Wednesday 08 Apr 2020 | 23:14 | SYDNEY

Blogs and blogging

Gillard new White Paper

Yesterday, Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced a new White Paper on Australia in the Asian Century. I recommend reading Gillard\'s announcement speech to get a feel for the Government\'s thinking. This will be a heavily economics-focused review. As I\'ve discussed before, Gillard seems to

Reader riposte: Choice or dependence?

Al Parkes writes: Interesting article about our strategic situation in WW2. I will have to be contrary on some assumptions about where our strategic focus was before the entry of US and Japan into WW2. I do not believe there is any strong evidence Australia, as a Government or society, was ready

Wednesday linkage

Steve Pinker: \'we may be living in the most peaceable era in the existence of our species\'. Hope for saffron as an alternate crop to poppies in Afghanistan. Signs of a \'proliferation of new, highly motivated but unskilled extremist cells in Indonesia\'. Meanwhile al Qaeda is reduced to

Tuesday linkage

Australia\'s UNSC competitor Luxembourg is voting yes on Palestinian statehood. (h/t @FergusHanson.) What drives Indonesia\'s significant uptake of social media? The Washington Post launches a policy focused blog, Wonkblog. Deciphering China\'s ambitions for international economic reform.

Monday linkage

Putin declares for the Russian presidency. Seems it was the plan all along. A new book collates rude hand gestures from around the world. (H/t Kottke.) The Rwanda experiment: looking to Singapore and Beijing as development models. In his memoir, Phillip Flood names Percy Spender and Gareth

Friday linkage

A new Australian blog called Circuit: \'commentary on the Internet and its impact on international politics and the academic discipline of International Relations.\' Obama\'s declining ambitions for Israel/Palestine over the years. A photo essay of Indian migrant workers in Dubai. (h/t The

Asylum: A foreign or domestic problem?

In the noise after the High Court\'s decision and the looming defeat of the Government\'s bill to revive its Malaysia deal, we are losing sight of the fact that Australia faces a defining choice on how we address the issue of asylum seekers. To go to first principles, we need to ask if unauthorised

Thursday linkage

With all Wikileaks cables available, are named sources being targeted? Arthur Sinodinis: \'…a strong budget position is more significant for national security and independence than any defence force.\' Decision-making: the benefits of unconscious thought. The US may be moving right, but

Wednesday linkage

\'For the first time in decades, the emerging prize of global energy may be the Americas\'. (h/t Walter Russell Mead.) Does the threat of prosecutions deter dictators from leaving power? NATO Chief Rasmussen goes out on a limb: \'NATO has helped Libya to move from dictatorship to democracy.

Tuesday linkage

What are Chinese 16-30 year-olds worried about? A British photographer toured the country to find out. Tyler Cowen favours a carbon tax, but he lists ten reasons why it might not be good policy. Three (cylinders) is the new four: a global trend toward smaller car engines. Andrew Leigh

Monday linkage

Malaysian PM announces major political and media reforms: Ernie Bower has analysis. More thoughts from Banyan. Are bold declarations of liberal reform catching on in Asia? Wen Jiabao is at it too. A myth-busting account of the Opium War. (Thanks Will.) Doing research? A useful

Friday linkage

Colleague Rory Medcalf highly recommends George Perkovich\'s new Carnegie monograph on Pakistan\'s dangerous dysfunction. Well done DFAT for changing Australian passports to allow the gender choices M, F, or X.  The case for and against Palestinian statehood. Responding to one of the key

Thursday linkage

A rather peculiar but well researched history of British think tanks. (H/t Browser.) Why is it so hard for women to win public office in the Pacific? The Economist lists the world\'s ten biggest employers. A lot of government bodies in there. People are really bad at making predictions, but

Through Chinese eyes: Tang Qifang (part 2)

Interview with Tang Qifang, Southeast Asia specialist at the foreign ministry-affiliated China Institute of International Studies, byPeter Martin and David Cohen, who are conducting a series of interviews with Chinese academics and journalists, using reader-submitted questions. Part I here.

Tuesday linkage

A lot of online buzz about this Spiegel article: Germany plans for possible Greek default. Tyler Cowen says \'the chances of the eurozone holding together have never looked smaller\'. If you want to convince someone, put it in graph form. Two days before 9/11, Ahmad Shah Massoud was killed by

More awful 9/11 writing

Last week I put a call out for readers to highlight the worst writing about 9/11. Jordan offers this syrupy muck: OK, little guy. There\'s no point sugar coating this so I’ll say it straight. You\'re born on kind of an awkward day in history, a day which has come to symbolise a whole bunch

Monday linkage

I only heard part of Richard Fidler\'s conversation with John Howard about 9/11 and the war on terror, but enough to recommend it. China\'s suicide rate among the world\'s highest. Possibly the best footnote ever written: \'4. The Sampras serve was the Powell Doctrine of tennis.\' And

Friday linkage

Amazing archive of 9/11 TV coverage. If you\'re looking for coverage of Obama\'s big speech (transcript), Andrew Sullivan live-blogged it and will no doubt have his usual round-up of online commentary soon. Qatar has raised government salaries by 60% and armed forces salaries by

Thursday linkage

For Vietnamese university students, history is passé. An account of the ANU Crawford School\'s recent symposium on the Government\'s carbon emissions policy. Banyan comments on the arrest on corruption charges of an Indonesian lawmaker and treasurer of President SBY\'s

Wednesday linkage

The BBC\'s Nick Bryant on Australia, the consequential country. Overall, it\'s a love letter, but he says \'(t)here is something very dismal and second-rate about the quality of politics and politicians in Canberra.\' Philosopher John Gray on the \'permanent revolution of

Tuesday linkage

As the 10th anniversary of 9/11 approaches, Andrew Sullivan asks \'did Osama win?\' Cancer, cars and even bathtubs kill more people than terrorists. So how should we respond? Iran may be the biggest loser from the Arab Spring. Last week\'s High Court decision may enable a Pacific Solution class

Through Chinese eyes: Tang Qifang (part 1)

Interview with Tang Qifang, Southeast Asia specialist at the foreign ministry-affiliated China Institute of International Studies by Peter Martin and David Cohen. Peter and David are conducting a series of interviews with Chinese academics and journalists, using reader-submitted questions. Part

Ten years that shook the world

Tim Dunne is Professor of International Relations in the School of Political and International Studies, University of Queensland. This blog draws from his new book, with Ken Booth, Terror in our Time. \'A decade without a name\' is how the public intellectual Timothy Garton Ash described the

Interview: NZ Foreign Minister McCully

New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully opened proceedings at the Lowy Institute\'s Pacific Islands and the World conference here in Auckland this morning. We conducted this short interview after his speech. McCully seems to have lost patience with Fiji: \'too much time has been

Monday linkage

Daniel Flitton notes Australian politicians don\'t talk about \'terrorism\' much anymore. Security Scholar blog hosts a webcam debate about civilian strategists. If we want more productivity and economic growth, we need denser cities. The foreign policy views of new Japanese Prime Minister

Friday linkage

Paul Berman, one of America\'s leading \'liberal hawks\' after 9/11, reflects on the tenth anniversary of the attacks. Duck of Minerva recommends a Danish documentary about the Afghanistan war, Armadillo. As Walter Russell Mead notes, this is scary stuff from Martin Wolf: \'

Wednesday linkage

Michael Pettis looks at the rest of the decade, and sees China\'s growth slowing markedly, America going protectionist, and several countries leaving the Eurozone. Ross Gittins on Australia\'s place in the global knowledge economy. \'Business-relevant research on global issues from Asian

Connecting the Pacific

Danielle Romanes is an intern with the Lowy Institute\'s Myer Foundation Melanesia Program.Information and Communications Technology (ICT) connectivity and labour migration will be hot topics at the Lowy Institute\'s forthcoming \'Pacific Islands and the World\' conference in Auckland. Few

Taking IR theory too far?

It\'s far too wonkish for a Friday Funny, but this post from Dan Drezner tickled my funny bone: ..what if Bachmann is right? What if God really is using wrath to coerce humanity into implementing a particular set of policy preferences? A God-fearing person would naturally decide to obey. However

Tuesday linkage

The Australian PM faces a very heavy multilateral schedule in September-October. Jakarta and Dilli sign an MOU Defence pact. Strong public support in Malaysia for the Bersih 2.0 electoral reforms. A birdlike drone crashes in Pakistan. But who was using it? Two regional blogs for your bookmarks

Reader riposte: Funding DFAT

Kate Grayson, a former adviser to Senator Russell Trood, writes: The parlous state of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), identified by Andrew Shearer and Alex Oliver, in Diplomatic disrepair: rebuilding Australia\'s international policy infrastructure, is further reinforced

Monday linkage

First, do no harm: UN Nepalese soldiers caused cholera outbreak in Haiti. Should R2P be focused more on aid and relief, than intervention? Lessons for IR from hip-hop. (H/t @mfullilove.) Anna Hazare has ended his anti-corruption fast in India. Five weird cartoons from North Korea.

5-minute Lowy Lunch: Asia stability

Has the West (and Australia) begun to make \'China\' a synonym for \'Asia\'? In last week\'s Wednesday Lowy Lunch, Michael Wesley, Executive Director of the Lowy Institute, argues that the rise-of-Asia story and future stability in our region is dependent upon many, many more

Friday linkage

From the latest issue of Foreign Affairs: The Inevitable Superpower: Why China\'s Dominance is a Sure Thing. Wisely, the UNDP has dropped Qadhafi\'s daughter as a \'goodwill ambassador\'. (H/t @mfullilove.) A new Pentagon report warns of a maritime escalation between the US and China. (H/t

Thursday linkage

Former Liberal Party president Shane Stone agrees with Lowy\'s James Brown on military funerals. Beijing is backing off its electric car push. \'\"Green growth\" looks a distant prospect. China is more likely to simply slow down.\' Andrew Phillips says the war on terror is over,

Wednesday linkage

With Qadhafi almost gone, just how many tyrants are left in the world? Who\'s guarding Qadhafi\'s small collection of chemical weapons? When reading up about Libya, don\'t forget The Arabist. Stocking up on (physical) gold to avoid the financial apocalypse is rather hard. A better educated

Who wears the (Aussie) pants in Libya?

My thanks to the eagle eye of colleague Anthony Bubalo who brought this interesting photo of Saif al-Islam Qhadhafi to my attention. Jubilant after his reappearance in front of the media in Tripoli after news of his arrest was apparently greatly exaggerated, he appears to be wearing

Blogs leapfrogged?

All the selling points of Twitter that my colleague Rory Medcalf mentions in his latest American Review column — it connects lone thinkers directly to a wide audience, it can expose you to fascinating new reading, it breaks stories ahead of the mainstream media — are

Tuesday linkage

Fareed Zakaria tentatively suggests the US should move to a Westminster system. Marc Lynch on Arab reaction to events in Libya. Could Pakistan\'s dire situation help compel better relations with India? How do (and how should) regimes react to social media? A new paper 

Monday linkage

End game for Qadhafi: follow events via this Twitter mashup and Al Jazeera\'s live blog. Google also has a regularly updated map of fighting in Tripoli. Israel and Hamas seek to restore the cease-fire. A proxy war between China and the US, on the basketball court. One way to get the world

Friday linkage

Is America heading into another Depression, asks Simon Johnson? No, but \'it is increasingly likely that we will find ourselves in the midst of something nearly as traumatic, a long slump of the kind seen with some regularity in the nineteenth century\'. Fallows adds to the gloom. The Peterson

Politicians in uniform

The latest Republican to nominate for the US presidency, Texas Governor Rick Perry, made an interesting claim about the relationship between the military and civilian leadership: \'I want to make sure that every young man and woman who puts on the uniform of the United States respects

Thursday linkage

File under \'Funny, if it wasn\'t so frightening\': A Russian nuclear engineer talks about the chaos that is Iran\'s Bushehr nuclear power plant. As the EU falters, Russia is looking to build its own \'common economic space\'. \'...one of the best strategic minds in Australia\': praise for Lowy

Wednesday linkage

Malaysia establishes an independent committee to review its electoral system. A call for Australia to significantly deepen its ties with India. (h/t @ashleytownshend.) That said, India needs to do better than jailing critics of corruption. Peter Costello gives a

Tuesday linkage

Last Friday we ran an interview with Etihad CEO James Hogan. You can now listen to his full Lowy Institute speech on the geopolitics of aviation here. Anne-Marie Slaughter and Dan Drezner on the role of non-state actors and technology in IR. The struggle to improve birth practices in Timor-Leste

Monday linkage

China likes what it hears from David Cameron\'s social-media censorship proposal. For economists, does blogging improve professional prospects? China\'s aircraft carrier returns from its test drive. Meanwhile, China\'s other ex-Soviet carrier has also completed fitting-out, as a hotel.

10 things foreign policy wonks can learn from Game of Thrones

The HBO TV series Game of Thrones is an international phenomenon. Described as \'The Sopranos in Middle-Earth\', it makes medieval fantasy respectable for grown-ups. It is also strangely educational. Foreign and security policy wonks, along with diplomats, spooks and soldiers, could all

Good and bad economic behaviour

Like Scott Adams, I know just enough about economics to be stupid at a slightly more dangerous level than the general public. I\'ve been very taken with behavioural economics in the last few years. There\'s something satisfying about the idea that you can subtly exploit people\'s habits

Friday linkage

Bob Carr dissects Greg Sheridan on religion and the Eurozone crisis. I missed it at the time, but all Australian soldiers have now come home from Iraq. Liberal MP Chris Pyne is engaging in the blogosphere, responding to a critique of his recent foreign policy speech in London. A thoughtful

Thursday linkage

New Mandala worries that Malaysia may become a failed state. Is there a correlation between budget cuts and political instability? An economist goes back to 1919. Why are India, Brazil and South Africa so reluctant to sanction Syria? \'Why no Arab Spring in China?\', asks James

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