Part 1 of this two-part series here.
I would argue that, for the Obama Administration, a nuclear deal with Iran is central to its recalibration of America's policy and posture in the Middle East. Of course it is not explicitly articulated that way, and for obvious reasons cannot be, but it's not
Thirty years ago to the week, New Caledonia was torn apart by violent protests. The pro-independence FLNKS boycotted an election and town halls were burned throughout the country. It provoked a four-year long civil war euphemistically known as 'the events'.
At first, Australia supported the Kanak
Narendra Modi has just concluded his first visit to Australia, the first by any Indian prime minister in 28 years. Combined with Prime Minister Abbott's visit to India in September and multilateral interactions at the East Asia Summit and G20, this marks an unprecedented level of engagement between
I am from Brisbane, and somewhat ironically, my original ticket out of this city was the G20 analysis I conducted while studying and working at the University of Queensland. In a serendipitous turn of events, Australia and my hometown city were announced as 2014 G20 hosts during that research, which
With the Brisbane G20 Summit on this weekend, The Interpreter's usual weekend catch-up makes way for a 'best of' our G20 material from the past year. The Lowy Institute's G20 Studies Centre has been publishing on all aspects of the Summit, including what the presidency has meant for Australia, as
By Hugh Jorgensen, Research Associate and Tristram Sainsbury, Research Fellow, both at the Lowy Institute's G20 Studies Centre.
Infrastructure has been a priority of the Australian G20 presidency, but we haven't seen much in terms of bricks and mortar proposals. Until now.
Writing in The
Asia's summit season kicks off this week with the 20th APEC 'economic leaders' meeting in Beijing. The region's political jamborees have become very cluttered of late and leaders from all of Asia's key powers may become a little tired with one another's company. After APEC they will jet to Naypyidaw
The APEC Leaders' Meeting underway in Beijing seems to be finessing the various conflicting and overlapping trade initiatives and avoiding serious damage. But it is not resolving any of the underlying tensions.
At the multilateral level, the WTO remains in limbo after India pulled the rug out
New Zealand's decisive victory at the UN last month, winning a Security Council seat for two years from January 2015, surprised even the quietly confident. Securing 145 votes out of 193 in the first round of voting assured New Zealand the two-thirds majority required to get onto the Security
A few months ago I stood on a beach in Tarawa, the most populous of islands comprising the Micronesian nation of Kiribati. It's long and thin sliver of land where you can walk from one side of the island to the other in minutes. It has a population density up to twice that of Sydney or New York, but
Of the 60-plus official meetings that have taken place under Australia's 2014 G20 presidency, a grand total of one has managed to produce a final communiqué or meeting report that mentions the word 'inequality'. To be fair, it does mention it twice: the 10-11 September declaration of G20 Labour and
A recent paper in Nature says that 'no other country is investing so much money or generating so much renewable energy' as China. 'Its build-up of renewable energy systems at serious scale is driving cost reductions that will make them accessible to all.'
The International Energy Agency reckons
It is certainly fitting to examine Gough Whitlam's foreign policy record and considerable achievements. However, in seeking to whitewash the controversy over Whitlam's role leading up to Indonesia's brutal invasion of East Timor in December 1975, Gary Hogan's piece does us all a great disservice.
Forecasts of China's growth always attract interest, even when they are a year old. Larry Summers and Lant Prichett are getting another good run with the paper they published last year (see my earlier post), which analyses emerging-economy growth in general, but of China and India in particular
As commentators rightly eulogise Gough Whitlam's foreign policy achievements, most of the attention has focused on his grand outreach to communist China and the independence of Papua New Guinea. These two acts were conspicuous hallmarks of Whitlam's game-changing diplomatic moments.
A 1979 Peter
The Lowy Institute's G20 Studies Centre will present a weekly selection of links in the lead-up to the Brisbane G20 Leaders’ Summit on 15-16 November.
European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy have issued a joint letter to EU leaders
A few times over the past year, Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop has referred to Australia as a 'top 20 nation' or a 'top 20 country'. She prefers this to the standard description of Australia as a middle power, a term she has mostly avoided. As she responded to the Sydney Morning Herald's
This issue of the G20 Monitor provides a guide to the policies that G20 members will have to tackle to achieve the G20’s 2 per cent growth target, drawing on the recommendations of the IMF, OECD and a number of international think tanks
The Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Roberto Azevedo, says the institution has descended into 'paralysis'.
Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, Roberto Azevedo, Bali, 2013.
Following the failure to get India to remove its objection to advancing the
Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.
With the G20 focused on increasing economic growth, it's worth remembering where the global action is. The above graph from the IMF Multilateral Policy Issues Report, published in July, shows that the emerging economies have been doing the heavy
While the media focus has been on the possible confrontation between Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the upcoming Brisbane G20 Summit, it is the Ebola crisis that may yet take centre stage.
If the virus outbreak continues to confound international efforts over
The smartphone in your pocket embodies today's cutting-edge technology. It is also a product of a global supply chain decidedly old-school in the way it shares rewards.
Two brands, Apple and Samsung, scoop over 100% of the profit pool (the other brands are losing money, giving them negative
Economic forecasting is the butt of jokes, but someone has to do it. You can't make sensible macro policy without some view of how the economy will travel. It's the IMF's thankless job to be the high-profile forecaster for the globe. The Fund's latest World Economic Outlook acknowledges its recent
In July 2014, Australia's Chief Medical Officer, Dr Chris Baggoley, assured us that the risk of the deadly Ebola virus spreading to Australia from West Africa was very low. At that stage, cases of this most recent outbreak of the disease had been confined to West African countries and in particular
By Catherine King MP, Federal Shadow Minister For Health and the Member for Ballarat.
The Ebola crisis is no longer a humanitarian crisis for West Africa; it now poses a direct threat to world economic growth and if not contained, will spread well beyond the borders of Sierra Leone, Liberia and
In its latest World Economic Outlook, the IMF has joined the chorus of international institutions (G20, OECD) calling for more infrastructure spending.
What new elements does the Fund bring to this argument? Global growth has been disappointing. One reason is that governments have cut back on
In this Lowy Institute Analysis, G20 Studies Centre Director Mike Callaghan examines what outcomes from the Brisbane G20 Summit in November would help reinvigorate the forum and render this year's Summit a success
The latest news from the ABC bunker is that while Lateline may survive the latest round of cuts, the bureaux in Tokyo and Delhi may be shut down.
The ABC Board met yesterday, reportedly to decide on measures to achieve efficiencies of up to $100m following the Budget and the Lewis Review, and in
The signing last month of a civil nuclear cooperation agreement between Australia and India has been greeted as an important step towards closer relations between the two countries, as well as bringing India into the global nuclear energy mainstream. These are worthy objectives, but not at any cost
I picked up my tickets for tomorrow's AFL Grand Final the other day. My team, the Sydney Swans, is playing and I should be excited to be going. Instead, I have been infected by the unease gripping Melbourne. I ask myself, am I taking a risk by attending the game?
We are told by our political
With the passing of the presidential baton from Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to Joko Widodo just a month away, Indonesia is at a political crossroad, with the first clear break from the politicians who were part of the Soeharto years. Monday's Indonesia mini-update at the Lowy Institute, a half-day
Justin Yifu Lin insists China can grow at 7-8% for another 20 years. A contrarian with a remarkable personal background, the former World Bank chief economist's views influence his country's top leaders and their sense of destiny. What he says matters. How, and how fast, China grows will be highly
Judging from President Obama's 10 September speech announcing the expanded operation against ISIS and the Jeddah Communique that John Kerry hammered out last week, Obama is expecting a lot from Egypt, Jordan and Gulf states like Saudi Arabia.
At a minimum, the Communique (which is hardly binding)
The UN Climate Change Summit is taking place in New York tomorrow, with attendance by several world leaders including US President Barack Obama and UK Prime Minister David Cameron.
Over the past weekend, nearly 300,000 people marched in the streets of New York to urge a global consensus on
Last weekend's meeting of G20 finance ministers in Cairns achieved more than many other similar G20 meetings. But will it 'change the destiny of the global economy' as claimed by Treasurer Hockey? It could, but only if G20 countries deliver on their good intentions with policy action.
The ramping up of the international effort against ISIS has consumed much of the world media's attention in the last few weeks. However, there is another international crisis unfolding that has killed on a comparable scale, and which threatens to claim many more lives.
The Ebola epidemic
Given that emerging economies continue to grow two or three times faster than advanced economies, the persistent gloom about their prospects is puzzling. The latest example comes from The Economist, which argues that convergence, the process by which poorer countries catch up to rich countries
Though the US President will be the last to trumpet it, a revelation from the Edward Snowden National Security Agency dossier unveiled late last month might provide some context for the difficulties he faces in plotting a course of action to counter the threat of the Islamic State (IS) movement
This issue of the G20 Monitor discusses the reform of international economic institutions, financial regulation, and the trade, accountability and anti-corruption agendas at the forthcoming Brisbane G20 Summit. It also provides a summary of the key ideas from the ‘G20 Conference: Strengthening
I loved this bit from US environmental activist Bill McKibben, who is guest blogging on Andrew Sullivan's site:
Every day there’s something more immediately important happening in the world: ISIS is seizing an airbase this morning, and California is recovering from an earthquake, and Michael
I argued back in April that China's 'synthetic natural gas' (syngas or SNG, which is gas made from coal) is 'bad economics, bad science and an environmental catastrophe'. I also said that 'what is striking is the ambition of Chinese plans versus the widespread scepticism of SNG worldwide and
As John Lennon wrote, 'life is what happens when you are busy making other plans.' How true for Australia's plans for the G20. Life is not being kind in the lead-up to the Brisbane G20 Summit.
The head winds for the summit so far include:
International organisations (the IMF and World Bank)
The 12th edition of the G20 monitor contains an overview from John Lipsky on the G20’s role in global governance after the global financial crisis; a paper by Geoff Weir on the G20, Thomas Piketty, and inequality; thoughts from Hugh Jorgensen and Christian Downie on multilateral energy governance
There are many countries which do not much like the central role of the US dollar. But while they generally (and grudgingly) agree that there is not much to be done about it for now, a punishment recently meted out by US financial regulators against BNP Paribas (BNPP) has incensed European leaders
I raised this topic recently when The Economist pointed to a new Brookings study which argued that the cost of renewables had been severely underestimated. There was some pushback in the comments thread, and now I see that Green Tech Media, an American green energy industry website, has also
Earlier this year Treasurer Joe Hockey negotiated a significant commitment among G20 Finance Ministers to aim for an additional 2% of global growth over the next five years. As countries develop their action plans for achieving this goal in the lead-up to the next G20 Finance Ministers' meeting in