In a recent article in the Australian Financial Review, Treasurer Scott Morrison endorsed the use of impact investing: investment with the goal of achieving a social result as well as a financial return. Such a strategy attempts to address problems or needs through market-based, for-
Yang Jie, an intern in the East Asia Program, and David Vallance, an intern in the International Security Program, summarise media reports from across the region following the release last month of the Foreign Policy White Paper.
People’s Daily, ‘China has serious concerns about
In place of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's ambiguous commitment to support US military action against North Korea, Hugh White wants a clear statement ruling out Australia's participation in a 'pre-emptive' attack. But in turn there are two points of ambiguity in White's argument that may get in
The issue of influence by the government of the People’s Republic of China in Australian public and political life reached a turning point with the resignation of senator Sam Dastyari. It concluded a year of forceful reporting and vitriolic debate about China in Australia, fuelling a steady flow
Pyongyang’s latest long-range missile test raises the probability that Washington will decide to launch a pre-emptive military campaign against North Korea, simply because it will come to see this as the only alternative to accepting that North Korea will soon be
The World Bank’s Uzma Quresh and Tanya D'Lima examine the economic and social impact of violence against women in Pakistan, and the role that local governments and media in combatting the issue. Earlier this month Niger welcomed the first 504 people from Libya, honouring agreements
With the luck of timing, Hugh White's new Quarterly Essay, Without America: Australia in the New Asia, was released last month at almost exactly the same time as the launch of the Foreign Policy White Paper. It was a striking moment: just when the foreign-policy orthodoxy seemed to be catching up
Nick Bisley recently wrote in The Interpreter that mistrust between China and Australia is increasing. Could strategic trust between China and Australia improve if the two countries were to work together to solve a serious security problem?
A key finding from our research into Thailand’s
For many commentators with an interest in the Pacific, the emphasis on the region in the Foreign Policy White Paper has been welcomed as long overdue. Yet it has also raised some questions about the manner in which Australia engages in the region. James Batley has questioned whether Australia has
Negotiations for the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) entered extra time this week, as negotiators agreed to add an 11th round (the 7th since leaders reactivated the initiative in March 2016) after negotiations in November failed to produce a final deal
It has been a tumultuous year for Australia's nearest neighbour.
The protracted and controversial elections in Papua New Guinea took up most of 2017, with Peter O'Neill winning a second term and cementing his position as the most formidable politician of his generation. The government
UN officials have asked the Saudi-led coalition to lift its blockade of Yemen's Red Sea so the country can receive desperately needed humanitarian supplies. A Global Compact on Migration could be a solution for international immigration issues, but it would need to take regional characteristics
Australia likes to pride itself as a Pacific power, one that shares common values with Pacific island neighbours to work towards what the new Foreign Policy White Paper calls 'a shared agenda for security and prosperity'. But Australia's pursuit of its own prosperity through the promotion
Over the past year or so the mood in Canberra has soured toward China. Indeed, of the countries unsettled by China’s rise and its increasingly confident and assertive foreign policy, Australia is now among the most outspoken in its criticism of Beijing’s behaviour.
This change has been visible
On joining AusAID's Gender Equality Section in 2008, I kept a copy of the 2003 Howard-era foreign policy white paper on my shelf. Containing no references to women, women's rights, gender equality or human security, it served both as a stark reminder of a conservative past, and as a symbol of the
Senator Sam Dastyari has found himself back in the spotlight after Australia media outlets reported allegations that Dastyari gave Chinese billionaire Huang Xiangmo 'counter-surveillance' advice and unearthed the audio from Dastyari's now-infamous media conference last
The Foreign Policy White Paper has much to commend it, not least its analysis of the changing and challenging global and regional environment and its embrace of a ‘whole-of-government’ approach to Australia’s international interests. But if there are few questions to be asked in these areas,
Remember the Arab Spring? Bliss it was in that dawn to be alive. But to be a social media activist was very heaven. Back then, social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter were hailed as vehicles for democratic uprisings. Enthusiasts gave TED talks and published in prominent foreign
Registration (and regulation) of so-called foreign agents, as proposed by the federal government, might enable the Australian public and our parliamentary representatives to know more about those who seek to influence public opinion and government policy.
Yet the American experience with such
The major themes tackled in the Foreign Policy White Paper - particularly China’s ability to challenge the US-led international order but also the rising importance of India and Southeast Asian nations - are underpinned by the shift in global economic weight towards Asia.
As the White Paper
The Foreign Policy White Paper offers a compelling assessment of the challenging geopolitical environment that Australia faces. It clearly advocates Australia’s priority of engagement in the ‘Indo-Pacific’ region, deftly manages the US-China contest and the inherent awkwardness of our trade
In the new Foreign Affairs White paper, the graph that seems to have attracted most attention is this one:
The message: China’s GDP has already comfortably overtaken America’s, and in just over twenty years will be nearly twice the size. Other interesting comparisons are India (growing
There is much to be said for the analysis in the government’s new Foreign Policy White Paper. It wrestles with all the general questions that should be exercising the minds of Australia’s policy-makers in this era: America’s troubles, China’s rise, the kind of regional order Canberra seeks,
The White Paper describes stepping up ‘support for a more resilient Pacific and Timor-Leste’ as one of only five ‘objectives of fundamental importance to Australia’s security and prosperity’. This gives the Pacific unusual prominence in a document of this nature. Even so, the rationale for
The Foreign Policy White Paper paints a picture of an uncertain world and troubling times. With this understanding as its foundation, the White Paper outlines what approaches Australia should take to protect its national interests. While some elements are new, these approaches are still a
Diminished and marginalised sums up the way Australia's development assistance program is treated in the Foreign Policy White Paper.
The program represents by far the biggest proportion of Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's budget (DFAT's total budget in 2017/2018 is $5.8 billion, of
Some part of the media describe the 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper, released this morning, as striking a hawkish tone; by contrast, a few of my contacts who have read the document closely conclude that it's a bit anodyne. I'll make my own judgments after a more careful reading, but what I can say
Australia has bet the farm on Donald Trump.
That’s the obvious headline to describe this Foreign Policy White Paper, although the gamble isn’t on Trump personally, but rather as a show of faith in the broader character of the US system of government.
The key sentence stands out on page 26
Richard Marles' address to the Lowy Institute this week was delivered with a rare eloquence. Marles is an impressive orator with genuine knowledge of the region gained over many years. As a colleague of mine commented quietly afterwards, if this is what Marles is like in opposition, imagine what he
There are so many strongly-held views, so many vested interests and lobbyists, so much political spin and such complexity in the energy/climate debate that it is not easy to find reliable forecasts and commentary. One of the more useful sources is the International Energy Agency – an autonomous
I recently co-convened a small international academic workshop with a Chinese university. Since we wanted to involve quite a few China-based scholars and the topic concerned China, I thought it made perfect sense to hold the workshop in China.
A number of scholars from outside China were to attend
The current saga concerning dual citizenship of Australian parliamentarians goes far beyond electoral politics. Australia needs a serious conversation about how it sees itself, contends with its plural nature, and how its internal character and national spirit fosters engagement with global society
Opposition defence spokesman Richard Marles delivered a speech at the Lowy Institute on Tuesday demanding an enhanced strategy and guiding philosophy for Australia’s role in the Pacific. It is a timely speech, delivered with clear conviction from a long-time and often lonely advocate in Parliament
The Economist details what technology can and, critically, can’t do to help solve Africa’s development challenges. Politico has a fascinating profile on Scott Guggenheim, a development expert and long-time adviser to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. The UK aid program is facing
'Once you have taken your decision you just move on then and get on with life, nothing fundamentally changes, hens will still lay eggs.'
So said Ireland's President Michael D Higgins the month before the resounding Yes vote this week in Australia's postal survey on same sex marriage. Ireland's
The recent decision by Allen & Unwin to drop Clive Hamilton's book on Chinese influence illustrates that China need not exert much effort in influencing us. We're doing the job ourselves.
Hamilton's book Silent Invasion: How China is Turning Australia into a Puppet State was pulled, according
In a week when same-sex marriage, dual-citizenship and Manus Island dominated the news cycle, Prime Ministers Malcolm Turnbull and Peter O’Neill still found time on the sidelines of the APEC summit to strike a deal that should not go overlooked. Turnbull announced that Australia will majority-fund
The same-sex marriage survey, or the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey as the Australian Bureau of Statistics framed it, is finally done. The result – 61.6 % for, 38.4% against – is a strong one; at 1.604:1, it’s eerily similar to the golden ratio or ‘divine proportion’ in mathematics
The UK's International Development Secretary Priti Patel has been sacked from her position. The Prospect details the war she waged with her own department. Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has announced a public appeal to raise money for the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar, matching
With President Donald Trump part-way into his protracted tour of Asia, much of the focus has been on the North Korea threat, his personal relations with Prime Minister Abe of Japan and President Moon of South Korea, and his interaction with President Xi Jinping, China’s political strongman who
Recent news that Australia’s Foreign Minister has indicated interest in taking part in a resurrected US-Australia-Japan-India quadrilateral dialogue on the sidelines of the upcoming ASEAN Summit is to be welcomed. It is an indication how much the strategic situation in the Asia Pacific has shifted
Asia's ‘Summit Season’ begins this week and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull faces a high degree of diplomatic difficulty on this big Asian stage. Three Asian multilateral meetings are scheduled back to back: the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Summit in Vietnam; the
Last Tuesday saw the official closure of the Manus Island Regional Processing Centre, the Australian-funded and managed detention centre for unauthorised boat arrivals in Papua New Guinea.
Originally opened in 2001 as part of the Howard government’s Pacific Solution, the centre was closed by the
Before his fall from grace, former Democratic vice-presidential candidate John Edwards used to talk about 'the two Americas' to describe the gap between the poor and the wealthy. But the phrase earned an afterlife, not least to describe the philosophical chasm between the coastal areas that
The OECD Development Assistance Council has refined its definition of ‘official development assistance’ – in other words, what international transfers can and cannot be deemed foreign aid. Refugee-related spending such as on detention centres, border security and returning failed asylum
Australia’s relationship with cyberspace has never been so intense and so intimate. A staggering 93% of us are on the internet every day and the amount of time we spend online is tremendous: an average of five hours via our computers and another hour and-a-half on our mobile.&
New Zealand’s new government should redesign its aid program, argues Terence Wood.
Jacob Stone and I wrote on the importance of technology in aid transparency. We argue that better and clearer reporting mechanisms, improved coordination, and greater accountability could foster more