Published daily by the Lowy Institute

James Curran

James Curran was a Nonresident Fellow at the Lowy Institute and Professor of History at the University of Sydney. His most recent book is Unholy Fury: Whitlam and Nixon at War (2015). A former analyst with the Office of National Assessments, Curran was a Fulbright Scholar at Georgetown University and in 2013 held the Chair of Australian History at University College Dublin.


Articles by James Curran (19)

  • Seeing Britain as a foreign country: The story of Australia House, London

    In conjunction with the launch of the Lowy Institute's Global Diplomacy Index, we present a series of pieces on the role and continued relevance of embassies. In his first post in this series, Ric Smith emphasised the crucial role Ambassadors and diplomats play in adding that extra layer of analytical rigour and depth to Canberra's grasp of what is happening overseas ('Embassies can shape policy'). That issue of diplomatic reporting was one just of the factors at play in an obscure yet intriguin
  • Turnbull brings nuance to the US Alliance

    The reaction to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's speech at CSIS this week revealed once again some of the fault lines in the debate over the Australian-American alliance. Hugh White contended that Turnbull had failed to live up to some of his earlier pronouncements on the implications of China's rise for American power in Asia.
  • Plenty of challenges await Joe Hockey as Australia's new ambassador to the US

    So Mr Hockey goes to Washington. The former treasurer will take up his post at the Australian chancery on Massachusetts Avenue early in the new year. Hockey's appointment, percolating through Canberra circles for months now, has drawn fire from several quarters. Conservative columnist Janet Albrechtsen classified him as 'one lucky bloke', hinting that his Falstaffian jollity will by no means suffice in one of the toughest, most demanding Australian posts abroad.
  • Is Anzac Day a remembrance or a sedative?

    The Gallipoli Centenary may well be the biggest civic cultural event this country has seen or will see in a generation.  The commemoration of the First World War in various forms has been undergoing something of a resurgence in Australia in recent years.
  • Malcolm Fraser: A man of foreign policy principle

    Much of the commentary surrounding the sad and unexpected passing of Malcolm Fraser has rightly focused on his record in opposing continued white majority rule in the former Rhodesia and his implacable opposition to apartheid in South Africa. Fraser's record on these issues, as Bob Hawke commented in recent days, was 'absolutely impeccable'.
  • Knighthood decision blights Australia's international image

    When Prime Minister Tony Abbott restored knights and dames to the Australian honours list in 2014, I said in an Age column that in the symbolic landscape of Australian civic culture, his move stood as one of the most pompous, pretentious, nostalgic and self-indulgent prime ministerial decisions in a generation.  Abbott got away with it. Imperial-era gongs were awarded to outgoing Governor General Quentin Bryce and her replacement, General Peter Cosgrove.
  • A test for the alliance as Bishop replies to Obama's Brisbane intervention

    It's been a long time since an Australian foreign minister publicly pushed back against a US president. Julie Bishop did just that in her interview from New York last night on the ABC. The last occasion when there was a serious public rupture in the alliance came with Bill Clinton's refusal to provide American ground troops in East Timor in 1999.