Saturday 25 Sep 2021 | 04:34 | SYDNEY


Reader riposte: American exceptionalism

Hugh Wyndham writes: Jerry Nockles\' article is a very timely piece on the differences between the Obama and Romney visions of the role of the United States. I do not disagree with his distinctions, but I think the differences are more profound than he states. The Republicans criticise Obama,

Movie trailer: Lincoln

Steven Spielberg\'s latest, based on Doris Kearns Goodwin\'s biography, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. No release date yet for the film

Asian growth: Is big still beautiful?

Back in 2009 I wrote a post for The Interpreter suggesting that, in the aftermath of the GFC, big was beautiful when it came to Asia\'s growth prospects, citing in particular optimism about China, India and Indonesia. For the next couple of years, that looked like a good call, but now two

3 questions about China growth (2)

Part 1 of this post, which asked \'What\'s the story with China\'s growth?\' and \'Why has growth slowed?\', is here. Q3. OK, but does all that mean that China\'s high growth days are over? A. The honest answer is: we don\'t know yet. The mix of factors at work means that we can\'t really

The drones are coming

The ABC\'s Mark Corcoran has an enduring interest in the subject of drones, as evidenced by the recent piece he produced for Foreign Correspondent and two investigative pieces for ABC Online. This morning Mark sent me a link to a clip from a new short film called Unmanned. A 

Wednesday linkage: Super Trawler, Xi Jinping, Burma, Papua and more

Real change: CSIS experts have some interesting observations about Burma following their recent visit. (Thanks Milton.) Chris Kenny is right. The \'super trawler\' decision sends a dreadful message to foreign businesses looking to invest in Australia. ChinaFile, a new online magazine from

US-China economic ties: Overrated

Dominic Skerritt, who has just finished an internship with the Lowy Institute, is a former military intelligence officer with postgraduate qualifications in international law and international relations. There is speculation that Chairman of the US Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke will soon

G20: How many around the table?

The G20, the pre-eminent forum for global economic cooperation, has its share of detractors. Australia, as the 2014 host, will be in the thick of this criticism and needs to work out how to respond. Facing the urgency of the 2008 financial crisis, the G20 scored a couple of early successes,

The future of intelligence (part 2)

In part two of my interview with world renowned intelligence expert and Visiting Professor at Georgetown University\'s Center for Security Studies Dr Jennifer Sims, we discuss the close relationship between internet penetration and government instability. Dr Sims presents her theory

Monday linkage

US airport security: \'As far as I know, the vast airport apparatus has not stopped a single incident of mayhem; the foiling of plots comes from other forces, such as advance intelligence or actions on board.\' Interview with a photographer who spent two years with Japan\'s yakusa organised

Democrats: Four days in Charlotte

Going into the Democratic convention, the theme of much of the coverage was how Barack Obama needed Bill Clinton. Coming out of it, the main storyline was how Obama had been completely upstaged by him. Clintonian Kryptonite has always been a hazardous material to handle. But the fact that the

Funny: Use – don't abuse – dashes

Via Michael Fullilove\'s Twitter feed, I find this entertaining and perceptive Maureen Dowd column about the differences between Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. But the sub-editor in me despairs at the fact that even the Grey Lady (that\'s the nickname for the NY Times, by the way, not Dowd)

The coming food crisis

Yesterday, the UN\'s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) released its food price index for August, which showed the overall index of prices unchanged from July\'s reading. That offers some comfort to those who were worried about a looming food crisis following a 6% jump in the

Reader riposte: Australia UNSC bid

Alison Broinowski writes: There are a few other factors that may count against Australia\'s bid for election to the UN Security Council that Thom Woodroofe and Graeme Dobell don\'t mention in this otherwise comprehensive list. First, memories of the Howard years, when we reported late,

Julie Bishop turns the tables

Last week we put on a slightly unusual event, inviting Shadow Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop to put veteran journalists Steve Lewis and Chris Uhlmann in the hot seat over their novel \'The Marmalade Files\'. Watching Steve and Chris squirm under pressure was highly entertaining! If you

Australia economy: Crash or crash through?

Roger Donnelly is Chief Economist with the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation. A day doesn\'t pass nowadays without at least a score of headlines asking \'Is the resource boom over?\' A London research firm named Variant Perception (VP) has been getting in on the act with its own

Those stage-managed conventions

I\'ve been following some of the coverage of the Republican and Democratic conventions, and one line of criticism that\'s surprised me is that these events are not stage-managed enough. One of Andrew Sullivan\'s correspondents, for example, criticises the Republican convention because, unlike

American exceptionalism in US foreign policy

The literature on American exceptionalism reveals two dominant themes that influence foreign policy. First is that of the US as exemplar: by her example, America can demonstrate to the world the distinct benefits of an adherence to liberty, equality, and justice. The second is that of the US as

Thursday linkage: Assange, Cook Islands, missile defence and more

One of the few economists to predict the global financial crisis is again sounding the alarm. Evan Osnos in the New Yorker: Clinton\'s Cook Islands visit shows US-China competition \'has entered a complex new phase\'. For wonks only: a newish blog devoted mostly to the technical elements of

What is American exceptionalism?

\'Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States\' by Howard Chandler Christy. Courtesy of Wikipedia.  In an election that will largely be fought on domestic issues, the central theme of the Republican Party\'s foreign policy platform will be the issue that reveals the

Jobs: Stealing is OK, but not from me

I know this contrast been presented in other places, but I thought it worth posting these two videos in light of the discussion launched by Stephen Grenville\'s post on patents and copyright. Funny what 13 years and a few billion dollars will do to a person\'s attitudes on this

R2P, Libya, and the myth of regime change

Tim Dunne is Professor of International Relations in the Asia Pacific Centre for R2P, University of Queensland. The UN General Assembly will consider the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) concept when it opens for business in the coming days. This year\'s dialogue on R2P is being

Reader riposte: The absurd US patent system

Edwin Crump writes: Stephen Grenville is right to say that copyright is no Mickey Mouse issue.  However, copyright infringement was not the central element in the broader intellectual property dispute between Apple and Samsung. What was on show was the ludicrous US patent system, which is

Tuesday linkage: Driverless cars, APEC, drones, intervention and more

3 Quarks Daily is hosting an online symposium on humanitarian intervention, with contributions from David Petrasek, Kenneth Roth and Gareth Evans. More from the ABC\'s Mark Corcoran on drones, with news that Australia is reviving its plans to buy a fleet of Global Hawks. More from Corcoran

Copyright is no Mickey Mouse issue

A California jury decision requires Samsung to pay Apple $1 billion for infringement of intellectual property and some of Samsung\'s products may have to be withdrawn. the decision will strengthen Apple\'s competitive position not just in America, but in all those countries which recognise

GOP convention: Three days in Tampa

Such was the prominence given to black speakers and entertainers at the 2000 GOP convention that a BBC colleague, who had opened most of his news reports that week with pictures of soul and R&B bands performing on stage, thought it necessary to advise viewers not to adjust their sets: \'Yes,

Monday linkage: Global Hawk, public diplomacy, Imran Khan and more

Not only in China do amateur military sleuths reveal secrets. To America\'s discomfort, Australia has plane spotters too, as the ABC\'s Mark Corcoran discovered. (Thanks Michael.) I have just discovered the University of Southern California\'s Public Diplomacy blog. Online education is

Lebanon: Clarifying 'the situation'

Vanessa Newby is a PhD candidate at Griffith University and has just returned from a five week visit to Lebanon. Photos by the author. They call it \'the situation\'. This is how locals refer to the slow rise in tension throughout Lebanon, marked by sporadic kidnappings, tyre

Iran: NAM, bam, thank you ma'am

It is sometimes said that the thing Iran hates most is being ignored. Iran\'s view of itself as a country of stature, with a rich culture and history of artistic and literary endeavour, demands attention. Which is why this week\'s hosting by Tehran of the meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement

Seizing the G20 opportunity

Michael Fullilove is Executive Director of the Lowy Institute. Mark Thirlwell is Interim Director of the Institute\'s new G20 Studies Centre, established on 28 August. In late 2008, the worsening global financial crisis prompted the upgrade of the Group of Twenty (G20) to

Thursday linkage: GOP convention, foreign aid, economic growth and more

The end of growth? A new paper argues that \'the rapid progress made over the past 250 years could well turn out to be a unique episode in human history.\' VS Naipul\'s account of the 1984 Republican Convention: strangely comforting to know so little has changed. Conciliation as a counter-

Spying aint what it used to be

There\'s excitement among online China-military watchers today as the first blurry images emerge of a new class of destroyer, the Type 052D. The unfinished paintwork tells you the ship is not completed, but the bunting suggests it\'s about to be launched:  I don\'t want to go

Wednesday linkage: Gangnam Style, Philippines, Neil Armstong and more

The Economist charts R&D spending in five big economies since the \'80s. On the face of it, there doesn\'t seem to be a strong correlation between growth and high R&D spending. I wish I could write like this: Anthony Lane\'s stirring obit for Neil Armstrong. On Australia\'s integration

Interview: The future of intelligence

We were lucky to have Dr Jennifer Sims, Visiting Professor at Georgetown University\'s Center for Security Studies, in Canberra last month to engage with the Lowy Institute and policy community guests as part of the Lowy Institute\'s UNISYS National Security Event Series. Dr Sims, regarded as one

Tuesday linkage: Mobile money, Cook Islands, Dalai Lama and more

What, no philosophy? Stephen Walt list ten things aspiring foreign policy wonks should study. As trade grows in Asia, so does investment in seaports. Should Malaysia tilt towards Beijing, New Delhi or Tokyo? Thanks to AFR columnist Christopher Joye for his kind words about The Interpreter.

Time to think big thoughts about G20

This morning, Treasurer Wayne Swan announced that the Government has given the Lowy Institute a grant to establish a G20 Studies Centre. There will certainly be plenty to study. We\'ve been tracking the ascent of the G20 to its current role as the \'premier forum\' for

China: Cold War analogies won't wash

In the artificially narrow categories that have long demarcated the world of Australian strategy, Hugh White and Paul Dibb are sometimes lumped closely together. As former senior officials and now professors at ANU, each has played an influential role both in designing defence self-reliance for

With friends in high places

Australia is a wealthy nation with a small population occupying a large continent located a great distance from our historical sources of security and prosperity. As a result, the single foreign policy theme which has united our otherwise diverse postwar prime ministers has been the desire to join (

What I actually said about asylum seekers

Rawdon Dalrymple is a former Australian ambassador to Israel, Indonesia, the US and Japan. Hugh Wyndham, in his comment on my post about the limits of our moral responsibility for the increasing numbers of people coming here by boat and seeking entry by by-passing UN refugee

Monday linkage: Zakaria, Denmark, Baltimore drugs, Syria and more

Powerful piece from Dan Drezner on Fareed Zakaria and the celebritisation of the American academy. Denmark\'s central bank goes there: negative interest rates. ANU\'s Crawford School has launched a new journal, Asia & The Pacific Policy Studies, and is calling for papers. An interview&

Mining and trading: We need a clearer view

Dr Daniel Woker is the former Swiss Ambassador to Australia, Singapore and Kuwait and now a Senior Lecturer at the University of St Gallen. When it comes to the mining boom, Australia and Switzerland appear to be at opposite ends of the spectrum. While Australians may own the territory&

Gold: The 'barbarous relic' rides again

Over the past few days, the financial press has reported on the return of the gold standard to mainstream US political debate (albeit hedged with a fair degree of [justified] scepticism). For a recent critique of the gold standard, by the academic who literally wrote the book on the

Australia latent Asia literacy

Kirrilee Hughes is a PhD Candidate at the Australian National University and is researching \'Asia literacy\'. The forthcoming White Paper on Australia in the Asian Century is bound to include recommendations for Australia to increase its \'Asia literacy\'. But what exactly does this mean? \'

Get your tickets: Event with Chris Uhlmann, Steve Lewis & Julie Bishop

Next Friday 31 August at 10.45am join veteran political journalists Chris Uhlmann (from ABC\'s flagship current affairs program, 7.30) and Steve Lewis (News Ltd) in a very special event at the Lowy Institute, a literary roasting by the Hon Julie Bishop MP, Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs

Thursday linkage: China re-balancing, Italy, Gladwell, cyberwar and more

Michael Fullilove has started work as the Lowy Institute\'s new Executive Director. He\'s also finishing a book on FDR and in October will publish the third in a series of analyses he\'s written comparing the foreign policies of the two presidential candidates (here\'s the Obama-McCain paper, and

US conflicted over Syria

Rodger Shanahan raised some good points in his piece on Syria: the cautious approach of the US in the face of an impotent UN Security Council could ultimately make the situation considerably worse for Syrians and the region. I also agree with Rodger\'s assessment that the \'US risks losing

Wednesday linkage: Burma, JSF, China then and now, Richard Gere and more

Reports about the lifting of censorship in Burma may not be all they\'re cracked up to be. (Thanks Milton.) The first Dutch joint Strike Fighter took its maiden flight in the US recently, but with the project deeply unpopular, the Defence Ministry barely acknowledged the event. Donors should

Time is ripe for cyber security rethink

Clint Arizmendi & Chloe Diggins are from the Land Warfare Studies Centre. The views expressed are their own and do not reflect those of the Department of Defence or the Australian Government. Recent cyber attacks on the Australian intelligence community serve as a timely reminder of the