Saturday 21 Sep 2019 | 11:12 | SYDNEY
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Public Opinion

Lowy Institute polling puts foreign policy in context. As the leading tracking survey on Australian foreign policy, the annual Lowy Institute Poll provides insights into the constraints and opportunities public opinion creates for policy-makers. 

The Lowy Institute has conducted robust, independent polling of the Australian public annually since 2005, allowing opinion to be compared over time. As well as our established tracking questions, each poll include a range of new questions each year on the critical issues of the day.

The Institute has also conducted numerous polls overseas in a range of countries in the Indo-Pacific region such as ChinaIndonesiaIndiaFiji and New Zealand. These polls have provided valuable insights into how foreign publics view the world and the important issues their nations face in their international relations.

Secrets and laws

Since the Australian Federal Police raids on the offices of the ABC and the home of News Corporation journalist Annika Smethurst, there has been an understandable debate on the tensions between national security and press freedom. This has extended to questions around whistle-blowing and

National security: Australians and their elites

It may be distasteful to some, but there is no escaping the need for political elites. The trick, particularly in a democracy, is for those elites to carry a sense of legitimacy. Australians are disconnected from politics, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they differ from politicians in their

Australian attitudes to China shift: 2019 Lowy Poll

Among many interesting findings in this year’s Lowy Institute Poll, one new question produced a particularly striking result given Australia’s debate over how to navigate the looming tech cold war between the US and China. 44% said “protecting Australians from foreign state intrusion”

Lowy Institute Poll 2019

After a year of heated domestic debate on issues such as climate change, foreign influence and technology, the 2019 Lowy Institute Poll reveals significant changes in how Australians view our most important international partners, and the world around us

After the Australian election: the China test

Governments in Australia are judged, in part, by their handling of the relationship with China. And while foreign policy has barely featured in Australia’s election campaign, the Chinese government is watching our election with interest and intent. An early release of this year’s Lowy

2018 Lowy Institute Poll: continuities and discontinuities

After the remarkable international developments of the past two years, and following a year of heated domestic debate on issues such as foreign influence, energy, and immigration, this year’s Lowy Institute Poll, released on Wednesday, has observed both continuities and discontinuities in

2017 Lowy Institute Poll

After a turbulent year in global politics, the 2017 Lowy Institute Poll contains thought-provoking findings about how Australians have reacted to world events, and how they feel about the direction of our own nation

The Lowy Institute Poll 2016

The 2016 Lowy Institute Poll looks at Australians' reactions to a year of elections − the Australian election, the US presidential election and the selection of a new UN Secretary-General.  The Poll, the twelfth annual Poll by the Lowy Institute, also examines attitudes to other

Double trouble: China's bid to increase birth rate is no sure thing

By Marie-Alice McLean-Dreyfus, an intern with the Lowy Institute's East Asia Program China's historic policy change to allow all couples to have two children was presented as an economic imperative, but some believe individual choice, increasingly encouraged to drive consumption, will decide family

Digital diplomacy is not the same as digital outreach

Recently Jonathan McClory from UK consultancy Portland Communications, along with Facebook's government outreach manager Katie Harbath, skilfully entered the five-year long debate on the Australian Government's digital diplomacy capabilities. It's a welcome move – the more individuals and

How did the Chinese media react to the Tianjin explosions?

By Jackson Kwok, an intern in the Lowy Institute's East Asia Program, and Merriden Varrall, Director of the East Asia Program, Lowy Institute. It has now been more than a week since the explosions in Tianjin occurred. Discussions on online social networks such as Weibo (China's version of Twitter)

Address by Peter Varghese AO - An Australian world view: A practitioner's perspective

On 20 August 2015, the Lowy Institute hosted an address from Peter Varghese AO, Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Mr Varghese presented his perspective on key themes in Australia’s Foreign Policy

For Australians, is PNG a partner or an obligation?

Papua New Guinea will commemorate 40 years of independence from Australia this year. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is using the anniversary to promote the changing nature of Australia's relationship with PNG. In a speech earlier this week she said:   There are challenges and

Lowy poll shows that values matter in foreign policy

The 2015 Lowy Institute Poll reveals a great deal about Australian attitudes towards China, both in terms of our bilateral relationship, but also how China fits into our broader sense of economic and political security alongside other actors such as the US. It would appear that values and ideals

The 2015 Lowy Institute Poll: What does it all mean?

The 2015 Lowy Institute Poll was released this morning. It's the eleventh annual Lowy Institute Poll. It goes without saying that every year there are some fascinating results which shine a light on how Australians feel about critical foreign policy issues. With our established tracking questions

Lowy Institute Poll 2015

After a year marked by an unusual intensity in Australia’s interactions with the world, the 2015 Lowy Institute Poll includes findings from a mix of new questions together with established tracking questions on some of the critical issues of our time. In this year’s Poll, we asked Australians

Armenian genocide forgotten in ANZAC commemorations

'Camp out on the school oval under the stars like the ANZACS did 100 years ago,' says the flyer sent home from my son's school last week. On 24 April 2015, 100 years after the ill-fated Gallipoli landing, our school children are invited to bake damper around the camp fire, make craft poppies and

Data retention scheme has majority support from Australians

New Lowy Institute polling released today shows that the Australian Government's data retention ('metadata') laws, which passed the parliament last night, have the support of a clear majority of Australians. When asked whether 'legislation which will require Australian telecommunications companies

Indonesians against the death penalty

As we learned from a recent Lowy Institute poll, 62% of Australians oppose the use of the death penalty in the case of Bali Nine members Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran in Indonesia. But what do Indonesians think about the case? While I have yet to find a similar survey of Indonesian public

ABC and SBS cuts: Australia's loss in a global century

The $254 million in cuts to the ABC budget, outlined today by ABC Chief Executive Mark Scott after Malcolm Turnbull's statement on Wednesday, have been coming for a long time – at least since the Lewis review which proposed efficiencies to reduce the ABC's annual budget requirement. Since then

Why do so many Chinese expect war?

A professor of classical music in Beijing startled me in 2010 when he said, 'when I look at my students, I fear we are headed for war within five years.' 'War with whom?', I enquired. 'With anyone.' His students don't seem like fenqing ('angry youth'). They are in a musical conservatory, after

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