Tuesday 24 Apr 2018 | 00:58 | SYDNEY
What's happening on


Public holiday: Australia Day

Friday is a public holiday for Australia Day, and posting will be light on The Interpreter. Normal publishing will resume on Monday. For those of you getting a break, enjoy! See you next week

A note to Email Digest subscribers

There's many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip. And so it is for IT upgrades, when despite things working fine in testing, they don't work so well in practice. On Tuesday I mentioned that Interpreter Email Digest subscribers were getting a new service with an upgraded format, but unfortunately we

New format for The Interpreter's email digest

About 3000 Interpreter readers receive either a daily or weekly email from us with links to our latest posts. Until yesterday we used Feedblitz for this service, but from today we are doing it ourselves via the Lowy Institute's recently revamped database. The only difference subscribers will

A bigger, more Asia-focused Interpreter

Over the last few months, you might have noticed that The Interpreter has gotten busier. The Lowy Institute made a decision late last year to invest in a bigger, more ambitious Interpreter, and since early this year we have increased the number of items we post each day. More specifically, we

Interrupted Email Digest service

Just a quick note to apologise to our Email Digest subscribers about the recent interruptions to your service. Thanks to those of you who have let me know that you are not getting your  email from Feedblitz as regularly as you should. The Interpreter has recently been subjected to some bot attacks

Interpreter comment threads now open

Minutes ago I published what I expect will be our last Reader Riposte on The Interpreter. From now on, readers wishing to comment on Interpreter posts can do so via the comments section at the bottom of each post. I'll still occasionally feature the best comments in 'From the Comments' posts, but I

The Lowy Institute's own books of the year

So far, we've offered you twelve books of the year in four installments. To close this feature, a reminder that the Lowy Institute itself has had quite a remarkable publishing year, with four new books hitting the shelves. So, if you're looking for a last minute gift idea... Rendezvous with Destiny

Lowy Institute's books of the year, part 3

In the lead-up to Christmas, we offer Lowy research staff selections for the best book they've read this year. Part 1 is here; part 2 is here. The Hungry Ghosts, by Shyam Selvadurai. Selected by Danielle Rajendram, Research Associate, International Security Program. Shyam Selvadurai's fourth

Reader riposte: More on Reagan and Gorbachev

Simon Gladman responds to Sam Roggeveen's post: Regarding the Reagan-Gorbachev image... The failure was not in forgetting to move Gorbachev's flag pin and watch, but instead in the decision by the Lowy Interpreter to even doctor the iconic image in the first place. Surely, it's not appropriate

Long weekend for The Interpreter

  Tomorrow is Australia Day, which means we all get Monday off for that little extra sleep and relaxation. Enjoy the long weekend, if you're getting one, and see you Tuesday for the resumption of blogging. Photo by Flickr user iansand

Welcome to 2013

Welcome to 2013 and welcome back to The Interpreter for another year of international policy blogging, which is supposed to start today. I say 'supposed' because your editor forgot his age last weekend and hurt his back while trying to move a fridge. Please be patient for the next few days

Goodbye to 2012

With our fifth year of blogging under the belt, it's time for The Interpreter to close up shop and wish you all the very best for Christmas and the new year. Normal blogging resumes on 7 January. But I can't let this occasion pass without noting the enormous contribution Graeme Dobell has made

Problem with the email digest

Many of our 3000-odd email digest subscribers got a weird 'Page not found' message in their inbox today instead of the usual daily summary of what has appeared on The Interpreter. We re-sent today's edition of the digest to all those subscribers and they should now have a correct copy. We

Anzac Day break

Tomorrow is Anzac Day, a public holiday in Australia. Normal blogging resumes on Thursday. Photo by Flickr user Luke Redmond. 

Easter break

The Interpreter is putting its feet up over Easter; we\'ll be back with normal blogging next Wednesday. Enjoy the break and see you then. Photo by Flickr user Reinis Traidas

Lowy Institute round-up

In case you missed it, last week the Lowy Institute released its second Indonesia Poll. The results showed that Indonesians had markedly warmed towards Australians, moving from a lukewarm 51° recorded in the Institute’s 2006 Indonesia Poll to a warm 62°. The poll was immediately

Online people power, with Mishal Husain

BBC World News Correspondent Mishal Husain traveled to Tunisia, Libya, Syria, Bahrain, Egypt documenting how young political activists were using social media for her series, How Facebook Changed the World: The Arab Spring. Here\'s part 1 of the program (all four parts available on YouTube

Inviting you to be part of our survey

Tomorrow when you find your way to The Interpreter, you will see a pop-up window (below) asking you to participate in a reader survey. We want to get a better idea of what you like about the blog and what you would like to see improved. We also want to get a better impression of who our readers are

Lowy among world's top think tanks

The 2012 Global Go-To Think Tanks Rankings were released last week, ranking the Lowy Institute again in the top 30 Global think tanks outside the US and fifth in Asia – its highest-ever ranking. The only survey of its kind, the University of Pennsylvania\'s rankings take on the

Online editor applications close 1 Feb

A quick reminder that COB tomorrow is the last day we will be accepting applications for the position of part-time assistant online editor at the Lowy Institute. You can read the job description and get all the application details by clicking here. For those who have already applied, if

Online editor position still open

Just a quick note to anyone who missed this job notice the first time around: you have until 1 February to submit applications for the position of part-time assistant online editor at the Lowy Institute (pictured). If you\'ve submitted an application already, you should have

Life in a year

In July 2010, thousands of people uploaded onto YouTube videos about life on that day. The resulting footage was edited into this 90-minute documentary. Life in a Day has been online since January, but we haven\'t featured it previously, and it seems like a nice way to end the year

Uranium: We've staged an open debate

Al Jazeera ran this article on its opinion page over the weekend, though they omitted many hyperlinks, and at my request they also removed one short passage which we include here, with a footnote. The Lowy Institute takes seriously its commitment to open debate, so when our reputation is

A slow day on The Interpreter

Two apologies: first, for the short outage earlier today, which has now been fixed. Second, the Lowy Institute has an in-house event today, which means it will be a slow day on The Interpreter. Check in with us later in the day, as we may have some stuff for you on the uranium issue, but normal

Our 'Through Chinese eyes' series

I don\'t often go out of my way to spruik the work that appear on this site, but I just want to join former US State Department Director of Policy Planning Anne-Marie Slaughter in pointing you to our fascinating interview with Zhu Feng, one of China\'s most renowned North Korea experts. In

New buttons on The Interpreter

We\'ve added new sharing options at the bottom right-hand corner of each post (hit \'refresh\' on your browser if you don\'t see it or it looks wrong). We\'ve replaced the old \'Share\' button, which was a bit of a social media catch-all that barely anyone used. The new options let you

Around the Lowy Institute

Last week, the Lowy Institute headed to New Zealand. On 4-5 September, with the cooperation of the Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Institute, we hosted The Pacific Islands and the World conference in Auckland. A full conference report will shortly be available on our website

Sending emails to The Interpreter

We\'re hearing that the blogeditor@lowyinstitute.org and blogauthor@lowyinstitute.org email addresses are bouncing for a number of users. If you do want to send us feedback, please keep trying, as these addresses seem to be working at least part of the time, or you can email me direct on sroggeveen(

Lowy Institute busy on 60th anniversary of ANZUS

Stephanie Dunstan recently joined the Lowy Institute as Strategic Communications Manager after a number of years working for the UN in Bangkok and New York. As Interpreter readers are likely aware, 1 September is the 60th anniversary of the signing of the ANZUS Treaty. To mark this

Lowy authors shortlisted for major prize

This arrived in my inbox yesterday from the John Button Foundation:  Lowy Institute\'s executive director, Michael Wesley, and visiting fellow, Hugh White, are both on the shortlist of this year\'s $20,000 John Button Prize for writing on public policy and ideas for Australia\'s future.&

Defence chiefs: Did we bury the lede?

The Australian has a piece today alleging Defence Minister Stephen Smith is sitting on ADF senior appointment decisions. In the middle of the article comes this line: Some officers are concerned that the delay might indicate that Mr Smith is planning to impose his own team on Defence

Job opening: Want to spruik our wonks?

  The Lowy Institute is looking for a new-media literate strategic communications professional who will work with our research staff to build the Institute\'s international profile as one of the leading think tanks in Asia and the Pacific, and to broaden the Institute\'s impact, reach and

The Interpreter: A blog\'s progress

Technorati is one of the most widely cited blog ranking services around, and although the site has its critics, it's a useful way to measure the progress of a blog over time*. In November 2008, for example, The Interpreter was ranked 93,223rd out of all the tens of millions of blogs

The Interpreter is growing

I'm pleased to announce that Andrew Carr has today started work as Assistant Editor of The Interpreter. Andrew is completing a PhD on Australian foreign policy in Southeast Asia (1983-2010). He also has a degree in journalism and has been a very active blogger and twitterer, which makes him

The Interpreter is open for debate

Richard Green appeals to my better nature, damn him. He has half a point, in that my reply to Robert Merkel was written out of frustration with Robert's false claim of consensus. Maybe I should have tried harder to put out my hand to Robert rather than raising a finger. But

Lowy Institute climbs the ladder

In the University of Pennsylvania's annual rankings of the world's top think thanks, released yesterday, the Lowy Institute achieved its highest-ever ranking: 27th in the top 50 think tanks worldwide (which excludes US institutions). The only other Asia-based think tank in the top 30

Praise for The Interpreter

It was humbling to discover this morning that Nitin Pai, founder of Pragati magazine, has nominated The Interpreter as his favourite blog. Nitin Pai is one of India's most active young bloggers and strategic commentators, and a policy entrepreneur. As well as running Pragati, Nitin

Malcolm Cook

Some readers may know that this week the Lowy Institute will lose one of its founding staff members, Malcolm Cook. Malcolm is off to become Dean of the School of International Studies at Flinders University, although he will remain a visiting fellow at Lowy. In the spirit of Wikileaks, frank

The Interpreter: It\'s kind of a big deal

I don't often use this space to promote the site, on the assumption that the work can speak for itself. But scanning the page at the end of this Monday, it occurs to me that The Interpreter has had a particularly good day. In just the last eight hours or so we've featured, among other things,

Reader ripostes: On language

Below, Edward vents about 'in terms of', but first, Kirill Reztsov says Sam has misused the term 'passive voice': Sorry Sam. You are wrong on the passive voice. Both examples are in the active voice, in that the subject of the sentence is doing something. The issue (subject) overshadowed (

Lowy\'s growing online presence

(Or, in lolspeak: 'Lowy iz in ur internets, analyzin ur forun poliseez.') If you've been following the Lowy Interns Twitter feed and suddenly find it quiet, it's because we've changed the name of our account. You can now find us here for updates on the latest papers, blog posts and links

We regret any inconvenience...

The Interpreter is knocking off early today so that the technical wizards at Twisted Pear Concepts (who are pretty good at web design too) can move us to a new server. It's not that we're having technical problems. In fact, this is a good news story — we need to

Welcome to new readers

It was a busy weekend for The Interpreter, yet we never lifted a finger — the spike in incoming traffic was all on account of material we posted on Friday. Readers flocked to Jim Molan's personal reflections on GEN Stanley McChrystal, thanks to a recommendation from Andrew Sullivan's Daily