Saturday 30 May 2020 | 07:17 | SYDNEY

Blogs and blogging

Monday linkage

Nice work from Daniel Flitton at The Age, who uncovers the PM's micro-management of diplomatic appointments. It will be interesting to see if there's any substantive reaction from Rudd. Pocket biographies of the Obama foreign policy advisers you've never heard of. Proposed reforms to Indonesia

Friday linkage

How to avoid Somali pirates: just go faster, says Aussie catamaran company. Via Joshua Gans, a survey of broadband coverage and cost around the world. In relation to our 'Women in international relations' thread (which you can pick up here), Mark Thirlwell alerts me to a piece arguing

Wednesday linkage

New Mandala has a satellite imagery survey of some important and interesting locations in Burma.  Drezner is right: even if policy-makers have avoided the mistakes that led to the Great Depression (and that's still not clear), there are plenty of other mistakes they can make.  Chris

Tuesday linkage

The Lowy Institute's new Executive Director. UK Foreign Secretary: China the new 'indispensable power'. Christopher Hitchens takes the Obama worship down a notch. How Chinese media is covering the new US ambassadorial appointment to Beijing. The Acorn deserves its ranking as

Reader riposte: Where are the Interpreter women?

Sally Wilkinson writes (my thoughts follow): On the weekend I was reading a few articles on The Interpreter. I was immediately struck by the banner. It has a photo of four men. Granted, the photo depicts very influential 20th century figures. But it also emanates an unfortunate symbolism. Seeing

Monday linkage

China finding Rudd 'difficult'.  Tim Hartford, aka The Undercover Economist, explains why technology won't solve the climate change problem. I argued Dutch public transport is the best in the world. Matt Yglesias says it's pretty good in Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod. The NY

Thursday linkage

A blog to follow if you're interested in economics and governance in developing countries. If you were moved by Philip Gourevitch's account of the Rwanda genocide, 'We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families', then you may be interested to see

Tuesday linkage

FT columnist Gideon Rachman is (mostly) optimistic about China's economy.  DFAT reform: The Age's Dan Flitton looks to New Zealand and South Africa for inspiration. A multimedia artwork displaying every nuclear explosion from 1945 to 1998

Monday linkage

 Two China blogs worth your time: The Peking Duck and Shanghai Scrap. A beautiful collection of North Korea photos from the Boston Globe.   Ian Castles at East Asia Forum takes The Australian's Greg Sheridan to task for saying that PPP comparisons between the US and China are '

Thursday linkage

Some rays of light in this World Bank blog round-up of financial news from Indonesia, China and The Phillipines. The World Bank blog also has a good post on an important factor in Thailand's economic success: infrastructure. And lastly via the World Bank&#

Tuesday linkage

China takes swine flu controls to a new level: quarantining Mexicans regardless of whether they are showing any symptoms (the Chinese diaspora in Mexico must be hoping there isn't another outbreak of SARS in China). A humorous profile of media 'corrections' (h/t

Wednesday linkage

Former Prime Minister John Howard recently gave a long video interview to the US conservative weekly The National Review. You can find parts one and two here, but I'm not sure where the rest of the five-part series is. Perhaps they are still editing it. Nir Rosen argues that the war

Tuesday linkage

Observing Japan sees parallels between the Australian and Japanese defence debates.  It's encouraging to know that video of a 17-year old girl being whipped by the Taliban caused widespread outrage in Pakistan.  Vietnam trying to build a Macao-style gambling mecca? What if we're

Monday linkage

Ross McLeod is right: 'Buy Local' campaigns are a form of soft protectionism.  Carbon capture is treated in this country as a promising but immature greenhouse gas reduction technology. Not so in the UK. Unexpected question of the day: How different would the politics of the

Media watch: Reporting on Australia overseas network

Reading an editorial in the The Australian this morning I couldn't help noticing that one of the paragraphs (the fourth) attributed to a columnist seemed strikingly familiar. Then I realised it reminded me of this paragraph from the Lowy Institute's Blue Ribbon Panel report on Australia&#

Tuesday linkage

A photographic ride through the recent red shirt protests in Thailand (thanks to reader Nicholas). Sam has linked before to a great piece by Clay Shirky on the future of journalism. Now Michael Moran comes at the issue from a different perspective: if we want good journalism, newspapers will

Lowy Institute loss is ONA gain

It's been an open secret around Canberra for some weeks, but the Prime Minister's office has now confirmed that Lowy Institute Executive Director Allan Gyngell has been appointed to be the next Director-General of the Office of National Assessments, Australia's senior intelligence

Tuesday linkage

Contrary to my fatalism, One Free Korea argues something can be done to stop North Korea's nuclear program.  A useful set of links analysing US Defense Secretary Gates' announcement on weapons programs. A White House background briefing on the Hu-

Wednesday linkage

Via Core Economics, a paper co-authored by Nicholas Stern on the need for green stimulus spending — $400 billion of it, in fact. Russia and the US set to launch a new arms control agreement, potentially limiting their stockpiles to fewer than 1,500 warheads. Wise

Tuesday linkage

The dark side of nominative determinism? First we have Bernie Mad(e)off now the ousting of GM's Chief Executive Richard Wagoner. The Guardian thinks Rudd is at the G20 just for the free snacks, the PM seems to have other ideas.  The Times profiles the G20 wags. When TS Eliot was

Monday linkage

World trade is collapsing, says The Economist, citing WTO figures. The Ozminerals decision: Saving the Defence Minister's job at the expense of a few hundred mining job? Instead of punishing tax evaders, Taiwan rewards those who don't evade, through a lottery. Our occasional Beijing

Friday linkage

Interpreter contributor James Cockayne has co-authored a new report on the regulation of private military contractors.  The International Center for Transitional Justice calls the joint Indonesia-Timor-Leste Truth Commission report into the 1999 atrocities a 'surprising success'. But

Confirmation bias: A demonstration

In Monday's linkage post, I wrote this:  The Interpreter prides itself on being widely read by bureaucrats in Canberra. But this is not the kind of attention we have in mind. The link was to a story about Communications Minister Stephen Conroy's plans to monitor

Thursday linkage

The International Atomic Energy Agency is about to elect a new leader. Soft power: China's exercises its new hospital ship. Gideon Rachman argues that empty free-trade rhetoric from the G20 is better than no such rhetoric at all. Some links

Wednesday linkage

Here's a useful news/blog aggregator: alltop.com. The China section alone will keep you occupied for hours. The Lowy Institute's 2008 Thawley scholar, Adam Lockyer, is on a two-month secondment at CSIS, and says if you want to subscribe to a CSIS e-newletter on post-

Monday linkage

Photo essay of a wary but revitalised Baghdad, six years after the US invasion.  Obama makes more protectionist noises, which has Tom Barnett wondering whether he should have backed McCain. Free trade promotes peace: a theory that goes back to the 19th century

Thursday linkage

Did economics become too complacent and trendy, The Economist asks?  The power of norms: Russia is giving up baby seal hunting.  Fascist-inating: A photographic survey of Nazi architecture. ASPI's Andrew Davies describes the looooong road to Australia's next submarine. A

Tuesday linkage

'“You’re gonna miss us when we’re gone!” has never been much of a business model.' Clay Shirky's piece is required reading if you're interested in the future of journalism. Carrot and stick: I agree with Kevin Drum that this is a pretty offensive metaphor in diplomacy

Thursday linkage

The Pentagon has an internal think tank known as the Office of Net Assessments. Thanks to an FoI request, here's a survey of what they've been writing about for the last 20 years. A useful new find: Russiablog. Renewables could supply 40% of world power by 2050, but it'll take a

Wednesday linkage

Robert Kagan throws some cold water on the claim that Obama's foreign policy marks a radical break with Bush.  France is rejoining NATO's command structure, which it left in 1966. The Dalai Lama claims China has killed hundreds of thousands in Tibet. Further to

Civility on the internet

Clive Hamilton's spray about the culture of the internet has drawn comment in other parts of the Ozblogosphere and deserves a response here too. Short version: it is nonsense.* Here's Hamilton's closing paragraph: If free speech means no more than the absence of

Monday linkage

China has reiterated its call for political and military talks with Taiwan.  The Browser. Could this be even better than Arts & Letters Daily? Has North Korea's diplomatic clout increased since it went nuclear? Maybe not. I previously blogged about a misleading chart which suggested

Friday linkage

Nice post from one of Australia's better economics blogs about the geopolitics of the financial crisis. Support for equal rights for women is robust in Muslim nations. The WSJ's China blog tracks down how the false rumour of a new Chinese stimulus package got started. Steven

Thursday linkage

'Ex-Taliban diplomat hooked on iPhone'. It's a cute hook for the real story, which is about the spread of communications technology in Afghanistan. Further to Malcolm's post below, Dengue Fever is also a band. It claims to 'combine Cambodian pop music and lyrics with

Wednesday linkage

 Canadian PM Stephen Harper on Afghanistan: 'We’re not going to win this war just by staying...in fact, my own judgment...is...we are not ever going to defeat the insurgency.' How the Lahore terrorist attack is being viewed in India. Meanwhile, here

Tuesday linkage

A nation of bureaucrats: Japan will decline unless it is prepared to take risks, argues this op-ed. The National Interest hosts an online debate about whether China is set for growth or stagnation. (H/t Drezner.) Small Wars Journal is debating too. It has enlisted a number of bloggers to

New faces in Canberra and New York

The Prime Minister has a new Senior Adviser on Foreign Affairs, Defence and National Security, Philip Green. The incumbent adviser, Gary Quinlan, will be Australia's new ambassador to the UN, replacing Robert Hill. Hill was a Howard Government Defence Minister and a Howard appointee to

Friday linkage

Reconstruction stalls as the financial crisis grips Iraq. Fiddling while Tokyo burns: Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso sends an email to supporters in which he devotes two paragraphs to the resignation of his finance minister, and the rest to reminisences about his dog. A detailed study on

Thursday linkage

'UN peacekeepers stretched to the limit', says the FT's coverage of the Center on International Cooperation's 2009 Annual Review of Global Peace Operations.  Warwick McKibbin's post on the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme brought this response from East Asia Forum. OK,

Wednesday linkage

My colleague Rory frequently recommends the work of journalist Ahmed Rashid. Here's his latest on Pakistan's 'steady slide towards chaos'. Last Friday I linked to an Andrew Mack op-ed arguing that the surge did not play a big role in the drop in violence in

Monday linkage

A rich collection of Chinese English-language scholarship on international relations. (Thanks to Rory for the link.) Counter-terrorism: why Pakistan should now be a higher US priority than Afghanistan. Does the same logic apply to Australia? From the PBS Frontline documentary series: Inside

Friday linkage

Private capital flows to emerging countries will fall from $US929 billion in 2007 to $US165 billion this year, according to the Institute for International Finance. (Thanks to SG for the link.) Details of Singapore's economic stimulus package. In relation to our debate about the

5-minute Lowy Lunch: Risks, riots and recession

If your super fund is looking increasingly like the savings from your first piggy bank and you can stomach no more economic bad news, move along to the next post. In his Wednesday Lowy Lunch Mark Thirlwell painted a sobering picture of the world economy in 2009, while also claiming he was

Wednesday linkage

The US Department of Defense has announced the deployment of 17,000 more troops to Afghanistan. Maybe that will reduce reliance on air power, responsible for many civilian casualties, which are up 40% this year. A fascinating inside look at North Korea's nuclear negotiating position. &#

Tuesday linkage

Your terrifying economic fact of the day: '...Eastern Europe has borrowed $1.7 trillion abroad, much on short-term maturities. It must repay – or roll over – $400bn this year, equal to a third of the region's GDP.' The recent French-UK submarine crash is not an isolated event.

Friday linkage

The World Bank's East Asia blog has a very thorough round-up of regional economic news.  The Weekly Standard's Michael Goldfarb broadly approves of Hillary Clinton's Asia itinerary, but thinks there should have been an Australia leg. Some straight

Thursday linkage

Hu Jintao visits Africa for the second time in three years. A US and Russian satellite have collided in space. Arms Control Wonk argues the debris from such incidents could render near-earth orbits unusable. A number of good posts on Europe's economic troubles over at A Fistful of Euros

Wednesday linkage

A wrap-up of economic gloom from Northeast Asia. Prospects for Iraqi security in 2009: 10 things to look out for. PACOM Commander Timothy Keating says there have been no overtures from China's military since Obama took office, but there is room for dialogue and 'naval coalitions'

Tuesday linkage

A mea culpa from the chief executive of Goldman Sachs.  Gulp: Gideon Rachman believes think tanks are in for some lean times, and judging by the Japanese experience, he might be right. Attention Stephen Grenville: more misleading graphs! TIME and The American Scene both argue that America&#

Monday linkage

The NY Times addresses the debate on Japanese stimulus spending. Related, here's the case for not doing any stimulus spending at all. That story about a Chinese destroyer forcing an Indian sub to the surface looks to have been a fake. Rory was sceptical too

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