Published daily by the Lowy Institute

Marty Harris

Until September 2014, Marty Harris was a Lowy Institute Research Associate, working to the Executive Director and Blog Editor. Prior to joining the Institute, Marty worked as a researcher in the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Security section of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Library. He holds a Bachelor of International Relations (first class honours) from La Trobe University and a Master of Arts (first class honours; Middle East and Central Asian Studies) from ANU.

Articles by Marty Harris (28)

  • Arab Spring lives on as protests give way to new forms of activism

    The uprisings that swept across the Arab world from late 2010 are, to put it mildly, faltering. Egypt has returned to authoritarianism. Syria is a bloodbath. It is getting harder to decipher what is actually going on in Libya and Yemen. We cling to Tunisia as a glimmer of hope, but the outcomes for the protesters who took on authoritarian regimes across the region seem underwhelming, to say the least. So what are all those Arab youth activists going to do now?
  • Linking corruption, social unrest and international security

    We're a little late on this one, but a recent Carnegie Endowment paper on the links between corruption, social unrest and international instability is worth highlighting: Systemic corruption has an unrecognized bearing on international security. Policymakers and private companies often pay insufficient attention to corruption when deciding what foreign and defense policies to pursue or where to invest.
  • The economic impact of environmental crime

    A new report from the UN Environment Programme claims that  the monetary value of 'environmental crime' — logging, poaching, animal trafficking, illegal fishing, illegal mining, etc — is between US$70 billion and US$213 billion each year.  If this upper figure is to be believed, then environmental crime is more valuable than estimated global official development assistance (US$135 billion) and the global revenue from the drug trade (US$200 billion).  The immediate environmental impacts are of c
  • Falafelnomics: Purchasing power in the Middle East

    From Forbes: The Big Mac Index – now a golden standard for measuring purchasing power– doesn’t quite size up the region’s economic situation.  This index determines the purchasing power of different currencies by comparing the prices of McDonald’s signature hamburger in various countries.  But in the Middle East, eating at an international food chain, like McDonald’s, is often more expensive than local restaurants.  This means that a Big Mac doesn’t represent what common folk can afford. Second,
  • Rising inequality in emerging economies: A bad thing?

    Oxfam's briefing paper on inequality continues to make waves. With factoids like 'the bottom half of the world’s population owns the same as the richest 85 people in the world' and 'almost half of the world’s wealth is now owned by just one percent of the population', the attention is not at all surprising. Derek Thompson over at The Atlantic highlights that these specific statements measure 'wealth' inequality, rather than income inequality (h/t: The Dish):
  • The epiphanies of Kevin Rudd

    Foreign Policy is running some quotes from an interview they did with Kevin Rudd in December. On speaking Mandarin, Rudd argues that: As a Mandarin-speaking prime minister, I got double the time with Xi because we didn't need an interpreter. It might be an old-fashioned view, but language is important.