Sunday 14 Aug 2022 | 16:49 | SYDNEY


Understand the big issues

Northeast Asia turns its attention to the Arctic

In an analysis brief for the National Bureau of Asian Research, Lowy Institute East Asia Program Director Linda Jakobson writes that China, Japan, and South Korea are all vigorously lobbying to become a permanent observer on the Arctic Council, an intergovernmental forum established in 1996. 

Environmental change and migration: implications for Australia

In the Pacific Islands region, climate change and natural disasters could displace potentially  thousands of people in coming years.  A significant number of these people could end up as environmental migrants to Australia.  In this Analysis, Dr Khalid Koser argues that Australia

India and China: competitive coexistence in the Asian Century

In this book chapter, the Lowy Institute’s Rory Medcalf and Ashley Townshend examine the factors that are likely to influence the strategic dynamic of the China-India bilateral relationship in the Asian Century. Although engagement through trade, defence dialogue and high-level visits has

Australia place in the Asian century

In this extended article for The Diplomat, the Lowy Institute’s Rory Medcalf examines the aspirations and the omissions of the Australia’s Government’s October 2012 Asian Century white paper. He argues that the paper presents too benign and linear a view of the Asian strategic

Anaemic ascent: why China currency is far from going global

China’s currency is on the rise. Buoyed by the economy’s outperformance and global trade impact, policy steps over the past few years have thrust the renminbi onto the global stage. Is the renminbi going to climb to become a major reserve currency? Not so fast. 

The spectre of Malthus

In this 2009 Lowy Institute working paper, Mark Thirlwell looks at some initial lessons from the 2007-2008 crisis about living in a resource-constrained world. A revised version of this working paper was published in the journal Survival in June-July 2009: A New Era of Food Insecurity? By Alan

Egypt Islamist President: what lies ahead?

On 30 June 2012, Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood was sworn in as Egypt’s first ever democratically elected President.  In an effort to address some of the questions raised by this development, we are republishing, with a new foreword, the Muslim Brotherhood chapter from the 2008 Lowy

China expanding role in Africa and implications for the EU

East Asia Program Director Linda Jakobson examines China's expanding role in Africa and the implications for China-EU relations in 'Europe and China: Strategic Partners or Rivals?', a book edited by Dr Roland Vogt and published by Hong Kong University Press. In the chapter, Jakobson and Jacob Wood

The world economy, Murphy law and Finagle corollary

Over the second half of 2011, the world economy seemed to be sliding inexorably towards another major financial crisis. In the event, actions by an aggressive European Central Bank managed to halt the slide to Eurogeddon. But a fragile world economy remains dangerously vulnerable to adverse shocks

Revolution@State: the spread of ediplomacy

This report is the first time the rapidly growing ediplomacy effort at the US State Department has been mapped. It reveals State now employs over 150 full-time ediplomacy personnel working in 25 different nodes at Headquarters. More than 900 people use ediplomacy at US missions abroad. The

A key domino? Indonesia death penalty politics

The application of the death penalty by Australia's Southeast Asian neighbours recurrently strains bilateral relations.  Lowy Institute Research Fellow Dr Dave McRae examines Indonesia's stance on the death penalty and the prospects for abolition in Australia's key regional neighbour. 

The dangers of denial: nuclear weapons in China-India relations

Is a dangerous nuclear competition emerging between the two most populous nations? In this Lowy Institute Analysis, Fiona Cunningham and Rory Medcalf warn of nuclear dangers as China and India rise. The authors call for a strategic stability dialogue embedded in mutual respect, to ensure possible

Obama alliances

In this Lowy Institute paper Dr Steven Casey explores the Obama administration’s approach to alliances as the United States experiences relative economic and military decline in the context of a changing security environment in the Asia-Pacific region

Improving access to climate financing for the Pacific Islands

One of the central pillars of global climate change negotiations is the need to improve access for developing countries to funding and technical resources. But efforts to establish effective mechanisms for climate financing are complex, with governments trying to balance the accountability required

Chinese perspectives on investing in Australia

China is not only Australia's largest trading partner, but is also an increasingly important supplier of capital. In a Lowy Institute Analysis, John Larum draws on a series of interviews with Chinese investors and their advisors to look at their attitude towards investing in Australia and

Dangerous luxuries

The ANZUS alliance is emerging as an important alliance for stability in the Asia-Pacific region but the US must understand the implications Australian defence planning will have on the future alliance. In this Lowy Institute Analysis, US Army Colonel John Angevine writes that Australia’s current

Global fiscal consolidation

One important outcome of the Great Recession has been the rapid accumulation of government debt in many of the world’s developed economies. This growing debt burden represents a potential threat to economic stability, and as a result, the focus of fiscal policy is now shifting from stimulus to

India’s new world: civil society in the making of foreign policy

Ashok Malik and Rory Medcalf argue that Indian foreign policy is being shaped increasingly by three dynamic aspects of civil society: business, the Indian diaspora and the aggressive Indian news media. Indian diplomacy needs to adapt to these new realities. And foreign nations need to understand

Secrecy and stratagem: understanding Chinese strategic culture

To cope with a rising China, other powers will need a close understanding of Chinese strategic culture. This paper seeks to identify the enduring features of Chinese strategic culture, assess their role in Chinese policy and consider their implications for the future posture and responses of the

In remembrance of India’s nuclear and strategic guru

In this obituary essay in Foreign Policy magazine, Lowy Institute International Security Program Director Rory Medcalf pays tribute to K Subrahmanyam, independent India’s leading strategic thinker, who passed away on 2 February 2011. Subrahmanyam strongly influenced India’s decision both to

The quiet achiever: Australia-Japan security relations

In the last decade, Australia has quietly and quickly become a close security partner to Japan, second only to the United States. For Australia, no security relationship outside the foundational alliance with the United States has deepened more in this same period. Despite changes of government and

Responding to boat arrivals in Australia: time for a reality check

With boat arrivals featuring prominently on the Australian political agenda, 2010-2011 saw a flurry of policy proposals focused on mitigating this trend. This report situates recent developments in Australian asylum policy within an international context and considers the efficacy of restrictive

The US mid-term elections and the Obama Administration

On Friday 5 November, two leading commentators on US politics and foreign policy, Dr Michael Fullilove and Daniel Flitton, provided some immediate analysis of the mid-term results as part of the Lowy Institute’s ‘Food for Thought’ program in Melbourne

The stakeholder spectrum: China and the United Nations

In recent decades China has become a far more active and effective player in, and contributor to, the United Nations. However, according to Dr Michael Fullilove, the limits of this enhanced engagement are becoming clear. Dr Fullilove emphasises that while the West might advocate that China become a

What makes a leader? Mapping leadership in our region

Does Australia understand the leaders of our region? Is our $1.4bn in scholarship funding reaching the right people? There is good reason to believe that leaders matter, and that they are particularly important in developing countries. This 2010 Lowy Institute Analysis presents the results of the

Nuclear weapons and American strategy in the age of Obama

Did the 2010 US Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) get it right? In this Lowy Institute Analysis, Visiting Fellow Hugh White argues that – contrary to what has been widely assumed – the NPR does not significantly reduce the role of nuclear weapons in America’s strategic posture. In particular, it

Into the Dragon’s den

While Chinese foreign investment into Australia has been the subject of a great deal of controversy, investment flows moving in the other direction have received much less attention. In a new Lowy Institute Analysis, John Larum reviews Australian foreign direct investment into China and discusses

Sweet and sour: Australian public attitudes towards China

Foreign policy has hardly featured in the 2010 election campaign. That's a shame. Australia faces an increasingly uncertain international environment. One of the most pressing challenges facing the next government will be putting in place a durable policy framework to guide Australia's increasingly

The evolving post-crisis world

In a new paper written as background for the current Asian Development Bank Economic Outlook, Dr Stephen Grenville notes that Asia has come through the Global Financial Crisis well, with Chinese and Indian growth hardly slowing, and quick recoveries in those countries which were adversely affected.&

Toward a nuclear weapons free world: a Chinese perspective

In this publication, leading Chinese security scholar Shen Dingli offers a point of view on Beijing’s constraints and objectives as it decides how to engage with the new global push for nuclear disarmament, including such initiatives as President Obama’s nuclear-weapon-free-world campaign and

The Mekong: Milton Osborne presentation

The Mekong River basins are one of the most important and dynamic areas in the world for the battle between economic development’s demands for energy and environmental and social sustainability. As world attention shifts to the pending global climate change negotiations in far-off Copenhagen, the

Al-Qaeda, tribes and instability in Yemen

In this Lowy Institute Analysis, Sarah Phillips and Rodger Shanahan discuss the re-emergence of a significant al-Qaeda presence in Yemen. The authors focus on al-Qaeda’s efforts to build relations with local Yemeni tribes, something that will be central to the movement’s prospects of cementing a

The global financial crisis: causes and consequences

This Working Paper, by Warwick McKibbin and Andrew Stoeckel, models the global financial crisis as a combination of shocks to global housing markets and sharp increases in risk premia of firms, households and international investors in an intertemporal (or DSGE) global model. The model has six

Wicked weapons: North Asia nuclear tangle

The United States faces major challenges in engaging China, Japan and the Korean Peninsula in its quest for nuclear disarmament. Rory Medcalf explores the ‘wicked’ nature of the region’s nuclear insecurity: how fixing one part of the problem risks aggravating others. He recommends ways forward

Linking growth and poverty reduction in Papua New Guinea

Recent impressive economic growth has helped many Papua New Guineans escape poverty. Those lifted from poverty retain strong connections to the economy, its active participants and the government. For those whose connections are weak or absent, economic growth provides no obvious reward. To increase