Friday 07 Aug 2020 | 08:34 | SYDNEY
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People | experts Alex Oliver
Director of Research
Lowy Institute
Alex Oliver's picture
Areas of ExpertisePublic opinion polling; Australian and international diplomacy, public diplomacy and consular affairs

Do we need embassies anymore?

In conjunction with the release of the Lowy Institute Global Diplomacy Index, Alex Oliver writes in Foreign Affairs about the challenges facing the institution of the embassy in the twenty-first century. The article can be viewed on the Foreign Affairs website here.  

The Lowy Institute Global Diplomacy Index 2016

The Lowy Institute Global Diplomacy Index 2016 is the original version of our interactive web tool which maps and ranks the diplomatic networks of all G20 and OECD nations: 42 countries in total. With the Index you can view and compare the extent and reach of some of the most significant

Time for a stronger U.S.-Australia alliance?

In the wake of a report from CSIS and ANU calling for a stronger US alliance refocused on the Asia Pacific, Alex Oliver examines the eleven years of Lowy Institute polling on attitudes to the US alliance, and cautions that, despite Australians' strong support for the alliance, any

Time for a stronger U.S.-Australia alliance?

In the wake of a report from CSIS and ANU calling for a stronger US alliance refocused on the Asia Pacific, Alex Oliver examines the eleven years of Lowy Institute polling on attitudes to the US alliance, and cautions that, despite Australians' strong support for the alliance, any

DFAT: Not perfect, but in our national interest

A few days ago a suggestion was made on Crikey that DFAT, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, should be scrapped. I was tempted to ignore it, because as far as I can tell, the author, Jason Murphy, based his call largely on the fact that he just doesn't like free trade agreements

Australia makes another tilt at the UN Security Council

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has just announced that Australia will bid for a seat on the UN Security Council in 2029-30. That's 15 years from the end of our last Security Council seat (2013-14). But it compares against the 27 years between our fourth and fifth outings at the Security Council. In

Will Australians support a deeper, bolder US alliance?

Having just read the joint CSIS-ANU 'audit' of the US alliance, published this week, a few of us here wondered whether the Australian public would support the sort of intensified alliance proposed by the report's authors. It has been said that the finer points of foreign policy don't decide

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

DFAT's Dickensian budget

The 2015-16 budget for the Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio evokes A Tale of Two Cities. For aid, it's a case of the 'worst of times': the Government has cut $1 billion from overseas development assistance this financial year (as announced in the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook), $1.35

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

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,

ABC bureaux closures: Sacrificing the bang for the bucks?

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

Foreign Minister back at the UN, one year on

Later today, the 69th session of the UN General Assembly commences. One of Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop's first official duties last year was to address the opening of the 68th session of the General Assembly, nine days after being sworn in as minister. Bishop had a tough start as

Australia's economic diplomacy: Enlightened self-interest?

Almost a year since the Coalition took the reins of government and introduced its policy of 'economic diplomacy', a term which was probably foreign to many Australians at the time, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb launched the Government's Economic

Young Australians talk about the value of democracy

[vimeo:85892717] Since Fergus Hanson first polled Australians on the value of democracy in the 2012 Lowy Institute Poll, our findings about how Australians, particularly young Australians, view democracy have variously provoked astonishment, bewilderment, disbelief, worry and frustration. Our 2014

Lowy Institute Poll 2014

2014 marks the tenth year of Lowy Institute polling on Australia and the world. The 2014 Lowy Institute Poll includes a mix of fascinating new questions on issues such as who is Australia’s best friend in Asia and Canberra’s espionage practices, along with many of our established questions

First look at the Budget: DFAT, aid and defence

So here I am at the budget lockup, deep in the bowels of Treasury, with the idea of getting a much-anticipated preview of the Foreign Affairs and Trade budget for this, the Coalition Government's first federal budget. Only, there is no Portfolio Budget Statement for the Foreign Affairs and Trade

Last call for the Australia Network?

And now the news: the Australia Network (described in The Australian's story as the 'Asian broadcasting service') is ‘likely to be scrapped in the May budget’. No surprise, coming on the heels of the Prime Minister's comments that the ABC lacks 'basic affection for the home team', following the

Bishop's new consular strategy: Show us the money

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has called for public submissions on the development of Australia's consular strategy for 2014-16. This is a welcome move. The UK has had a formal, publicly available consular strategy since at least 2007, and earlier this year published its 2013-16 strategy. A well-

MIKTA: Where middle powers proudly meet

A month or so ago, with little fanfare, Australia participated in the first meeting of MIKTA, an informal grouping of five nations — Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea, Turkey and Australia — described in press releases by Turkey and South Korea as an informal and non-exclusive group of 'middle

The heat is back on climate change

With the start of the Warsaw climate change talks today, combined with the election of the Abbott Government and its proposed repeal of the Gillard Government's carbon tax regime, climate change is back on the political agenda. There was considerable consternation at the linking of climate change

Is DFAT set to be restructured?

The swearing in of the new Abbott Ministry yesterday portends something of a new era for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The inclusion of Investment in the Trade portfolio was no surprise, given the discussion and policy release in the election lead-up. It aligns with the Coalition’s

Women in parliament: Australia vs the world

There has been much consternation both at home and abroad about the lack of women in Prime Minister Tony Abbott's ministry, announced this week. The Washington Post, following the lead of the AP wires, billed the cabinet numbers story as a ‘rekindling’ of the Abbott sexism debate, a line that

2013 Lowy Poll on Gen Y and democracy: What's going on?

For the second year in a row, the annual Lowy Institute Poll has found that less than half of 18-29-year old Australians (loosely termed Gen Y, roughly in line with Pew and other definitions) choose the statement 'Democracy is preferable to any other kind of government' when presented with three

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