Thursday 22 Apr 2021 | 11:44 | SYDNEY
What's happening on


Who is to blame for austerity?

The concerted global fiscal stimulus of 2009 is an example of excellent policy-making, the more outstanding because subsequent policies have been ineffectual in addressing the weak recovery in advanced economies. Why did success morph so quickly into the fiscal policy lethargy of the past three

Reader riposte: Reagan and Gorbachev

Gareth Evans responds to a piece flagged in last Thursday's Links: Re: 'The story behind Peter Marlow's iconic image of Reagan and Gorbachev in Vienna, which you see in our banner image.' So which image is the right way round, and which has been photo-shopped or whatever? Intrigued as to how

Is the US holding back IMF reform?

Mike Callaghan is Director of the Lowy Institute's G20 Studies Centre.   Is US leadership in the IMF and on global financial issues under threat? Over 100 former US senior policy advisors and academics think so. They wrote to Speaker of the US House of Representatives John Boehner on 11

Why is hosting the G20 important to Australia?

Hugh Jorgensen is a Research Associate in the Lowy Institute's G20 Studies Centre. This is going to become a politically vexing question for the Prime Minister ahead of the September federal election, as this year's G20 summit in St Petersburg is being held one week before Australians head to the

Pope Francis I, economic crusader

Crispin Rovere has done research on Australia-Holy See relations and is now a PhD candidate at ANU's Strategic and Defence Studies Centre. He recently wrote on Ratzinger the Reformer. The past few weeks have been a persistent break with Vatican tradition. Pope Benedict retired, being the first to

Habemus Papam

The Conclave in the Vatican surprised with its election as Pontiff Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires. Pope Francis represents a number of firsts for the Roman Catholic Church. He is the first Pope from South America, the first non-European in 1200 years, the first Jesuit, and the

Why the papal election matters

Why should international policy observers care about the election of a new pope? If you're a realist, the answer is not obvious. The Catholic Church, after all, has no divisions. But Dan Drezner offers a realist answer: ...the biggest reason the Pope matters from a power perspective is that,

What 'food industry' actually means

This clip from the film Samsara really does put the 'industrial' in 'food industry'. As Jason Kottke observes, 'The chicken picker machine hoovering up chickens and depositing them into drawers is one of the most dystopian things I've ever seen.' I've expressed scepticism previously about '

60 Minutes goes to Baghdad

Major Gen (Retd) Jim Molan is author of Running the War in Iraq. Sam Roggeveen has invited Interpreter readers to 'talk about their views of the Iraq War ten years after the invasion'. Several weeks ago, 60 Minutes invited me to Iraq to make a segment addressing this topic. After some discussion, I

Reader riposte: More on TNI reform

Edmund McWilliams writes: Gary Hogan's March 11 comment on my recent letter critiquing his article fails to address the central points of that critique. For more than a decade those who have sought to defend the TNI and presumably to encourage stronger ties between that military and other

Emerging countries go with capital flow

It goes without saying that the 2008 financial crisis altered the way capital flows between countries. Cross-border capital flows fell by 60% between 2007 and 2012. We now have enough perspective to evaluate how this might affect future flows to emerging economies. Risk perceptions altered

Whaling: A sanctuary is a sanctuary

Captain Paul Watson is founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.  Michael Heazle proclaims both Rear Admiral Goldrick and myself to be wrong. That is his right. Like everyone else, he has an opinion and the freedom to express it. His viewpoint is that Sea Shepherd is not upholding

The dangers of policy complacency

Mike Callaghan is Director of the Lowy Institute's G20 Studies Centre. The markets are taking in their stride the uncertain outcome from the Italian election and the continuing fiscal impasse in the US. If held last year, an Italian election with the same uncertain result would have likely

Football diplomacy redux

Last Friday the Lowy Institute released a new Policy Brief from Research Director Anthony Bubalo which urges the Australian Government, business and community groups to use Australia's hosting of the Asian Cup in 2015 to strengthen Australia's broader engagement with Asia. In this video, Anthony

Fiji police brutality: World is watching

Graphic video footage of police brutality in Fiji which emerged last week is attracting international condemnation. The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has condemned the incident and the New Zealand parliament is due to vote this week on a motion to condemn the brutality

Movie trailer: No

Synopsis: After fifteen years of military dictatorship, the public are being asked to vote in the national plebiscite of 1988 on whether General Augusto Pinochet should stay in power or whether there should be an open presidential election a year after. René works as part of a team to create

Indonesia: Yes, TNI has changed

Gary Hogan was the first foreigner to graduate from Indonesia's Institute of National Governance (Lemhannas) and was Australia's Defence Attaché to Indonesia from 2009 to 2012. When I first saw that Edmund McWilliams had apparently read my post on a changing of the guard at the top of Indonesia'

Whaling: Watson and Goldrick are both wrong

While I certainly support Rear Admiral Goldrick's condemnation of Sea Shepherd's actions in the Antarctic, I do not agree with either his representation of Japan's whaling ambitions or the link he makes between whaling and Japan's territorial tensions with China. Japan's refusal to stop whaling is

In defence of the UK Justice and Security Bill

Paul Madden is the British High Commissioner to Australia. Cynthia Banham's Interpreter article yesterday about the UK's Justice and Security Bill was rather one-sided. It's not an easy policy area. Any liberal democracy wants to uphold justice and the rule of law, but also safeguard our most

Violence: PNG's women face a crisis

It's not often in international affairs that a story about sorcery makes the headlines or that I find myself being interviewed about it. The horrendous public execution of Kepari Leniata, a young woman accused of using sorcery to cause the death of a young boy in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea,

Conservative governments divorcing big business?

Dr Daniel Woker is the former Swiss Ambassador to Australia and now a Senior Lecturer at the University of St Gallen. Tax may be a dry subject but Mike Callaghan's 25 February piece was anything but. Mike highlighted a recent OECD report to the G20 Finance Ministers' meeting in Moscow on '

The Cameron Government's secret courts

Cynthia Banham is a former diplomatic correspondent for Fairfax and a PhD candidate at the ANU. This is part 3 of her series on counter-terrorism after the 9/11 decade. Part 1 here; part 2 here. To get an idea of the level of concern in the UK over the Cameron Government's proposed Justice

Obama's targeted killings: Legal questions

Cynthia Banham is a former diplomatic correspondent for Fairfax and a PhD candidate at the ANU. This is part 2 of her series on counter-terrorism after the 9/11 decade. Part 1 here. There is a bleak irony in President Obama, who banned the use of torture upon taking office, finding it more

Reader riposte: More on West Papua

Andrew Johnson writes: Your reader George Darroch made no attempt to address the trusteeship issue which I raised. Whatever the Indonesians or the West Papuans are doing would likely become irrelevant if the United Nations accepts that West Papua is still a UN trust territory. And as readers

Counter-terrorism: After the 9/11 decade

Cynthia Banham is a former diplomatic correspondent for Fairfax and a PhD candidate at the Regulatory Institutions Network, ANU. The Open Society Foundation's recent report detailing the scale of the Bush Administration's extraordinary rendition program and the extent of cooperation by 54 allies

Reader ripostes: Whaling and Papua

Alisha Price writes: A short note to let you know that I am one of many who are in support of the anti-poaching work that Sea Shepherd is doing in the Southern Ocean as well as the other reserves and sanctuaries they seek to protect. I agree with the response Captain Paul Watson has written to

Free markets: Purity is impotence

Australia has a pretty consistent record of playing by the 'free market' rules in its international economic relations, with low tariffs, restrained use of anti-dumping restrictions, acceptance of international intellectual property norms and openness to international capital flows. By and large,

The power of decisive policy action

Mike Callaghan is Director of the Lowy Institute's G20 Studies Centre.   Comparisons between the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the President of the European Central Bank (ECB) Mario Draghi may be rare. But the two men do have something in common. They have both demonstrated the power

Friday funny: The longest day care

Since it's Oscars week, why not showcase one of the nominees from the Best Short Film (Animated) category, Maggie Simpson in 'The Longest Daycare'? Much like watching any recent episode of The Simpsons, I found this a slightly melancholy experience. The political humour is still there: we get

Indonesia: Signs of new thinking on Papua

Gary Hogan was the first foreigner to graduate from Indonesia's Institute of National Governance (Lemhannas) and was Australia's Defence Attaché to Indonesia from 2009 to 2012. The 21 February slaying of eight soldiers in two separate incidents by anti-government rebels in Indonesia's troubled

Never easier to see the world

This piece about falling US airline ticket prices in The Atlantic (short version: they've fallen 50% in the last 30 years) reminds me of one of my favourite personal stories about globalisation. In early 1990 I had just finished high school and was embarking on the rite of passage that so many 

Japanese whaling: Sea Shepherd doesn't help

Rear Admiral (ret'd) James Goldrick AO, CSC is a Nonresident Fellow at the Lowy Institute. I hold no brief for Japan's 'scientific' whaling effort. Apart from the environmental issues, it is an old fashioned rort conducted by vested interests in Japan with no consideration for either the Japanese

World economy: Keep optimism cautious

Earlier this month I noted that, after several years dominated by bad economic news, the start of the current year had brought hopes that we might finally see a degree of stability return to what has been a demonstrably unstable global economy. While some of this shift in sentiment could be put

Sliding towards China accommodation

Andrew Sullivan describes succinctly the dilemma that's at the heart of the US budget sequester: a budget crisis, where the GOP is rightly demanding structural spending cuts, we have two big shiny objects to raid: Medicare, and defense...Now if Americans were to choose between taking

Southern Europe wounded, not defeated

Dr Daniel Woker is the former Swiss Ambassador to Australia and now a Senior Lecturer at the University of St Gallen. All is not well in southern Europe. Six months ago I wrote in this space about southern Italy's crumbling infrastructure and rotting structures. Italy's voters just presented the

Busting some myths about the G20

Hugh Jorgensen is a Research Associate in the Lowy Institute's G20 Studies Centre. While much of the G20 commentary in early 2013 has tended towards a diagnosis of doom for the forum, to borrow from Mark Twain, the reports of the G20's death 'are greatly exaggerated'. The latest G20 Monitor

Reader riposte: Retired military voices

Wing Commander Brian Dirou, DFC (Retired) responds to a debate we hosted in August of last year: Post-ADF formation in 1974, there was a mass exodus of personnel with embedded traditional military ethos and combat experience. Very counter-productive age/rank related mandatory retirement also

Asian cyber competition: What to do?

James Lewis is Director of the Technology and Public Policy Program at CSIS, Washington, DC. This is the last in a five-part series on Asia in the age of cyber threats. Part 1; part 2; part 3; part 4. Conflict and competition in cyberspace is part of a larger shift in the international security