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
At a time when international cooperation on refugees is most sorely needed, countries are instead resorting to increasing unilateralism. Australia is at the forefront. Retreating inwards by trying to seal off borders to people in search of protection is both unrealistic and unsustainable.
There was a time when there were very few women in Burma’s national police force, and they were practically invisible. Under an ambitious plan to enlarge, modernise and reform the Myanmar Police Force (MPF), however, that situation is rapidly changing. Not only are there now many more female
In this Analysis, Khalid Koser argues that the implementation of the 1951 Refugee Convention is failing the interests of both states and refugees. Koser argues that Australia is well-placed to lead an international effort for reform.
Photo: Getty Images/Scott Fisher
In recent years, strategic rivalry between India and China has been evident across the Indo-Pacific, with Beijing progressively growing its diplomatic, economic and military influence on India's land and maritime periphery, and India belatedly pushing back to preserve its once privileged position in
The differences between the recent crises of boat arrivals in Europe and Australia are far greater than their similarities. There is not a civil war brewing 200km from Australian territory, and neither is the worst refugee crisis in the last half century being unleashed within striking distance.
With Greece once again teetering on the brink of default, a recent paper from the Centre for International Governance Innovation explores one episode in the amazing saga of how this tiny country came to threaten the viability of the euro, and left a damaging legacy for procedures and governance at
Australia's approach to digital diplomacy is second-rate and entirely inadequate for a nation that sees itself as 'a top 20 country'. Despite an expanded social media presence, Australia continues to lag far behind other countries – large and small – that are investing serious resources into
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is nothing short of a 'fate changer', said Pakistani Federal Minister Ahsan Iqbal, the man behind the historic project. The excitement appears to be mutual, as China has shown equal enthusiasm for the project throughout a two-day visit by Chinese President
Forecasts prepared for the IMF's 'Spring Meeting' in Washington last week predict global growth of around 3.5% this year, about the same as in the last few years. This is not the 'slowing' discussed so often in earlier Fund documents, but nor is it the normal robust recovery that might be expected
When you look at the global response to the threat of ISIS, a glaring gap is the cyber domain.
The internet has been critical to the terrorist group's success. It allows it to communicate unfiltered to the rest of the world, for onward mass dissemination by the media. It helps the group radicalise
Last month, a majority of the Republicans in the US Senate sent an open letter to the leadership of Iran.
In it, they declared that any deal on Iranian nuclear technology between Tehran and the Obama Administration might be undone by Republicans in Washington, especially if they re-take the White
After a decade of swimming against the tide, the Australian Government is slowly engaging in the world of digital diplomacy.
The term 'DFAT the Dinosaur' no longer applies, a label slapped onto our foreign affairs department in 2010 after a series of public refusals to incorporate the internet
This week we've had the IMF and World Bank spring meetings.
Economic heavy-hitters from around the world descend on DC to attend committee meetings, seminars, briefings, and other policy-maker fun. Also, the IMF's World Economic Outlook is released. Chapter 4 in the most recent edition looks at
The ability of individuals and organisations to access and respond to information instantaneously, via any number of information and communication technologies (ICT), is flipping the switch on international relations. Non-state actors – from businesses to civil society and even terrorist groups
Can tax laws keep up with globally operating businesses and constant technological change? This is a fundamental challenge confronting governments.
It is also the reason tax is getting a lot of attention in the Australian media, particularly coverage of the Senate inquiry into corporate tax
In 2002 David Dollar and Art Kraay, both at the World Bank at the time, published an article in the Journal of Economic Growth called 'Growth is Good for the Poor'. Dollar and Kraay showed that if an economy's growth increased by a percentage point, then growth of the incomes of the poor increased
You might wonder whether the result of the recent second round of French departmental elections – with Nicolas Sarkozy taking credit for the UMP's win of 67 departments, trouncing Francois Hollande's Socialists, who got 34 – has anything to do with Australian
The 16th issue of the G20 Monitor examines the three priority ‘i’s of the 2015 Turkish Presidency: inclusiveness, implementation, and investment. It explores the basis for the ‘i’s, assesses progress made on the priorities to date, and suggests policies the G20 can pursue for each priority.
Failure to pay proper, high-level attention to negotiations under the UN's climate convention (UNFCCC) seriously endangers Australia's national interest in areas beyond climate change. This is the important headline conclusion from a timely Lowy Institute paper by Howard Bamsey and Kath Rowley.
What is best practice for the governance of the Chinese-initiated Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank (AIIB)? Australia says this remains a major concern, even though it has finally agreed to become a prospective founding member of the bank.
2014 Annual Meetings of the Board of Governors of
In mid-2009, with American finance reeling from the Lehman Brothers collapse, the nation's Treasury Secretary addressed his prestigious alma mater Peking University. 'How safe are China's investments in US Government debt?', challenged one student. 'Very safe', the Secretary answered to derisive
In what appeared to be a case of spectacularly bad timing, the Bank of England held a conference in September 2007 on 'sources of macroeconomic stability'.
You see, from the early 1980s the business cycle in developed economies had become much less volatile. A term had been coined for this
More details emerged over the weekend about two Chinese big-ticket initiatives, 'One Belt, One Road' and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
Speaking at the Boao Forum for Asia, President Xi Jinping outlined his vision for the region in a keynote address titled 'Towards a Community of
There has been much fretting about China's growth over the past five years. One special focus for hand-wringing has been the Chinese financial system and its non-banking component – the shadow banking system – in particular.
Financial growth in China has certainly been rapid since 2007, a
By Eva Westfield, who was an Australian volunteer based in Port Vila.
Consistently rated the most dangerous countries in the world in terms of disaster risk, Vanuatu is no stranger to the destruction caused by natural hazards.
Talk of Cyclone Pam hitting Vanuatu started about a week before it
Even for long-time watchers of the Middle East like myself, the region's enmities and alliances have become very difficult to keep track of.
This has just been taken to a mind-bogglingly new level by Saudi Arabia's decision to launch a military campaign in Yemen against the Houthi movement.
The 2008 global financial crisis provided a rare test-bed for macroeconomics — an opportunity to sort out some old controversies. One issue dominated the debate during the recovery phase: with national budgets and official debt pushed up by the crisis, should budget austerity be imposed as a
In this Analysis, Howard Bamsey and Kath Rowley argue that any failure to pay proper, high-level attention to the current international climate change negotiations raises several risks to the national interest. Strong, constructive engagement in those negotiations by Australia would serve climate
Australia's likely decision to become a founding member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) marks the loosening of America's 70 year command over global governance.
US Secretary of State John Kerry and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim at the African Growth and Opportunity Act
The deliberate recruitment of women by ISIS certainly brings a new twist to radicalism. It is something that al Qaeda never quite got the hang of. It is worrisome, because it reveals the long-term ambitions of the group – to create a new generation of radicalised men and women.
Why is it
Should Australia join the Chinese-sponsored Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)? As often happens in international affairs, the answer is not found in the technical pros and cons of the proposal, but in the politics.
America seems to have strongly encouraged its close Asian friends (Japan
In an excellent exploratory piece by Graeme Woods in The Atlantic this month, he notes in passing the similarities between ISIS and the Khmer Rouge. It’s a worthy comparison – further highlighted by ISIS’ destruction of antiquities as reported last week – and something that merits a
On 3 March, Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said, 'We must use the celebration of International Women's Day to highlight the plight of women still fighting for freedom and equality, for when that is achieved it will be for the betterment of us all.'
That fight is ongoing in the Asia-
Since 2010, Boko Haram has acquired increasingly sophisticated weaponry, grown its ranks, and expanded its capacity to attack a variety of targets, primarily in northeastern Nigeria.
Boko Haram´s links to international networks, including al-Qaeda, became known to the Nigerian public in March
ISIS and submarines are the two big fashionable defence and national security concerns at the moment. When combined, they make it evident that there is need for a considerable rethink about how Australia approaches defence and security.
Today we seem stuck around notions of fighting an sea-air
15 years ago, Beijing made an important strategic decision about its sprawling aviation manufacturing monopoly, AVIC.
Dissatisfied with AVIC's slothfulness, and keen to promote competition, the state's planners split the company in half, creating two firms. Unimaginatively named AVIC-1 and AVIC-2
We live in strange economic times. Depositors in Denmark are paying interest to their banks and borrowers are being paid when they take out a loan. The basic principles of finance have been turned on their head.
One commentator has noted that 'something economists thought was impossible is
International Women's Day was celebrated yesterday, and there is cause for optimism with regards to progress in women's rights and important commitments undertaken to reduce gender inequality.
Many international organisations came out in strong support of the day, including UN Women and the IMF. In
This week the IMF Executive Board will consider a proposal to provide Ukraine with a US$17.5 billion Extended Fund Facility. The IMF Managing Director explains that this program 'can succeed'. But it has to be said that the chances are low, given current geopolitical circumstances and Kiev's recent
The Australian Government's announcement that 300 additional troops will be sent to Iraq to help train the Iraqi Army has brought forth the usual public commentators, myself included. My view is that all those who see ISIS as evil should be prepared to commit military and other resources to oppose
Syrian friends here in Lebanon often tell me that some Syrian refugees have chosen to leave Lebanon and return to parts of Syria that are under ISIS control. These anecdotes usually emerge as part of a larger conversation about why ISIS still receives support in some Arab countries, albeit often
The new Indian Government brought down its first full-year budget last weekend. It has been keenly anticipated. Business Standard claimed: 'The market is expecting the Union Budget to be path-breaking, similar to the one in 1991, which led to the liberalisation of the Indian economy.'
Contrary to media reports of two more 'indictments' of former Khmer Rouge figures by the Cambodian-UN Khmer Rouge Tribunal, what has actually happened is that Meas Muth (the former Khmer Rouge navy commander) and Im Chaem (a former regional detention centre director) have been charged in absentia
My generation doesn't think much about nuclear weapons, disarmament and the consequences of nuclear-weapons use. Some certainly do, but generally, the cause of nuclear disarmament is being carried on by an older generation.
I think that's a problem. Nuclear weapons seems like an old issue, from
For most of my professional life I have been addicted to Middle Eastern politics. In recent years, however, I have started to kick the habit, so I had not planned to get up at 3am Sydney time to watch Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu deliver his much anticipated and controversial address
At a forum held at the Parliament of New South Wales last Tuesday evening, the General Secretary of Lebanon's Future Movement party, Ahmad Hariri, forcefully condemned terrorism in the name of Islam. Flanked by pictures of two former Lebanese prime ministers, the slain Rafik Hariri and his son Saad
Chunyun, the annual spring festival holiday in China, is often described as the world's largest human migration. Over one billion trips are made in a 10-day period. The family reunion over the lunar new year is the local equivalent of Christmas and Thanksgiving combined, and for the many families
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is close to the make-or-break stage. It will either get US Congressional blessing soon or lose momentum and slip from the agenda. So it is surprising how little public debate there is in Australia about its important ramifications. For an excellent exception, see