There will be many people in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) right now who are not getting enough sleep. The conflict in the Middle East involving Israel and Hamas, the war in Syria with its added dimension of foreign (including Australian) fighters, elections in Indonesia and the
Pacific Island leaders will meet at the annual Pacific Islands Forum meeting next week in Palau. Prime Minister Abbott has cancelled his travel plans in order to focus on the response to the MH17 disaster and is sending Deputy Prime Minister Truss in his stead.
Pacific leaders will be disappointed
Last night Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced that Australia has prepositioned 50 Australian Federal Police officers, presumably from the International Deployment Group, in London. The Foreign Minister is on her way to Kiev to personally negotiate access to the crash site for the AFP and Australia
When US officials talk about the US-Australia alliance, they almost always highlight, as President Obama did in his November 2011 speech in Canberra, that Australians have fought alongside Americans 'in every single major conflict of the past hundred years.' This is a fact to be celebrated, but
Australian diplomacy at the UN has kicked up a gear over the last two weeks. On 14 July the Security Council unanimously passed Resolution 2165, drafted by Australia, Jordan and Luxembourg, setting up a new mechanism to facilitate humanitarian aid deliveries to Syria. And yesterday it approved
The UN Security Council observes a minute's silence for the MH17 victims. (UN photo.)
The clocks at the UN were approaching midnight on Sunday night when the Security Council concluded an emergency session on the Gaza conflict, and then immediately reconvened for consultations on an Australian
Sam Roggeveen says that Mr Abe's visit last week, and Julie Bishop's interview with John Garnaut, show that the Abbott Government now accepts there is a serious strategic competition underway in Asia as China challenges US primacy.
If so, I think this would be an important shift. The simplest
Growth in HALE index, Intangible GDP, net national income and GDP, 2005-2014.
John Edwards' Beyond the Boom tilts effectively against Australia's congenital Hanrahanism. It points out the extent to which we managed to finance the wild ride of the boom (the massive surge in mining investment, from 2
Earlier this week the Lowy Institute hosted former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser to discuss his new book Dangerous Allies. Below is the full video of the event.
Yesterday evening Mr Fraser tweeted the video, adding that he was 'debating the established political class!', which brought
This week's selection of news, commentary and analysis from and about the Pacific island region:
Brand new from the Australia-PNG network: PNG links.
Fluctuations in the flow of aid can have extremely disruptive effects on small economies such as Tuvalu.
In Cook Islands, a new report from the
Prime Minister Abe's carefully crafted speech to the Australian parliament gave credence to Prime Minister Abbott's much tut-tutted claim that Japan is Australia's best friend in Asia. The historic speech also clearly helped dispel one doubt about Prime Minister Abe: that he was unwilling to
Reading John Edwards Beyond the Boom, I am struck by how easy it is to take the same facts, and treat them as good or bad news. The factual core of Edwards' argument is that the importance of the mining boom to the living standards of ordinary Australians has been greatly exaggerated.
A month ago my colleague John Connor wrote an op-ed for the Sydney Morning Herald welcoming the fact that for the first time in years, climate change was a major story coming out of the Lowy Institute's poll of public attitudes to international affairs. Expectation for leadership on the issue was up
Since Fergus Hanson first polled Australians on the value of democracy in the 2012 Lowy Institute Poll, our findings about how Australians, particularly young Australians, view democracy have variously provoked astonishment, bewilderment, disbelief, worry and frustration. Our 2014 Poll, released
Comments by Hillary Clinton and Julia Gillard this week have invigorated the debate on women and leadership. Clinton's recently released book Hard Choices made news in Australia for the condemnation of the 'outrageous sexism' experienced by Gillard. In response, the former Australian prime
Hillary Clinton believes Australia is too economically dependent on China, warning that dependence could 'undermine your freedom of movement and your sovereignty — economic and political'. Citing the example of European dependence on Russian gas, Clinton urges Australia to diversify its
The role of the private sector in promoting economic growth and reducing poverty in the Indo-Pacific region
Dr Tess Newton Cain
Submission to the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence & Trade
Please click here for full text
Unemployment remains fearfully high in much of Europe, growth in the US is tepid and China may be on the verge of an unprecedented slowdown. In the midst of all this unpleasantness, Australians look around their bountiful land and ask, Can our luck last?
In Beyond the Boom, John Edwards, says it
In widely reported censures by business leaders and economists, in warnings by politicians, public servants and journalists, we often encounter grim themes about the Australian economy. The mining boom accounted for Australia's apparent economic success in recent times, they say. But Australians
Over the past three years, large numbers of Australians have chosen to leave the freedom, opportunity and safety of our community to enter the abyss of sectarian war and violence in Syria, northern Lebanon, and most recently, Iraq.
The numbers are frightening. Over 200 Australians are estimated to
The Lowy Institute is, first and foremost, a research institution. We publish research that is accessible to policy-makers and non-specialist readers. Often this will mean writing succinct, pithy analyses for readers who are short of time. But the biggest issues require deeper exploration: this is
John Fitzgerald's article on Chinese and Australian values is fascinating throughout, but I wanted to highlight a few passages. This I didn't know:
Beijing has gained overwhelming dominance of Chinese language media in Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands following a concerted effort at
Michael Kirby spoke about his experiences as chair of the UN commission of inquiry into human rights in North Korea at the Lowy Institute on 28 May.
The UN Human Right Council (HRC) established a Commission of Inquiry (COI) into alleged human rights violations in North Korea in March 2013. Myself
Yesterday's dense fog in Canberra was the perfect backdrop for the launch of Australia's new foreign aid policy by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop at the National Press Club. Just as the fog started to lift, Minister Bishop was attempting to lift the fog on what has been a slow
Anthony Bubalo's Why the US (and Australia) Should Go Back to Iraq deserves your attention. In the most direct sense, it is a call for renewed diplomatic and political engagement in Iraq. But in arguing that the Middle East continues to demand American (and Australian) attention, it also questions
When Australians were asked to nominate 'Australia's best friend in Asia' in the 2014 Lowy Institute Poll, 31% placed China and 28% placed Japan in a statistical dead heat, far ahead of Singapore, Indonesia, India and South Korea. The response 'don't know' made sense to 11% of those asked.
A new Lowy Institute poll released today has thrown fresh light on Australians' attitudes towards the UK.
The Lowy Institute Australia-UK Poll has found more than 8 in 10 Australians see the relationship as important (with 28% saying it is 'very important'). However, when asked to choose Australia
ISIS's dramatic seizure of Mosul last week has caused much geo-strategic hyperventilation. Commentators are variously predicting the collapse of Iraq and eulogising (once again) Middle Eastern borders as defined by Sykes and Picot. The prospect of the US – and perhaps allies such as Australia
This morning Prime Minister Tony Abbott and US President Barack Obama announced the conclusion of a series of agreements between the US and Australia. Chief among these is the US–Australia Force Posture Agreement. It details arrangements for the enhanced military cooperation measures first
Prime Minister Tony Abbott visited New York this week and, as leaders have to do when in the Big Apple, got together with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to discuss the state of the world. The meeting may focus some attention on Australia's two-year tenure as a member of the UN Security Council,
Speaking in Canada earlier this week, Tony Abbott made waves by calling for a coalition of conservative governments to fight the global carbon-pricing push now being led by the US under Barack Obama.
By the time of the Prime Minister's first major address on US soil yesterday it was back to far
In this article for the Australian Journal of International Affairs, the Lowy Institutes International Security program director Rory Medcalf argues that Indo-Pacific Asia is a suitable regional concept for Australia's strategic needs. Indo-Pacific Asia can best be understood as an expansive
One would have thought that a country which invades another for what it considered altruistic reasons would continue to have an interest in events there long after the troops have been withdrawn. When that country is Iraq, however, there appears to be a case of collective amnesia among Australia's
As you return to work after the Queen's Birthday long weekend, take a moment to reflect on how this holiday looks to the rest of the world. What message does Australia’s continuing attachment to the monarchy send to bemused tourists, international students and overseas business partners?
Are Australia and China frenemies? Michael Fullilove The Guardian Please click here for full online text. It is remarkable that so many Australians believe we may soon be threatened militarily by a country that many of us today see as our best friend in Asia
Tony Abbott has effectively said farewell to Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono as president of Indonesia.
Our prime minister was right to praise him. SBY has presided over remarkable change in Indonesia. During his presidency he has consolidated democracy and championed a moderate approach to Islam. He
Speaking to other women in international affairs, you realise we've all had those moments: when we were the only woman on a panel or, worse, the only female speaker at an entire conference (Pacific specialist Jenny Hayward-Jones knows it well); or where the number of women at a workshop is so low
In conjunction with the release of the 2014 Lowy Institute Poll, Lowy Institute Poll Director Alex Oliver has recorded a podcast which explains the methodology used in the survey.
Alex speaks with Sol Lebovic, who has provided independent advice and technical support to the Lowy Institute over
Although I profoundly disagree with the Government's policy on asylum seekers, the 2014 Lowy Institute Poll indicates that it has been successful in at least three ways beyond the bald statistic that no boats have arrived in Australia for over 150 days.
First, by and large Australians support the
I've just written on the widespread antipathy in Indonesia to foreign investment, and how it is colouring the presidential election campaign. I attributed this hostility to the historical experience of colonialism. Now the Lowy Institute's annual poll reminds us that a similar (if less pronounced
Last week saw the publishing of Robert Kagan's latest essay for New Republic magazine: 'Allure of Normalcy: what America still owes the world'. It is a magisterial contribution that will enter the realm of 'classic' US foreign policy essays.
There have been a number of such essays since the end
Amid tensions in the South China Sea and new alarm about a China-Russia alignment, President Obama's speech at West Point sends some confusing signals to the countries of Indo-Pacific Asia.
To be fair, the speech was not meant to be principally about Asia. It was intended to draw a final line
This week, the Melanesia Program team is in Port Moresby for the 'PNG New Voices' event. So this week's links are focused on PNG.
The Lowy Institute's Melanesia Program, in partnership with the PNG National Research Institute, has launched its Australia-PNG network, aimed at fostering people-to-
10 things to know about EU aid. Look out for number 8: five areas where development policy goes beyond aid. (h/t ODI.)
'Leaders fiddle while the world burns'. A candid interview with former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.
Mapping development finance in Africa: the African Development Bank and
A pointed joke used to do the rounds in Honiara: if you needed to call on the Australian police you could usually find them in the Lime Lounge, a swanky cafe at the west end of the main street that serves silky flat whites and a range of delights including the 'RAMSI breakfast'.
Signs of restlessness in the PNG political landscape. A cabinet reshuffle appears imminent, with Ben Micah tipped to become the new deputy prime minister. Meanwhile, four members of the Triumph Heritage Empowerment Party have resigned in order to remain in government rather than move to the cross-
For the last few months, anyone who's been unlucky enough to blunder into my path has been assaulted with the arguments in my book Anzac's Long Shadow: The Cost of our National Obsession. If you're time poor, this review in the Spectator Australia does a great job of capturing them. If you're