On Liberty EP50 Democracy under threat in Myanmar and throughout the region

As Myanmar’s military takeover risks spinning into civil war, what can Australia do to help? Do “middle powers” matter? How secure is our region, and what can we do to improve it? If democracy really is threatened in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific, what can Australia do to help preserve it?

For our 50th episode we asked Mr Peter Khalil MP what Australia can do to promote democracy in an increasingly benighted region. Khalil is the Member for Wills in Victoria and Deputy Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties. He has a background in international law and has been a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington DC. He was awarded the Australian Overseas Humanitarian Services Medal for his service in Iraq. Khalil worries that authoritarianism is on the rise globally, and argues that liberal democracies can and should defend their ways of life. He has called for Australia to take a stand on China’s persecution of Uyghurs and pushed for the country to pursue a more moral foreign policy. But can a mid-sized country like Australia really make a difference in international affairs? And do the generals in Myanmar really care what we think?