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Commentary

Opinion pieces by Lowy Institute experts

Bridging the nuclear divide

In this opinion piece in the Indian Express, International Security Program Director Rory Medcalf argues that India should appreciate that Australia has come a long way in changing its nuclear policy by supporting the US-India deal in the Nuclear Suppliers Group. The next step should be for India

Preah Vihear: the Thai-Cambodia temple dispute

Lowy Institute Visiting Fellow Milton Osborne, in a piece for openDemocracy.net, writes that the diplomatic and near-military crisis of 2008 between Thailand and Cambodia reflects both deep historical tensions and contemporary domestic politics. openDemocracy.net, 29 August 2008: http://

How to judge a president to be

In an opinion piece in The Australian Financial Review, Lowy Institute Visiting Fellow Owen Harries argues that the least likely candidates can succeed as presidents and the best qualified ones can often be a flop. Australian Financial Review, 1 September 2008, p. 55

Overcoming corruption is Indonesia challenge

In an opinion piece in The Australian Financial Review, Lowy Institute Visiting Fellow Stephen Grenville, writing that there are hints that Indonesia may finally be starting to deal with its culture of bribery, offers suggestions for change.Australian Financial Review, 25 August 2008, p. 23

Northeast Asia territorial disputes

On 15 August, Hankook llbo, a leading newspaper in South Korea, published an opinion piece by Malcolm Cook analysing the recent territorial dispute between South Korea and Japan over the islets the Koreans call Dokdo. The Korean version of the opinion piece can be downloaded here together with the

Big profits, losses out of Africa

Roger Donnelly and Ben Ford, authors of a new Lowy Institute Paper entitled 'Into Africa: how the resource book is making Sub-Saharan Africa more important to Australia', explain the significance of Australian resource companies' investment in Sub-Saharan Arica. A version of this piece was

Hawk vs talk: America foreign policy choice

In this op-ed published in the Financial Times on 7 August 2008, Dr Michael Fullilove describes the foreign policy choice facing Americans in the forthcoming presidential election (and how experts usually get this question wrong).Financial Times, 7 August 2008, p. 9

The future belongs to Asia

Lowy Institute Director of Studies Andrew Shearer reviewed a new book by Bill Emmott, 'Rivals: How the power struggle between China, India and Japan will shape our next decade' in The Canberra Times on 26 July 2008

Reform a balancing act for Indonesians

In an Economic Briefing in The Australian Financial Review, Lowy Institute Visiting Fellow Stephen Grenville writes that Indonesia is quietly making progress, but could benefit from friendly advice and encouragement.Australian Financial Review, 28 July 2008, p. 23

Obama takes to world stage

In an opinion piece in The Australian Financial Review, Dr Michael Fullilove writes that Barack Obama is taking the foreign policy fight directly to rival John McCain.Australian Financial Review, 23 July 2008, p. 63

US free-trade deal with Korea sets a fine template

In an opinion piece in The Australian Financial Review, Dr Malcolm Cook, Program Director East Asia, argues that it is very much in Australia's interest that the free-trade deal between the United States and South Korea be ratified soon. Australian Financial Review, 18 July 2008, p. 75

Hizbullah: walking the Lebanese tightrope

Hizbullah’s month-long war with Israel in 2006, its withdrawal from and effective blocking of the Lebanese government later that year, and its May 2008 armed takeover of West Beirut has shown how politically and militarily powerful this group is. As a consequence it is often held up as the

Rudd steps out into the world with elan

Dr Michael Fullilove, Program Director Global Issues at the Lowy Institute and a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, writes in an opinion piece in The Sydney Morning Herald on the foreign policy performance of the Rudd government in its first six months.Sydney Morning Herald

Right direction, wrong policy

In an opinion piece in The Australian Financial Review, Lowy Institute Professorial Fellow Warwick McKibbin argues that Garnaut's model for an emissions trading system neglects the international picture and has highly uncertain costs. Australian Financial Review, 7 July 2008, p. 63

Does monetary policy still work?

In an opinion piece in Australian Financial Review, Stephen Grenville suggests that whilst central banks are better equipped than in the '70s, monetary policy is still an imprecise and blunt instrument wielded by fallible humans, and now the environment in which it operates is far trickier

Green goals with long aim

In an opinion piece in The Canberra Times, Professor Warwick McKibbin argues that Australia is now at a critical point in designing a climate-policy framework that will not only have a large impact on the future shape of the Australian economy but could also drive the global debate on what policies

Thwarting Taiwan

Fergus Hanson argues China has emerged as a significant donor in the Pacific. Despite problems with the way it manages its aid program it has an interest in the region's stablility and its engagement in the Pacific presents more of an opportunity than a threat. The Australian, 11 June 2008, p.

Smart power: exaggerating America decline

Michael Fullilove argues that reports of America's slide towards mediocrity in defence, the economy, politics and international relations are exaggerated, that America as a superpower continues to fascinate, and that it remains the creative capital of the world.This article also appeared in the St

PM flubs chance to fix Tokyo ties

Hugh White writes that Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has missed an opportunity to help Japan change the way it sees China in his visit to Japan this week, focusing rather on ill-considered and unprepared initiatives on an Asian 'union' and nuclear non-proliferation

Rudd Asia agenda

In an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal, Andrew Shearer questions Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's diplomacy regarding Japan, and discusses the Federal Government's recent policy announcements concerning Asia. The Wall Street Journal Asia, 10 June 2008 p. 12

Rudd Asian aria sounds familiar

In this opinion piece in the Australian Financial Review, international security program director Rory Medcalf suggests that Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd combine his vision for Asia-Pacific diplomatic architecture with more immediate steps for practical co-operation with Japan, Indonesia,

Japan value mustn't be lost in translation

In an opinion piece in The Australian, Andrew Shearer argues that the Government's mishandling of relations with Tokyo and fixation on China not only harm our most important bilateral partnership in the region but also feed Japan's increasing strategic anxiety. He calls on the Prime Minister to use

Indonesia glass is more than half full

In an opinion piece in The Australian Financial Review, Lowy Institute Visiting Fellow Stephen Grenville argues that Kevin Rudd's coming trip to Jakarta highlights our opportunity to ride the reformist wave there. Australian Financial Review, 2 June 2008, p. 23

Think tanks and foreign policy

On the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the founding of the Lowy Institute for International Policy, Executive Director Allan Gyngell writes, in a paper in the Institute's Perspectives series, on the role of think tanks in shaping Australian foreign policy and in strengthening Australia's voice

Chinese diaspora carries a torch for old country

In an opinion piece in the Financial Times, Michael Fullilove, Program Director Global Issues and Lowy Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington DC, argues that there is good evidence of a spike in diasporic feeling among overseas Chinese.The piece was republished in The Straits

Past errors can't be rubbed out

In an article in the Australian Financial Review, Lowy Institute Visiting Fellow Stephen Grenville argues that too many proposals to deal with the sub-prime liquidity crisis are based on improving the wrong kind of liquidity. Australian Financial Review, 12 May 2008, p. 23

Don't ignore the big new player in Fiji

In an opinion piece in The Sydney Morning Herald, Lowy Institute Research Associate Fergus Hanson argues that there has been some unsettling engagement by China in Fiji since the coup in 2006.Sydney Morning Herald, 9 May 2008, p. 13

India disarmament drive an idea worth pursuing

India's tenth anniversary commemoration of its nuclear weapons tests was curiously low-key. In this opinion piece in The Australian, International Security Program Director Rory Medcalf argues that India's rekindled rhetoric about nuclear disarmament offers diplomatic openings for Australia and

Democrats need quick end to infighting

In an opinion piece in The Australian Financial Review, Michael Fullilove, Program Director Global Issues at the Lowy Institute and the Lowy Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC, argues that the bitter nomination contest must be resolved soon to allow time for a strong tilt

Big ideals but there no budget to match

In this opinion piece in The Australian Financial Review, International Security Program Director Rory Medcalf appraises the Rudd Government's foreign and security policy ambitions, five months on. He notes the government's success in moving towards a world view that reconciles alliance commitments

Talk might be cheap, but a great speech is divine

In an opinion piece in The Sydney Morning Herald, Dr Michael Fullilove, Program Director Global Issues and a Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC, argues that the 2008 US presidential campaign is proving to be a test-case of the power of speechmaking.Sydney Morning Herald,

Crisis reveals need for new regulatory mindset

In this opinion piece in The Australian Financial Review, Lowy Institute Visiting Fellow Stephen Grenville spells out the reforms needed in financial sector regulation. Australian Financial Review, 14 April 2008, p. 25

Australia, monster slayer

A recent proposal for an Australian conventional flexible deterrent option, intended to cripple any major power that might threaten the country, would commit massive resources to a highly unlikely contingency, writes international security program director Rory Medcalf in this opinion piece in the

Not a fight to hedge on

In an opinion piece in The Australian, Anthony Bubalo and Rory Medcalf argue that while Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has made Australia's role in Afghanistan conditional, that country is far too important to abandon.The Australian, 4 April 2008, p. 12

Regional diplomacy has new impetus

In an opinion piece in The Australian Financial Review, Allan Gyngell and Michael Wesley argue that Australia has a unique opportunity to become a pivotal Asia-Pacific player. Australian Financial Review, 3 April 2008, p. 79

The next bold stroke

In an opinion piece in the Sydney Morning Herald, West Asia Program Director Anthony Bubalo argues that a reputation for decisive action may prove a curse in these turbulent times.Sydney Morning Herald, 28 March 2008, pp. 33

Climate change policy built on shaky foundation

In an opinion piece in The Australian Financial Review, Lowy Institute Professorial Fellow Warwick McKibbin argues that the Garnaut review may lead to a politically flawed outcome. Australian Financial Review, 28 March 2008, p. 83

Working policy

Martine Letts, the Lowy Institute's Deputy Director, was interviewed about the Institute's goals, the challenges of her role and leadership by Management Today magazine for its March 2008 cover story

Nixonian spirit is essential for US-China relations

In an opinion piece in The Australian, Lowy Institute Visiting Fellow Hugh White argues that John McCain is the candidate most likely to emulate his Republican predecessor and be a true statesman in our region.The Australian, 27 February 2008, p. 14

Food and the spectre of Malthus

In an opinion piece in the Financial Times, International Economy Program Director Mark Thirlwell writes on global food shortages and rising food prices. Financial Times, 27 February 2008, p. 11

Quadrilateral dialogue

The quadrilateral dialogue among the US, Japan, Australia and India was never as substantial as its champions or its detractors claimed it to be, argues international security program director Rory Medcalf in this article in the February-March edition of The Diplomat. China saw menace in a phantom

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