon Jackman was Chief Executive Officer of the United States Studies Centre from April 2016 to May 2022. Between 1996 and 2016, he was a Professor of Political Science and Statistics at Stanford University. Jackman's teaching and research centres on public opinion, election campaigns, political participation, and electoral systems with special emphasis on American and Australian politics.