Party Politics, National Security, and Émigré Political Violence in Australia, 1949–1973

  • Mate Nikola Tokić


From the early 1950 s, Australia’s ruling party and internal security agency viewed acts of political violence among émigré separatist Croatian extremists ambivalently, if not at times favorably. Whereas the state certainly never encouraged or supported acts of terror on the part of Croat émigrés, neither did it actively pursue a policy of control over the purveyors of that violence. In Australia, as elsewhere, governmental policy toward Croatian émigré terrorism was driven more by external political considerations than by any desire to control the violence itself. The failure—or indeed refusal—of the Liberal Party and ASIO to exert control over separatist violence can be traced to the very ideological underpinnings of the two bodies, not least their staunch anti-communism. The unprecedented measures to control Croatian terrorism adopted by the Australian Labor Party after 1972, meanwhile, find their roots in part in the political opportunism of a party that had just come to power after enduring a full generation in opposition. The struggle for control over Croatian separatist violence became a struggle for control over much more in Australia: control over the institutions of the state, control over the underlying principles of government and, at its most basic level, control over power. The history of Australia’s relationship to émigré political violence brings into sharp relief the complex relationship between ideology, party politics, institutional dogma, and the control of violence.


Prime Minister Terrorist Organization Foreign Agent Political Violence Travel Agency 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The American University in CairoCairoEgypt

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