Tuesday 05 Jul 2022 | 08:14 | SYDNEY


Goodbye to 2012

With our fifth year of blogging under the belt, it's time for The Interpreter to close up shop and wish you all the very best for Christmas and the new year. Normal blogging resumes on 7 January. But I can't let this occasion pass without noting the enormous contribution Graeme Dobell has made

Problem with the email digest

Many of our 3000-odd email digest subscribers got a weird 'Page not found' message in their inbox today instead of the usual daily summary of what has appeared on The Interpreter. We re-sent today's edition of the digest to all those subscribers and they should now have a correct copy. We

Anzac Day break

Tomorrow is Anzac Day, a public holiday in Australia. Normal blogging resumes on Thursday. Photo by Flickr user Luke Redmond. 

Easter break

The Interpreter is putting its feet up over Easter; we\'ll be back with normal blogging next Wednesday. Enjoy the break and see you then. Photo by Flickr user Reinis Traidas

Lowy Institute round-up

In case you missed it, last week the Lowy Institute released its second Indonesia Poll. The results showed that Indonesians had markedly warmed towards Australians, moving from a lukewarm 51° recorded in the Institute’s 2006 Indonesia Poll to a warm 62°. The poll was immediately

Online people power, with Mishal Husain

BBC World News Correspondent Mishal Husain traveled to Tunisia, Libya, Syria, Bahrain, Egypt documenting how young political activists were using social media for her series, How Facebook Changed the World: The Arab Spring. Here\'s part 1 of the program (all four parts available on YouTube

Inviting you to be part of our survey

Tomorrow when you find your way to The Interpreter, you will see a pop-up window (below) asking you to participate in a reader survey. We want to get a better idea of what you like about the blog and what you would like to see improved. We also want to get a better impression of who our readers are

Lowy among world top think tanks

The 2012 Global Go-To Think Tanks Rankings were released last week, ranking the Lowy Institute again in the top 30 Global think tanks outside the US and fifth in Asia – its highest-ever ranking. The only survey of its kind, the University of Pennsylvania\'s rankings take on the

Online editor applications close 1 Feb

A quick reminder that COB tomorrow is the last day we will be accepting applications for the position of part-time assistant online editor at the Lowy Institute. You can read the job description and get all the application details by clicking here. For those who have already applied, if

We're taking a short break

 Tomorrow is Australia Day, a national holiday; normal blogging will resume on Friday.  Photo by Flickr user gordonflood.com

Online editor position still open

Just a quick note to anyone who missed this job notice the first time around: you have until 1 February to submit applications for the position of part-time assistant online editor at the Lowy Institute (pictured). If you\'ve submitted an application already, you should have

Life in a year

In July 2010, thousands of people uploaded onto YouTube videos about life on that day. The resulting footage was edited into this 90-minute documentary. Life in a Day has been online since January, but we haven\'t featured it previously, and it seems like a nice way to end the year

Merry Christmas from The Interpreter

We\'ll be back tomorrow for our final day of publication for the year, but I thought I\'d get in early with my best wishes. In fact, Sir Humphrey will do the honours

Uranium: We've staged an open debate

Al Jazeera ran this article on its opinion page over the weekend, though they omitted many hyperlinks, and at my request they also removed one short passage which we include here, with a footnote. The Lowy Institute takes seriously its commitment to open debate, so when our reputation is

A slow day on The Interpreter

Two apologies: first, for the short outage earlier today, which has now been fixed. Second, the Lowy Institute has an in-house event today, which means it will be a slow day on The Interpreter. Check in with us later in the day, as we may have some stuff for you on the uranium issue, but normal

Our 'Through Chinese eyes' series

I don\'t often go out of my way to spruik the work that appear on this site, but I just want to join former US State Department Director of Policy Planning Anne-Marie Slaughter in pointing you to our fascinating interview with Zhu Feng, one of China\'s most renowned North Korea experts. In

New buttons on The Interpreter

We\'ve added new sharing options at the bottom right-hand corner of each post (hit \'refresh\' on your browser if you don\'t see it or it looks wrong). We\'ve replaced the old \'Share\' button, which was a bit of a social media catch-all that barely anyone used. The new options let you

Around the Lowy Institute

Last week, the Lowy Institute headed to New Zealand. On 4-5 September, with the cooperation of the Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Institute, we hosted The Pacific Islands and the World conference in Auckland. A full conference report will shortly be available on our website

Sending emails to The Interpreter

We\'re hearing that the blogeditor@lowyinstitute.org and blogauthor@lowyinstitute.org email addresses are bouncing for a number of users. If you do want to send us feedback, please keep trying, as these addresses seem to be working at least part of the time, or you can email me direct on sroggeveen(

Lowy Institute busy on 60th anniversary of ANZUS

Stephanie Dunstan recently joined the Lowy Institute as Strategic Communications Manager after a number of years working for the UN in Bangkok and New York. As Interpreter readers are likely aware, 1 September is the 60th anniversary of the signing of the ANZUS Treaty. To mark this

Lowy authors shortlisted for major prize

This arrived in my inbox yesterday from the John Button Foundation:  Lowy Institute\'s executive director, Michael Wesley, and visiting fellow, Hugh White, are both on the shortlist of this year\'s $20,000 John Button Prize for writing on public policy and ideas for Australia\'s future.&

Defence chiefs: Did we bury the lede?

The Australian has a piece today alleging Defence Minister Stephen Smith is sitting on ADF senior appointment decisions. In the middle of the article comes this line: Some officers are concerned that the delay might indicate that Mr Smith is planning to impose his own team on Defence

Job opening: Want to spruik our wonks?

  The Lowy Institute is looking for a new-media literate strategic communications professional who will work with our research staff to build the Institute\'s international profile as one of the leading think tanks in Asia and the Pacific, and to broaden the Institute\'s impact, reach and

The Interpreter: A blog\ progress

Technorati is one of the most widely cited blog ranking services around, and although the site has its critics, it's a useful way to measure the progress of a blog over time*. In November 2008, for example, The Interpreter was ranked 93,223rd out of all the tens of millions of blogs

The Interpreter is growing

I'm pleased to announce that Andrew Carr has today started work as Assistant Editor of The Interpreter. Andrew is completing a PhD on Australian foreign policy in Southeast Asia (1983-2010). He also has a degree in journalism and has been a very active blogger and twitterer, which makes him

The Interpreter is open for debate

Richard Green appeals to my better nature, damn him. He has half a point, in that my reply to Robert Merkel was written out of frustration with Robert's false claim of consensus. Maybe I should have tried harder to put out my hand to Robert rather than raising a finger. But

A brief blogging pause

Tomorrow is Australia Day, a national holiday. Normal blogging resumes on Thursday. Photo by Flickr user monkeyc.net

Lowy Institute climbs the ladder

In the University of Pennsylvania's annual rankings of the world's top think thanks, released yesterday, the Lowy Institute achieved its highest-ever ranking: 27th in the top 50 think tanks worldwide (which excludes US institutions). The only other Asia-based think tank in the top 30

Praise for The Interpreter

It was humbling to discover this morning that Nitin Pai, founder of Pragati magazine, has nominated The Interpreter as his favourite blog. Nitin Pai is one of India's most active young bloggers and strategic commentators, and a policy entrepreneur. As well as running Pragati, Nitin

Malcolm Cook

Some readers may know that this week the Lowy Institute will lose one of its founding staff members, Malcolm Cook. Malcolm is off to become Dean of the School of International Studies at Flinders University, although he will remain a visiting fellow at Lowy. In the spirit of Wikileaks, frank

The Interpreter: It\ kind of a big deal

I don't often use this space to promote the site, on the assumption that the work can speak for itself. But scanning the page at the end of this Monday, it occurs to me that The Interpreter has had a particularly good day. In just the last eight hours or so we've featured, among other things,

Admin note

The Lowy Institute is holding an in-house event today, so blogging will be light for a while

Reader ripostes: On language

Below, Edward vents about 'in terms of', but first, Kirill Reztsov says Sam has misused the term 'passive voice': Sorry Sam. You are wrong on the passive voice. Both examples are in the active voice, in that the subject of the sentence is doing something. The issue (subject) overshadowed (

Lowy\ growing online presence

(Or, in lolspeak: 'Lowy iz in ur internets, analyzin ur forun poliseez.') If you've been following the Lowy Interns Twitter feed and suddenly find it quiet, it's because we've changed the name of our account. You can now find us here for updates on the latest papers, blog posts and links

We regret any inconvenience...

The Interpreter is knocking off early today so that the technical wizards at Twisted Pear Concepts (who are pretty good at web design too) can move us to a new server. It's not that we're having technical problems. In fact, this is a good news story — we need to

Welcome to new readers

It was a busy weekend for The Interpreter, yet we never lifted a finger — the spike in incoming traffic was all on account of material we posted on Friday. Readers flocked to Jim Molan's personal reflections on GEN Stanley McChrystal, thanks to a recommendation from Andrew Sullivan's Daily

Update on the Email Digest bug

Looks like the problem you identified yesterday is fixed. Thanks for your patience, everybody, and let me know if you're still having problems

Technical note on the Email Digest

I'm getting reports from Interpreter Email Digest subscribers that a bug has crept in — for some of you, short bursts of random text are appearing after hyperlinks. We're on to it. As an aside, I occasionally run into people around the Institute who, when I introduce myself as editor of The

Dept. of shameless self-promotion

Here's Graeme Samuel, Chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, in a recent speech about the future of media and telecommunications (emphasis added): Throughout the day I receive updates from The Australian, the ABC and The Age and twice a day I get a summary of business

A note on reader comments

New readers of this site are often surprised to find that, unlike the great majority of blogs, The Interpreter doesn't have open comment threads. Instead, we encourage reader feedback via email, and we regularly publish 'reader ripostes'. I still think the reasons for not allowing open comments

Caravan of riches

The Interpreter seems to be all about buying and selling today, whether it's a UN Security Council seat or, ahem, one's strategic virtue. To reinforce the retailing theme, check out the eBay bidding on my colleague Anthony Bubalo's Lowy Institute paper, Joining the Caravan: The Middle East,

Welcome to new subscribers

Over the last 24 hours we've sent emails to almost everyone on the Lowy Institute's contact list to invite them to subscribe to The Interpreter's email digest. It's a service that brings The Interpreter to your inbox — you can get either daily or weekly emails telling you what's appeared on

Trouble at Caijing

It looks as if rumours of a staff revolt at China's biggest and most influential business magazine, Caijing, are true (more reports here and here). It has been noted in the Australian media that the Lowy Institute had organised a conference with Caijing, to be held in Sydney in September. I

Another outage

We're back after the third long outage in two weeks. Our ISP assures us it has now identified the problem and is working on a long-term fix, so this should be the last time this happens. It better be. We have so many readers who check in with us daily or even more than once a day. I just hope we

We apologise for this interruption

If you're reading this you'll know that The Interpreter is now back to life, and you may also know it has been down for most of the day. A thousand apologies. I'll now begin working my way through the backlog of posts, though since many of you (Australian readers, at least) are preparing to start

Calling Australia strategic minds

The Lowy Institute needs you. Applications are now open for the 2009 Michael and Deborah Thawley scholarship. This is a fantastic opportunity for a postgraduate student or recent graduate from an Australian tertiary institution to undertake funded research internships both at the Lowy Institute