Tuesday 24 May 2022 | 12:33 | SYDNEY

Australia in the World

Time to weigh our role in Iran threat

In an opinion piece in The Australian, Anthony Bubalo, Program Director West Asia, writes that any US military confrontation with Iran in the Gulf would quickly underline the need for Australia to view its ties in the region in a similar way.The Australian, 1 February 2012, p. 10

Catching Europe ills

In an opinion piece in The Australian Financial Review, Lowy Institute Professorial Fellow Warwick McKibbin writes that Australia is risking its future prosperity by adopting Europe's fatally flawed policies.Australian Financial Review, 6 February 2012, p. 54

Carr to steer new line on China

In an opinion piece in The Age, Lowy Institute Visiting Fellow Hugh White writes that positioning Australia between the United States and China will be Foreign Minister Bob Carr's greatest challenge.The Age, 6 March 2012, p. 13 

Are Chinese soft loans always a bad thing?

Graeme Smith is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the China Studies Centre, University of Sydney and a Visiting Fellow with the State, Society and Governance Program in Melanesia Program, ANU. When the nationwide anti-Asian riots of May 2009 reached the Highlands of Papua New Guinea, the targets were

NY Times discovers Australia and NZ

Thanks to reader Martin for alerting me to Thomas Friedman\'s latest NY Times column, lauding Australia and New Zealand as havens of left-liberal politics: we\'re gay-friendly with government-run health care, carbon reductions schemes on the books and little political space

Does 'Asia' exist?

In a really interesting response to my keynote to the Universities Australia conference this month, Melbourne University Professor Antonia Finnane asked an important question: does \'Asia\' really exist? She writes: \'Historically, Asia has served as a catch-all phrase for societies that

Indonesia: The Bali factor

Rawdon Dalrymple\'s intervention on Australia\'s relationship with Indonesia dampens any expectation that Australia alone can effect a major change in the bilateral relationship. Indonesia, according to his argument, is simply not ready for closer ties. The terms of reference for the \'

Watching our Cambodian aid dollars

There are indeed good reasons for asking, as James did yesterday in reply to my piece, how the Angkor Archaeological Park (above) spends the entrance fees it charges foreign visitors. Eric Campbell\'s investigation of this issue for ABC TV raised many still-unanswered

Indonesia: Canberra unlikely to make inroads

Rawdon Dalrymple is a former Australian ambassador to Israel, Indonesia, the US and Japan. Fergus Hanson is surely right to be pleased about the results of the latest Lowy poll on Indonesian attitudes to Australia and to contrast that favourable shift with the way the present

Reader riposte: Angkor why?

James writes: The piece on Angkor Wat and Bob Carr\'s recent donation of taxpayer money raised my interest, as someone with many years experience in this country. The Angkor temples ticket operation is run by a private businessman with close links to the ruling party. Over 2 million visitors

Explaining Australia Indonesia caution

Greta Nabbs-Keller is writing a PhD at Griffith Asia Institute on the impact of democratisation on Indonesia\'s foreign policy. There is a perceptual factor in the Lowy Institute\'s 2012 Indonesia Poll which may explain Australia\'s apparent policy inertia on Indonesia. The first

Bipolar policy on Indonesia harms our ties

Policies separately announced by the government and opposition over the past six months toward Indonesia suggest Australia has a form of bipolar disorder, which makes it usually oblivious to its external circumstances and socially passive, but prone to unpredictable mood swings, leading to sudden

Army be happy

An injunction from the Old Digger Almanac rises from the mists to take on fresh force as Defence turns towards a new era: Army be happy with what you\'ve got, For Sea and Air must get what they have not. The return to the basics (and basing) of Defence of Australia raises the

Our 'Asian Century' feature

Yesterday Michael Wesley launched our new feature on the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper. A few things to note before we begin that discussion in earnest. First, as Michael said, we\'re grateful for the Australian Government\'s financial support for this initiative, but

Introducing a new Interpreter feature: 'Australia in the Asian Century'

If Australia has a narrative thread that runs through its post-colonial history, it must be the unfolding story of how it relates to the vast continent to its northwest. Almost from the time of the arrival of the First Fleet, Asia has tugged at the connections and self-images that Australia has

North Korea missile: Take off your hard hat

Dr Morris Jones, who has written previously for The Interpreter, is an Australian space analyst. The announcement of an imminent satellite launch by North Korea has sent the international community into a frenzy. There is no need to reiterate most of the debate that has since appeared

Australia shouldn't build cars, or subs

The ongoing saga of manufacturing cars in Australia is going through one of its routine phases, where Detroit puts the hard word on Canberra for more taxpayer-funded subsidies, under threat of taking the production to some country where cars can be produced far more competitively. This threat

Is there an Australian blogosphere?

\'Europeans can\'t blog\', reads the headline from a newly created blog by the Brussel-based think tank Bruegel. One phrase in particular stuck out at me from this lament about the poor state of European blogging: \'Europe has bloggers, but no blogosphere\'. It seems to me this might be true

Reader riposte: Our regional reticence

Dr Daniel Woker, former Swiss Ambassador to Australia (2008-12), writes: Malcolm Cook\'s \'five sound principles...prominent in Rudd\'s approach to the Asia Pacific\' are spot-on. But, the fifth as formulated is way too modest and defensive. Australia is not just a \'non-major power

The whiter, brighter, joined-up ADF

The coming era for Australian defence has a back-to-the-future feel – but with lots of shiny new add-ons. If the Australian Defence Force was a washing powder known as ADF, the advertisement would sing about the promise of a better and brighter DoA (Defence of Australia), with extra regional

Australia Latin American opportunity

Alexis Arthur is a Program Associate at the Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington-based think tank focused on Western Hemisphere affairs. Kevin Rudd\'s resignation as Foreign Minister could be a greater loss than many realise for Australia\'s engagement beyond Asia. Many Latin American

DFAT: A small step into western China

In only his third media release as Foreign Minister, Senator Bob Carr has today announced (together with the Prime Minister and Minister for Trade and Competitiveness) that Australia will open \'as soon as possible\' a new Consulate-General in Chengdu, western China. As Mr Carr explains,

Kevin Rudd Asia Pacific legacy (so far)

Ed. note: This post follows on from Fergus Hanson\'s assessment of Rudd\'s China legacy. \'Good principles, mixed execution\' summarises Kevin Rudd\'s approach to the Asia Pacific region, and Australia\'s place within it, during his tenure as prime minister and then foreign minister. \'So far

Indonesia: Our biggest blind spot

Today the Lowy Institute launches what I think is one of the most compelling and challenging polls we\'ve ever conducted. It was a survey carried out across Indonesia following up on a poll we did there in 2006. The changes the poll records are remarkable, and responses to a series of new questions

DFAT speaks up

Tonight\'s final hearing in the Joint Parliamentary inquiry into Australia\'s overseas representation will be an interesting one. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will make its second appearance in the inquiry, answering further questions from the bipartisan Joint Standing

Kevin Rudd China legacy

Whatever you might think of Kevin Rudd, he was certainly active internationally, both as Foreign Minister and as Prime Minister. But what were his achievements and what will his legacy be? This post is intended to kick-start a discussion of what Rudd achieved in foreign affairs and begins with his

Indonesia: Speed dial is not enough

Everything was very friendly today in the joint press conference between Australia\'s and Indonesia\'s foreign and defence ministers in Canberra. This was a chance for new Foreign Minister Bob Carr to meet his counterpart Marty Natalegawa, and Carr held his phone aloft to reporters to show that

Incoming! The lure of the military cliché

If you're in the business of military metaphors and clichés, then business is booming this week. In case you hadn't noticed, there's been something of a spat between Defence Minister Stephen Smith and the Australian Defence Force. Military puns have been flowing like the booze at a regimental

A new role for Australia on Myanmar?

Jim Della-Giacoma is South East Asia Project Director for the International Crisis Group, based in Jakarta. Photos in this post are by the author. Recent changes in Myanmar are too numerous to list, but they are remarkable to anyone who knows the country. The National League for

Nothing new under the PNG sun

PNG is once again going through a governance-sapping exercise of self-interested politics. Since February last year, when then Prime Minister Somare was suspended from office for two weeks following a decision by the country's Leadership Tribunal, Papua New Guineans have witnessed an increasingly

Clinton speech: What about Australia?

The Australia-US alliance is at the forefront in any discussion by Australian policy-makers and specialists about regional security issues. The announcement during President Barack Obama\'s visit to Australia in November 2011 of an agreement to rotate US Marines in and out of Darwin was viewed by

The woes of the Defence Minister

Two high-profile Labor men reached for the Foreign Ministry last week – Bob Carr and Stephen Smith. Carr won because the Prime Minister asserted herself. On this reading, Smith got second prize – he gets to stay as Defence Minister. The line coming out of the Labor Party is that

Stephen Smith has the key job, not Bob Carr

Rawdon Dalrymple is a former Australian ambassador to Israel, Indonesia, the US and Japan. There seems to be a general media agreement that Stephen Smith must be deeply disappointed he was not moved to Foreign Affairs after Rudd\'s exit. I hope this is not so. I worked for Australian

PNG: An interview with Ian Kemish

Papua New Guinea is Australia\'s nearest neighbour, our second-largest recipient of development assistance and our 15th-largest trading partner. Experiencing a similar resources boom to Australia, PNG\'s economy has grown at over 5% annually since 2007. The resources boom and, in particular LNG

Less secrecy means better government

Paul Monk is Director and Principal Consultant of Austhink Consulting. Part one of this post here. That secrecy has been increasing decade by decade despite repeated, even official calls for the trend to be reversed is very telling. Two brief examples from the US help to underscore this

2012 BC (Bob Carr as Foreign Minister)

By anointing Bob Carr, the Gillard Government has edged ahead of the Hawke Government as the most pro-American Labor administration since war drove John Curtin to turn to Washington \'without any inhibitions...free of any pangs.\' Carr\'s America-friendly credentials mean he is well placed to

What Bob Carr blog tells us about his foreign policy views

Bob Carr\'s Thoughtlines blog was an occasional stop for journalists who wanted the former NSW Premier\'s take on the Labor leadership battle. But looking through the archives, what can the blog tell us about our next foreign minister\'s views on matters of international diplomacy? I\'m

World Bank China report a warning to Australia

John Edwards is a Lowy Institute Visiting Fellow, an Adjunct Professor with the John Curtin Institute of Public Policy at Curtin University and a member of the Board of the Reserve Bank of Australia. As this week\'s business investment survey reminded us, the mining boom is the biggest

Internationalism after Rudd

Tim Dunne is Professor of International Relations in the Asia-Pacific Centre for R2P, University of Queensland. Sarah Teitt is a Research Fellow in the Asia-Pacific Centre for R2P. The resignation of Kevin Rudd as Foreign Minister has triggered a number of commentaries calling

Foreign aid advice for the new minister

Kevin Rudd's resignation as Australia's Foreign Minister gives the Gillard Government a timely opportunity to look anew at Australia's foreign aid program. Ever since Rudd, as Opposition Leader, made the election promise in 2007 that Australia's aid program would reach 0.5% of Australia's gross

Australia booms despite septic politics

Journalists the world over have turned these past few years to WikiLeaks and its Australian founder, Julian Assange, to shine a light on the murky, inner workings of government. In Canberra these past few days, however, all reporters have had to do is put a microphone in front of an Australian