Richard studied Arts and Commerce at the University of Melbourne, majoring in Political Science and Economics, and worked as a journalist at the Australian Financial Review in Sydney and The Age in Melbourne. He also completed a Bachelor of Letters with Honours in English, writing a short thesis on literary aspects of political speeches. Richard then worked for the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, where he learned Indonesian, and was posted for three years as Second Secretary in the political section of the Australian Embassy in Jakarta. He also worked in the International Division of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and completed his Master of International Affairs at ANU.
Richard’s PhD thesis looks at how international status perceptions drive decision-making in the Asia-Pacific region. He is comparing three crucial events in the post-Cold War period as major regional powers - China, India and Japan - competed for international status. These events are: China’s accession to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, India’s nuclear tests, and Japan’s bid for a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council. Richard is interviewing experts in all three countries to compare these cases, in order to understand how the perception of international status influences foreign policy decision-makers.
Richard submitted his thesis in February 2018.
The Role of Status in Asia-Pacific International Relations