In a new Lowy Institute Paper, former ONA analyst Ken Ward makes the case for 'more realistic' expectations for the Australia-Indonesia relationship.
He writes that despite years of Australian governments prioritising the relationship, it continues to be marked by tensions and crises. The recent
Ken Ward is to be congratulated for a straight forward and sober analysis of the Australia-Indonesia relationship. In his own matter of fact style, Ken takes us through a complex relationship and provides unique understanding and insight.
His core point is that the Australia-Indonesia
Four days ago, French President François Hollande declared his in-principle commitment to the creation of a 'euro government, with the addition of a specific budget and a parliament to ensure democratic control.'
This is more an opening gambit in a debate about the terms of putative
As part of the 'Sectarianism and Religiously Motivated Violence' Masters course run by the Lowy Institute's Rodger Shanahan at ANU's National Security College, students are asked to write an article on contemporary sectarian conflict. This piece by William Stoltz was judged the best of those
Sadegh Zibakalam is a prominent Iranian intellectual and political commentator and a Professor of Political Science at the University of Tehran. I spoke with him from Tehran:
Q. Is this a good deal for Iran? How significant are the concessions made by Iran to reach this agreement?
Just about everyone agrees that the Greek problem has been kicked down the road again, and probably not even very far.
The fantasy nature of the 'agreekment' is clear. Let's put to one side, for instance, a structural reform program which demands that Sunday be mandated as a work-day. This might
This month saw a super summit of two organisations that are significant for both Russia and China. The 7th BRICS summit and 15th Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit, both held in Ufa, Russia, included the typical member-state declarations confirming cooperation on major issues such as
It remains too early to predict the collapse of the Assad regime, or the way in which it might end, although the possibility of 'catastrophic success' on the part of the jihadist opposition is weighing on minds in Washington.
What is clear, however, are grounds for serious concern about the
The conclusion of the Iran nuclear deal – or the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, to give it its formal title – has already guaranteed us one thing: mutually assured hyperbole.
Barrages of outrage were being fired even before the deal was signed. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
In a week in which international news focused on the Greek debt crisis and the possibility of a Grexit, scant attention has been paid to the arrival from Turkey of thousands of smuggled Syrian, Afghan and other migrants by boat to several Greek Islands. Yet the two are connected, and both are likely
Michael Thawley's comments on China's present global leadership credentials and ambitions are correct and phrased in the refreshingly direct manner Australians usually take as a badge of national pride and uniqueness.
The fact that his comments caused such a stir in Australia (and seemingly in
The Pakistani newspaper Dawn declared that at least 1200 people had died in Karachi, capital of the worst affected Pakistani state, Sindh, during the recent week-long heatwave. The effects of the abnormally high temperatures have been exacerbated by local infrastructure that has struggled to cope;
This year's Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Heads of State Council Meeting, being held in Russia on 10 July, promises to be the most productive in years. Pakistan and India will likely be confirmed as full members (although ascension may not occur until 2016), a move Moscow has long
Late last month, in conjunction with attacks at a beach resort in Tunisia and a 'lone wolf' attack in eastern France, a suicide bomber struck the Imam Al-Sadeq mosque in Kuwait City, killing 27 and injuring 222 people. In the days after the suicide attack, Government-sponsored billboards began
Another seven days to reach an agreement; that's what the P5-1 decided this week when they weren't able to meet their 30 June deadline for a final deal on Iran's nuclear program. While some differences remain, both sides have come too far to walk away. The potential agreement achieves Western
Islamist insurrection has returned to Egypt. There has been a significant growth in the sophistication of the targeting, conduct and lethality of terrorist acts, a crisis of political legitimacy for the Egyptian Government, and the virtual abandonment of any separation of executive and judicial
The establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) reached another milestone on Monday when 50 of the 57 founding members signed the AIIB's Articles of Agreement. Seven countries are still sorting out domestic requirements before signing.
China's Finance Minister Jiwei Lou and
China's long-anticipated formal pledge to international climate change negotiations, it's 'intended nationally determined contribution' or INDC, has arrived.
China's target is a 60% to 65% reduction in the emissions-intensity of the economy by 2030 pegged at 2005 levels, with carbon dioxide
Six months into its membership of the UN Security Council, New Zealand will get to wield the gavel at the famed horseshoe table in New York over the course of this month.
Occupying the president's chair will be the Kiwi's new Permanent Representative, Gerard van Bohemen, a refreshingly direct and
President Barack Obama finally has authority from the US Congress for advancing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a signature foreign policy of his final term in office. The TPP aims to establish a free trade zone around the Pacific Rim covering 40% of the global economy, while excluding China
With the signing of the AIIB's Articles of Agreement in Beijing yesterday, how is the Bank shaping up? Here are some key things that struck me reading the Agreement:
The Bank's members are split into two groups: regional and non-regional. Regional members include those countries
When we get enough perspective to write a balanced history of the 2008 global financial crisis and the subsequent feeble recovery, fiscal policy mistakes will surely feature largely in the narrative. In the form of a new IMF paper, we are beginning to see that history taking shape, and with it a
Fear of ISIS, faltering economies and resentment over rising immigration from war-torn Iraq and Syria has resulted in a surge in right-wing populism in Europe and the UK.
Here in the UK, following the departure of three sisters with their nine children to join ISIS, and the emergence of the first
While Beijing's Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has won overwhelming support (to the surprise of many, including China itself), another bank headquartered in China seems to be flying under the world's radar.
Few people have heard of the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB). This was the
Over the past month The Washington Post has published an awesome series on the internet's inherent vulnerabilities, and how its founders never envisioned its users 'attacking one another.' Here is part 1 and part 2. Below are extractions from part 3, which follows the 1990s hacking collective '
Rather than focus on the blow-by-blow developments of the umpteenth meeting in the Greek crisis, here are some higher level issues that often get lost in the summitry din:
At the moment, the parties are negotiating over a disbursement of €7.2 billion. This is the last €7.2 billion to be
There has been little news of the much criticised proposed dam at Don Sahong in the far south of Laos since the beginning of the year, when the Mekong River Commission (MRC) arranged for a series of public meetings to be held in member countries to discuss the dam.
From the start, these meetings
Two hundred years ago last Friday, British and allied troops defeated Napoleon at Waterloo. Exiled in April 1814 to Elba after his defeat by the Sixth Coalition, by March 1815 Napoleon had escaped and returned to Paris. Much of the army of Louis XVIII, the newly installed King of France, deserted to
'It's not that laws aren't relevant' said MIT Media Lab co-founder Nicholas Negroponte during the 1990s, 'it's that the nation-state is not relevant...The internet cannot be regulated.'
Negroponte's assessment has not aged well, but to be fair, he was not alone in his belief.
Overall, Australians continue to feel secure in the face of rising instability in the world and terrorism threats at home, according to the latest Lowy Institute poll.
But that sense of security is declining. 80% of those asked how safe they feel about world events responded positively in 2015.
Everyone's talking about mobile phone apps. In Australia, apps are becoming a part of everyday life. You can check for real-time updates on your bus route, assess your alcohol intake, or manage your shopping list. There are so many specialised apps, it's impossible to catalogue them all. In the
The latest round of negotiations for the UN's Framework Convention on Climate Change closed in Bonn last Friday with mixed results. With ten formal negotiating days left until crucial climate negotiations resume in Paris later this year, the clock is ticking.
Bonn Climate Change Conference, 1 June
'What's in a name?' Shakespeare's Juliet asks. Quite a lot, as things turned out for her. And so it is for the just-published proceedings of the ANU Indonesian Update, titled The Yudhoyono Presidency: Indonesia's Decade of Stability and Stagnation. A 'mini' version of the Update was held at the
The recent rush by Western countries to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) before the 30 March deadline set by China was widely, and rightly, seen as a policy failure for the US. Earlier, the US had openly opposed the bank.
The US has also resisted reform of the Bretton Woods
Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-first Century put inequality centre-stage in the economic debate. But the topic has been around for a long while. Brookings has recently republished Arthur Okun's 40 year-old Equality and Efficiency: The Big Trade-off, The launch was an opportunity to bring
Barack Obama's tweeting entranced the media earlier this week, but he isn't the only US official making Twitter-related headlines; the social media service has recently played host to a number of high-profile disputes involving senators, ambassadors and spokespeople
The commander of Indonesia's armed forces, General Moeldoko, has strong views about criticism of the abusive 'virginity tests' imposed on female recruits and the fiancées of military officers. 'So what's the problem? It's a good thing, so why criticize it?' he told reporters in Jakarta on 16 May
It is not yet possible to say whether, when and how the Syrian regime may fall. But recent military setbacks, and an objective analysis of the challenges the regime faces in the longer term, strongly suggest that its future is increasingly precarious.
The momentum of the military conflict has
How should ICT companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter conduct themselves when operating in states that crack down on media freedom? Should they comply with sometimes repressive and arbitrary laws to maintain market share, or should they stand up for a free internet?
According to the 2014
Despite gloomy talk about slowing economic growth, Asia has continued to grow strongly, and the IMF has forecast this will continue this year and next.
Asia is still by far the most dynamic region in the world, accounting for 40% of world GDP but nearly two-thirds of global growth. Look, too,
The Asia Pacific is the most dynamic digital landscape in the world, home to the fastest adopters of new technologies and the largest concentration of mobile and social media users. An escalation in online activism, changing cyber dynamics, developments in digital diplomacy and the exploitation of
Danielle Cave has argued that Australia could benefit from a less cautious approach to digital diplomacy. For example, the increasing informality of Foreign Minister Julie Bishop's Twitter presence has led to new audiences. Would Buzzfeed have bothered to interview Bishop if she hadn't agreed to
Infrastructure is now a standard item on the G20 agenda. Serious infrastructure shortages are ubiquitous. With global economic growth slow, ample construction capacity and interest rates at historic lows, there seems to be an opportunity to address the infrastructure gap. But many governments see
The G20 does not have a great track record when it comes to climate change. This is a problem, because the group includes the world's main greenhouse gas emitters. G20 countries have agreed to a global target not to warm the earth more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels as part of the UN
Those monitoring the earthquake response will already be well acquainted with the #NepalEarthquake hashtag, but they should also subscribe to this Twitter list.
How Facebook (via Safety Check) and Google (via Person Finder) helped connect people immediately following the 25 April earthquake.
The recent contributions on the 1951 Refugee Convention from Khalid Koser and Jane McAdam are heartening. It is good to read rational and reasoned discussion by two experts on the international refugee regime and the challenges it faces.
If timing is anything to go by, Khalid Koser has hit the
News last month of the Chinese Government's Great Cannon cyber warfare tool should ring warning bells for Chinese technology companies abroad already compromised by their association with the Chinese state.
Jack Ma, CEO of Alibaba and British Prime Minister David Cameron in Shanghai, 3 December
China and the US have both been described as countries that consider themselves to be exceptional. China, so much so, that some analysts argue it sees itself as 'uniquely unique'. What this means in China is that most Chinese understand themselves to be part of a culture that no-one else can truly