Thursday 20 Jun 2019 | 21:40 | SYDNEY
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About the project

The West Asia program provides original research on developments in the Middle East and Central and Southwest Asia, including as they impact on Australia. Central research issues include relations between West Asia and East Asia, the Arab uprisings and geo-political change in the Middle East and Australia’s relations with the Gulf.

Latest publications

Michael Keenan on the evolving terrorist threat in Australia

On 26 October, Justice Minister the Hon Michael Keenan MP addressed the Lowy Institute on the evolving terrorist threat to Australia. Mr Keenan’s role within the government is to lead the Commonwealth’s efforts to counter violent extremism and to ensure effective and integrated implementation of Australia’s counterterrorism strategy. He is the primary contact for the Prime Minister for both day-to-day counterterrorism matters and in a terrorism crisis.

Foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq: The day after

In this Lowy Institute Analysis, Research Fellow Dr Rodger Shanahan and Nonresident Fellow Lydia Khalil argue that an increasing number of foreign fighters are likely to leave Syria and Iraq in the coming months and years, especially after the collapse of Islamic State’s caliphate, exacerbating the terrorist threat faced by the international community. Shanahan and Khalil highlight both the scale and nature of the long-term security threat that the foreign fighter cohort will pose, and ways in which the international community can ameliorate the threat.

Photo: Getty Images/John Moore

Indonesian students in Egypt and Turkey

In this Lowy Institute Report, Lowy Institute Deputy Director, Anthony Bubalo, together with Sidney Jones and Nava Nuraniyah from the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict in Jakarta examine the effect of the current turmoil in the Middle East on Indonesian students studying in Egypt and Turkey. Based on extensive face-to-face interviews, the Report looks at how political unrest in Egypt and Turkey, and the rise of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, have affected students’ views of democracy, religion, political leadership, and terrorism. The Report also examines the case of two young Indonesian students in Turkey who left to join Islamic State in Syria.

Photo: Getty Images/Joel Carillet

Islamic State propaganda and the mainstream media

In this Lowy Institute Analysis, Lauren Williams examines Islamic State’s use of the Western media to disseminate its propaganda. Williams argues mainstream media outlets have a responsibility to treat Islamic State-produced material more critically, expose the weaknesses of its messages, and place greater effort into counter-messaging.

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