Research topic: The Pan-Pacific Idea & The British Dominions, c. 1920-1950
Supervisor(s): Professor James Belich, Professor John Darwin
By the final decades of the nineteenth century, amidst profound changes to the global order, many had begun to forecast that the world's centre of political and economic gravity was shifting eastward, toward the Pacific. The increasing importance and purported coherence of this vast space as a particular sub-global region encouraged the emergence of the Pan-Pacific Idea – a distinct, yet discernable pan movement bearing similarities with Pan-Asianism or Pan-Americanism, spawning numerous initiatives and institutions bearing its name.
My thesis explores the engagement of Dominion actors (principally Australians, Canadians and New Zealanders) with the Pan-Pacific over a series of thematic chapters. Some themes I am exploring include:
The emergence and influence of the Pan-Pacific as a political philosophy and a distinct sub-global ordering concept in the panoply of pan movements
The involvement and influence of Dominion intellectuals in the Pan-Pacific Union and Institute of Pacific Relations
The influence of the Pan-Pacific idea in the emergence of trans-Pacific aviation and broader, developing geo-strategy
The ways in which the Pan-Pacific idea intersected with notions of regional commerciality
The influence of the Pan-Pacific idea and the labour movement
Pan-Pacific thought and the 'global colour line'
The inter-relation between the Pan-Pacific and the international – particularly the emerging diplomatic character of the Dominions