Saturday 31 Oct 2020 | 21:24 | SYDNEY
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Australia in the World

Rudd should scrap, not hasten, EU carbon linkage

Fergus Green is a researcher specialising in climate change policy. Here we go again. The Labor Government is contemplating weakening the carbon scheme for what must be about the seventh time since Rudd Mk 1 was elected in 2007. Rudd cabinet Mk 2 is rumoured to be considering curtailing the

Reader riposte: More on higher education bias

Our apologies to reader Dr Steven Slaughter, whose riposte on this topic found its way into our spam folder and was only just unearthed. To recap, this thread started with The Australian's Greg Sheridan writing that international relations courses at universities 'have an almost built-in bias

Asylum seekers and Konfrontasi

The Piping Shrike is an anonymous Australian blog with some of the sharpest (if not always most readable) political analysis you will see. This post from 1 July is the first analysis I've read that finds a plausible reason behind Kevin Rudd's extraordinary claim, in his first media conference

Protecting Australian businesspeople abroad

Nick Alexander, a former UN and Lowy Institute intern, is a University of Sydney Juris Doctor candidate. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd made it an essential theme of his trip to Indonesia to refocus the Australian people on tapping into Indonesia’s extraordinary business potential rather than

Reader riposte: Rudd, SBY and those boats

Christopher Lethbridge writes: The joint communiqué from Friday's discussions between Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd marks a new maturity in both the Australian-Indonesian relationship and the asylum seeker debate. Epitomised by the

Reader riposte: Higher ed biases

Yesterday The Australian's Greg Sheridan wrote that 'International relations is a boom field in our universities. Ever fewer youngsters want to study Australian politics, ever more want to study international relations. These courses at universities have an almost built-in bias towards

John Garnaut on being a foreign correspondent

Three days after John Garnaut, Fairfax Media's award winning China correspondent, left Beijing, I was fortunate enough to catch up with him before he gave a keynote address to the Lowy Institute's New Voices conference. John describes the momentous changes he witnessed on both a professional

Do voters want to repeal carbon pricing?

John Connor is CEO of the Climate Institute. The past year has been historic in Australia, with around 300 businesses beginning to pay for their greenhouse gas emissions for the first time under carbon laws that had a troublesome gestation and a difficult birth. The last year and the couple

The bipartisan route to St Petersburg

Mike Callaghan is Director of the Lowy Institute's G20 Studies Centre. Prime Minister Rudd has confirmed that he will attend the G20 St Petersburg Summit on 5-6 September. This is welcome. Continuing doubt over whether an election on 14 September would preclude the prime minister attending the St

The sudden vogue for Australian foreign policy

Melissa Conley Tyler is National Executive Director of the Australian Institute of International Affairs. For years I've considered Australian foreign policy analysis to be a purely domestic industry. It has been hard to identify a receptive export market. For example, when I was a graduate

Has Gen Y really gone off democracy?

In Kevin Rudd's victory speech last night, he went out of his way to address young Australians: Mr Rudd said many young people had not liked or respected much of what they had seen. "As I rock around the place talking to kids, they see it as huge national turn-off," he said. "I understand

Rudd: 'Engagement' and asylum seekers

One area of policy difference between Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard immediately raised after last night's leadership change is asylum seekers. After all, it's one of the biggest challenges in terms of policy and votes facing the Government, and Rudd famously declared he did not want to see the party

Reader riposte: Australia's reputation

Eddie Walsh responds to Sam Roggeveen's post on Australia's international reputation in the aftermath of Labor's latest leadership change: While I enjoyed your short post yesterday on the Labor vote, I found it failed to address the central question: Australia's international reputation with

Our long national nightmare, part II

Every think-tanker wants to be mentioned in The Economist, so it was a thrill to find myself quoted several times in the Banyan column back in March on the Labor leadership spill. But there was an unmistakable hint of reproach in the article. It was polite, of course, but Banyan said that, in

2013 Lowy Poll on Gen Y and democracy: What's going on?

For the second year in a row, the annual Lowy Institute Poll has found that less than half of 18-29-year old Australians (loosely termed Gen Y, roughly in line with Pew and other definitions) choose the statement 'Democracy is preferable to any other kind of government' when presented with three

Warming up to Indonesia

Most of us Indonesia groupies have long been nonplussed at how Australians are so luke-warm (and so ill-informed) about Indonesia, as confirmed by the latest Lowy poll. I agree with Dave McRae that we need more person-to-person links. But there are already quite a few. What about all those

Interview: Dan Flitton on the Lowy poll

When I posted the Annabel Crabb interview earlier today I alluded to an interesting divergence in explanations for the strong preference Australians show for the Coalition on most aspects of Australia's foreign relations (one of the headline findings in our latest poll of Australian attitudes to

Why don't Australians trust Indonesia?

This year's Lowy Institute poll reveals Australians' lack knowledge of Indonesia and a pronounced mistrust of our northern neighbour. Only 33% of Australians agree that Indonesia is a democracy, fifteen years and three rounds of democratic elections after the fall of Suharto's authoritarian regime.

Lowy Institute Poll 2013

Today, the Lowy Institute for International Policy releases the results of its annual poll on Australian attitudes to the world. The Lowy Institute Poll 2013 finds that more Australians of voting age (by a margin of over two to one) think the Coalition would do a better job than Labor on five

Defence in depth: Better or worse?

Dougal Robinson is a Lowy Institute defence intern. As the Australian Defence Force approaches the end of a period of high operational tempo, this third Defence in Depth video (you can watch the whole series and read commentary about it on this debate thread) asks experts whether the ADF is

Indonesia's police: The problem of deadly force

Jim Della-Giacoma is the Asia Program Director for International Crisis Group. My four year-old daughter recently came home from her Jakarta kindergarten with a story about a visit to the school from the head of our local police station. 'If there is a robber and he's running away, the policeman

From APEC to Abbott: Adieu, Australia

Australian diplomacy had a very different look and feel when I arrived here at the back end of 2006. John Howard was still the prime minister, just as George W Bush and Tony Blair remained in charge in Washington and Westminster. Consequently, there was a strongly post-9/11 'war on terror' feel to

Defence cultural change will take time

Samantha Crompvoets is a sociologist, a research fellow in the ANU Medical School and a contractor to the Department of Defence. This week's Army sex scandal is not a reflection that cultural change and the intent behind the Defence Department's March 2012 Pathway to Change report on Defence

Defence policy: Self-reliant or self-deluded?

Major Gen (Retd) Jim Molan is author of Running the War in Iraq. The video cameos featured in Dougal Robinson's post, Defence in Depth: Strategic Partners, go to two of the most important concepts in Australian defence: self-reliance and self-delusion. Jack Georgieff looks more directly at

Reader riposte: Why tax Aussies abroad?

Paul Harper from Phnom Penh writes: Further to Janet Magnin's comments and Nick Alexander's article Taxing Australians Abroad, it is unclear to me what services I am receiving from the Australian Government. I pay for my own medical and evacuation services. The only consular service I have used

Reader riposte: Taxing Aussies abroad

Janet Magnin, who resides in France, writes: I read with great interest your article about the possibility of taxing Australian expatriates. However, there is a significant difference between the Australian and American situations that you have failed to mention, and that is that Americans

Defence in depth: Strategic partners

Dougal Robinson is a Lowy Institute defence intern. In this second video of the Defence in Depth series (part 1 on the defence budget), we asked defence experts to identify Australia's two most important strategic relationships. There was a strong consensus that the US is Australia's most

Taxing Aussies abroad

Nick Alexander, a former UN and Lowy Institute intern, is a University of Sydney Juris Doctor candidate. Between the mining tax, carbon tax, and planned changes to superannuation taxes, there's been no shortage of tax-related proposals from Australia's sitting Labor government. That being said,

Self-reliance: Mere lip service to a bygone notion?

Jack Georgieff is the 2013 Thawley Research Scholar in International Security at the Lowy Institute and the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington DC. The notion of 'self-reliance' that lies at the heart of Australian defence strategy is woefully under-analysed in our national

The G20 Leaders’ process five years on: an assessment from an Asian perspective

One of the most significant developments in global economic leadership in recent years has been the development of the G20 Leaders’ Summit. After a positive start, particularly with the 2009 London G20 Leaders’ Summit, the G20 has more recently been criticized as losing focus and making

Afghanistan: More asylum seekers coming

Dr Khalid Koser is a Lowy Institute Non-Resident Fellow and Deputy Director of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy. There is almost universal consensus among the analysts, humanitarians, and policy-makers with whom I've spoken in recent weeks that security in Afghanistan is likely to deteriorate

Reader riposte: Normalisation of uranium

Richard Broinowski writes: Michael Angwin believes that the 'normalisation' of Australian uranium policy is almost complete, and that uranium should be dealt with like any other Australian resource. He misses the rather salient point that uranium exports can never be 'normalised' because unlike

Why is the media so pro-American?

A recent survey of Australian journalists has come to the unsurprising conclusion that, as a class, journalists tend to lean to the left, politically. But if that's true, why are they so pro-American? I don't mean 'pro-American' in the conventional sense of supporting US foreign policy goals.

Reader riposte: Charge for consular services

Nikola writes: The current debate on a consular levy has seen some good points with both sides of the argument highlighting the advantages and disadvantages of introducing a consular levy. I will try to contribute to this debate by proposing a middle ground solution. As pointed out by readers

Defence White Paper: French Pacific power ignored

The Australian Defence White Paper 2013 was not the only such document to be released recently: France's 2013 White Paper on Defence and National Security appeared the same week. But, as far as strategic perceptions of France in our region are concerned, there the symmetry ends. I looked

Australia's consular conundrum in Dubai

The harsh sentencing of Australian businessman Matthew Joyce in Dubai yesterday brings into sharp relief the Government's messaging on consular matters and the problems it encounters regularly in dealing with what I've called Australia's consular conundrum. The conundrum is multi-dimensional,

Reader riposte: Paying for consular help

Kien Choong responds to our Consular Conundrum thread, in particular Alex Oliver's proposal for a levy to pay for DFAT's consular services: I don't think a levy in travel is an efficient way to finance consular assistance. A true user-pays levy would be to send the bill to the individuals

Reader riposte: DFAT's policy muscle

Richard Broinowski writes: Even in his short tenure as a junior officer in pre-Cambrian Canberra, Milton Osborne learnt a hoary tale. External Affairs, later Foreign Affairs, and later again Foreign Affairs and Trade, didn't have the influence of domestically-grounded Commonwealth departments

DFAT: A breed apart

Alex Oliver deserves congratulations for her continuing focus on the problems that confront DFAT, both as a result of the excessive demands made for consular assistance and the continuing reduction of its financing. As she is very much aware, consular demands are a long-standing issue and I

Dreaming of China in the Pacific Islands

Research staff at the Lowy Institute meet with many visiting foreign delegations: European foreign ministers, US State Department and Pentagon officials, Pacific Island MPs, senior officials from Asian countries, academics from India and China. We also meet regularly with Australian ministers and

DFAT budget: All pain, no gain

DFAT's budget pain drags on. Last year's announcement of two new diplomatic missions – one in China (Chengdu) and one in Francophone Africa (Dakar, Senegal) – suggested a modest turnaround in DFAT's fortunes. But of course it's not the fortune of DFAT that's at stake; it's the fortune of the

Defence in depth: The budget

Today we launch the first in a series of videos looking at Australia's defence and strategic policy. Entitled Defence in Depth, the videos feature interviews with defence and strategic experts on a range of issues, including the defence budget, strategic relationships, Australian Defence Force (

Defence White Paper round-up

Dougal Robinson is a Lowy Institute Defence Intern. The Australian Government's Defence White Paper is a week old. Islamabad noticed, as did New York. Here's a round-up of the major judgments: The Lowy Institute's Rory Medcalf: 'Canberra's revised strategic policy is not as meek as it