China’s Belt and Road Initiative is one of President Xi’s most ambitious foreign and economic initiatives. It reflects a combination of economic and strategic drivers, not all of which can be easily reconciled. Photo: Flickr/Johannes Zielcke.
Australia and New Zealand are developing maritime capabilities to uphold the rules-based system. Regional uncertainty will intensify their defence cooperation, but trans-Tasman differences in outlook and investment will need careful management. Photo: Getty Images/Teaukura Moetaua
The long-term development prospects for the Pacific are bleak, yet it is an integral region for Australia’s strategic and development interests. One proposal that has the potential for transformational change in the region is enabling greater Pacific access to Australia’s labour market. This
While Indonesia under Jokowi can be expected to continue to take unilateral action to reinforce the Indonesian position around the Natuna Islands, Jokowi has not played an active diplomatic role on the broader South China Sea issue. In the longer term, Indonesia is better off investing in diplomatic
While the US and UK have seen political rebellions against migration and trade, Australia has tranquilly entered its 26th year of growth. Australia can in coming decades increase living standards faster than most other advanced economies, despite gloomy prophecies and slowing global growth.
This Analysis assesses the benefits and challenges of contemporary economic immigration in Australia. It argues that Australian governments have managed significant recent changes to immigration policy successfully. The authors recommend various reforms to maintain public confidence in expansive
A Trump presidency could see the United States undermine the liberal international order that it helped to establish. Clinton, by contrast, would be a more traditional internationalist president.
In this Lowy Institute Analysis, Brendan Thomas-Noone argues that advances in technology are making tactical nuclear weapons more precise and potentially more usable. He argues that new arms control measures are needed to promote greater transparency about the development of these weapons.
In this Lowy Institute Analysis, Research Fellow Dr Rodger Shanahan and Nonresident Fellow Lydia Khalil argue that an increasing number of foreign fighters are likely to leave Syria and Iraq in the coming months and years, especially after the collapse of Islamic State’s caliphate, exacerbating
In this Lowy Institute Analysis, Nonresident Fellow in the Migration and Border Policy Project Dr Khalid Koser argues that the international protection regime is failing and Australia has a responsibility to help fix it. Koser defines how promoting reform, at the domestic, regional and global levels
In this Lowy Institute Analysis, G20 Studies Centre Research Fellow and Project Director Tristram Sainsbury and Research Associate Hannah Wurf argue that the G20 should be at the centre of Australia’s approach to international economic engagement in the years ahead.
Photo: Getty Images/VCG
In this Lowy Institute Analysis, Anna Powles and Jose Sousa-Santos argue that Russia’s sale of arms to Fiji underlines how the security orthodoxy in the Pacific Islands region is changing. Unless Australia and New Zealand adapt to these changing strategic circumstances they will lose influence in
The incoming Duterte administration in the Philippines promises to be very different from the Aquino administration. Security policy will be more inward-looking. Military modernisation and challenging China’s claims in the West Philippine Sea will likely be less important
While Canberra is enhancing its economic access to Southeast Asia in return for granting Singapore greater access to military training areas in Australia, Singapore’s strategic stock is also rising as Australia’s most advanced and reliable security partner in the region
Papua New Guinea’s next generation of leaders should take a new approach in seeking to turn around negative trends in law and order, education, and health. Emerging leaders could make bold and innovative policy interventions in key areas to unblock barriers to progress
In this Lowy Institute Analysis, Lauren Williams examines Islamic State’s use of the Western media to disseminate its propaganda. Williams argues mainstream media outlets have a responsibility to treat Islamic State-produced material more critically, expose the weaknesses of its messages, and
In this Lowy Institute Analysis, Dr Matthew Sussex surveys the security, energy, and regional engagement implications of Russia’s pivot to Asia and argues that despite numerous challenges confronting Putin, Moscow’s rebalance should be taken seriously
Four key narratives help explain the way that China acts in and interprets the world, providing a more nuanced guide to China’s aims and ambitions and helping to shape more effective responses to China
In this Lowy Institute Analysis, Research Fellow Associate Professor Rodger Shanahan examines how Arab Gulf States, led by Saudi Arabia, are responding to the Obama administration’s less interventionist approach to the Middle East by adopting a more assertive regional policy aimed at containing
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 this Analysis, Andrew Zammit argues that Australians fighting in Iraq and Syria pose a threat to Australia’s security and examines the options for responding to that threat, including through non-coercive means
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
In this Analysis, Alan Dupont argues that successive Australian governments have failed to define an effective national defence strategy. Australia needs a defence strategy that counters threats across multiple domains, is based on more diverse regional defence relationships, and is underpinned by
In this Lowy Institute Analysis Rodger Shanahan examines changes in Iranian foreign policy under President Rouhani. He argues that while the Iranian President has changed the tone of Iranian foreign policy, changing the substance will prove much more difficult
In this Lowy Institute Analysis, Marty Harris examines political and social activism among Jordanian youth in the aftermath of the Arab uprisings. The Analysis argues that Jordan’s young people are caught between a desire for political change and a fear of instability, and that this tension will
In this Lowy Institute Analysis, Hugh Jorgensen and Dr Daniela Strube examine China’s approach to global economic governance. The paper argues that China will seek a greater role in governance processes, but will pursue a combination of approaches involving both existing Bretton Woods
In this Lowy Institute Analysis, Rory Medcalf and James Brown assess Australia’s security environment in coming decades. Defence challenges 2035: securing Australia’s lifelines argues that as the Australian Government prepares its new Defence White Paper it will need to consider growing risks
In this Lowy Institute Analysis, Aaron L. Connelly previews the likely direction of Indonesian foreign policy under President-elect Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo, highlighting major issues and profiling key advisers
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
In this Lowy Institute Analysis, Nicholas Humphries examines how Australian Customs can increase Australia’s trade competitiveness at a time when goods and services are increasingly produced across borders in so-called ‘global value chains’ (GVC). This Analysis was written as a
In this Lowy Institute Analysis, Jo Chandler presents a devastating picture of the endemic violence against women in Papua New Guinea. She highlights the courageous efforts of PNG civil society to change attitudes and assist the victims, and the role Australia is playing to help PNG address the
In this Analysis, Lowy Institute International Security Program Director Rory Medcalf and Nonresident Fellow C. Raja Mohan argue that Chinese assertiveness and uncertainties about America’s role in Indo-Pacific Asia are causing middle powers to look for alternative approaches to regional
In this Analysis the 2014 Lowy Institute-Rio Tinto China Fellow, Lisa Williams, argues that despite China’s reputation for being a climate change laggard the country is putting real effort into reducing carbon emissions. The Analysis identifies the key drivers and domestic players in China’s
In this Lowy Institute Analysis, Richard Gowan reviews Australia’s time as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. Gowan argues that while it has not changed the world, Australia has acquitted itself well, bringing extra rigour and professionalism to the Council’s debates.
In this Analysis Lowy Institute Melanesia Program Director, Jenny Hayward-Jones, argues that Australia’s massive expenditure of $2.6 billion on the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) was a high price to pay for restoring stability in a small country.
In this Analysis, University of Leeds professor Duncan McCargo argues that the recent Malaysian-backed Southern Thai peace initiative has now run into some serious problems. He argues that despite its various shortcomings the initiative is still worthy of support, since it has gained far more
In this Analysis Lowy Institute Research Director, Anthony Bubalo, argues that the current turmoil in the Middle East is incubating a new generation of jihadists. In many respects the current conditions in the region are worse than those that saw the emergence of al-Qaeda.
In a new Lowy Institute Analysis, Australian National University visiting fellow Dr Dave McRae argues that Indonesia is unlikely to become a significantly influential international actor in the medium term, despite its size, strategic location and economic potential
This Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) Policy Paper, entitled ‘New foreign policy actors in China’, is based on groundbreaking findings on the changing nature of Chinese foreign policy formulation. Authors Linda Jakobson and Dean Knox have drawn from the research
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is determined to keep Japan a tier-one power in Asia and the world. Through strengthening the economy and reforming national security institutions, as outlined in the December 2013 inaugural Japanese national security strategy, he seeks a strengthening of the US-
China today is using economic statecraft more frequently, more assertively, and in more diverse fashion than ever before. Yet fears of Chinese economic coercion should not be overdrawn. In many cases, China’s use of economic statecraft has been counterproductive.
Australia’s new government must make tough decisions in defence policy. Australia’s broad national interests and the challenging strategic environment in Indo-Pacific Asia make it essential to modernise the Australian Defence Force. The nation’s defence capabilities remain underfunded and its
This Lowy Institute Analysis examines the trajectory of the Syrian conflict in the wake of the Russian and US agreement to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons. It argues that while that agreement, enshrined in Security Council Resolution 2118, may remove a pernicious class of weapons from