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Lowy Institute: Perspectives





These are occasional papers, essays or speeches on international events and policy which make a useful contribution to deepening the debate about international policy. They are more discursive and personal than the other publications.

Subprime Nation? America's Economic Policy Challenges, October 2011
Mark Thirlwell

The August 2011 sovereign downgrade of the United States by Standard & Poor’s was seen by many international observers as a symbol of a US economy in relative decline. In a new Lowy Institute Perspectives, based on a speech he delivered last month to the National Security College at the Australian National University, Mark Thirlwell takes a look at some of the key economic policy challenges currently facing American policymakers.

New Voices 2011: Dynamic Asia, September 2011

On 8 July 2011, the Lowy Institute for International Policy hosted its eighth annual New Voices conference. The 2011 conference ‘Dynamic Asia’ adopted an Indo-Pacific regional focus. ‘Dynamic Asia’ required participants to interrogate the way in which we think about Asia as a geopolitical and economic entity – provoking them to offer new ideas about how Australia should contemplate and approach this rapidly transforming region.

Obama's Alliances, August 2011
Dr Steven Casey

On the 60th anniversary of the signing of ANZUS, the Lowy Institute has released a report on Barack Obama’s approach to alliances and what this means for the Australia-US alliance.

The report has been written by Dr Steven Casey, an international historian at the LSE. Dr Casey argues that Obama is a hardheaded liberal in the mould of his Democratic predecessors Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman. President Obama has been far more alliance-friendly than candidate Obama. In the Asian region, he has moved to toughen up with China and strengthen the country's ties with its Asia-Pacific allies, including Australia. Faced with economic woes and new rivals, Dr Casey predicts, Washington will not step away from its allies. Quite the opposite: it will seek to clutch them more tightly.

Uncharted Waters: the US alliance and Australia's New Era of Strategic Uncertainty, August 2011
Andrew Shearer

September 2011 marks two important milestones – the tenth anniversary of the devastating 9/11 terrorist attacks and the 60th anniversary of the signing of the ANZUS security treaty during the height of the Cold War.

In a new paper in the Lowy Institute’s Perspective series, 'Uncharted waters: the US alliance and Australia’s new era of strategic uncertainty', Andrew Shearer reviews Australian public attitudes towards the US alliance in the wake of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and America’s unprecedented credit downgrading.

Launched on 17th August, this unique take on the future of the alliance was immediately picked up by national commentators, adding to a robust discussion and debate on US-China commentary.

Middle-Power Approaches to Resource Politics in the Pacific, August 2011

The Lowy Institute convened a forum on 10 May 2011 to examine middle-power approaches to resource politics in the Pacific. The forum explored corporate social responsibility and the operational approach of resources companies from middle-power countries like Australia and Canada in developing countries. Resource-rich Papua New Guinea faced some challenges in ensuring that the implementation of corporate social responsibility principles continued to improve across the country with the arrival of newer players in the resources sector.
There were significant opportunities for both companies and communities to benefit from constructive partnerships in developing Pacific countries if companies were sensitive to local customs and cultures, were transparent and adhered to best international practice.
The report of the forum has been published in this Lowy Institute Perspective.

The New Public Diplomacy, April 2011
Fergus Hanson

Lowy Institute Research Fellow Fergus Hanson has published an article in the April issue of the Australian Institute of International Affairs' AIIA Policy Commentary on international relations in the digital age, entitled 'The new public diplomacy'.

The full issue is available at: http://www.aiia.asn.au/resources/publications

Justice or Stability? Hizbullah, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon and Consequences for the Region, March 2011
Dr Rodger Shanahan

In a new Lowy Institute Analysis, Non-resident Fellow Dr Rodger Shanahan explores what the outcomes of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, investigating the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, will mean for both key domestic actors in Lebanese politics, most notably Hizbullah, and regional players like Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United States.

Risky Business: Emerging Risks for Cross-border Business, March 2011
Mark Thirlwell

Mark Thirlwell, the Director of the Lowy Institute’s International Economy program, takes a look at the changing international economic environment facing cross-border businesses, and highlights nine downside risks.

'But this time, everything turns out differently': what the Tunisian and Egyptian uprisings mean for the Middle East, February 2011
Anthony Bubalo

In a new Lowy Institute Perspective, West Asia Program Director Anthony Bubalo examines the consequences for the Middle East of the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt. ‘But this time everything turns out differently’ argues that the uprisings reflect long-terms trends and crises common to most countries of the region and their impact will be felt for many years to come.

The uprisings have also focused attention on the role of Islamist movements. In 2008 the Lowy Institute explored this question in 'Zealous democrats: Islamism and democracy in Egypt, Indonesia and Turkey', which examined how Islamist movements try to adapt to democratic politics.

Australia's Choices in 2011, February 2011
Dr Michael Wesley

The fate of the West. The shape of Asia. The choices facing Australia.

These are big questions.

Dr Michael Wesley addressed these questions in a speech delivered on 10 February.

Our Post-GFC World Economy, December 2010
Mark Thirlwell

In a new Perspectives, Mark Thirlwell, Director of the Lowy Institute's International Economy program, pulls together several speeches he delivered over the course of 2010 to take a look at the state of the world economy, post-GFC.

Losing Turkey? Why Turkey's Foreign Policy is Changing and What It Means for the West, November 2010
Gwenyth Todd

Against the background of increasingly strained relations between Turkey and the West, a new Lowy Institute Perspective examines the reasons for the recent, dramatic shifts in Turkey’s foreign policy. 'Losing Turkey? Why Turkey’s Foreign Policy is Changing and What it Means for the West' by Gwenyth Todd looks at a range of factors behind these shifts, from the growing assertiveness of Turkey’s AKP government to growing popular exasperation in Turkey at the country’s exclusion from the EU.

Gwenyth Todd is an international security consultant with extensive experience in Turkey, the Middle East and South America. Previously she worked at the Pentagon, advising Secretaries of Defense under George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton on defence matters involving Iraq, Kuwait, Turkey, Cyprus and South America. She also worked at National Security Council under President Clinton, where she served as Director for Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Libya.

Australia and Japan: Ambivalent Asians, Ambitious Regionalists, October 2010
Dr Michael Wesley

Lowy Institute Executive Director Michael Wesley delivered a speech at the Australia-Japan Joint Business Conference in Brisbane on 11 October 2010. This Perspective is based on his speech, entitled 'Australia and Japan: ambivalent Asians, ambitious regionalists'.

Terror Games: Understanding Security and Risk in New Delhi, October 2010
Rory Medcalf

In this Lowy Institute Perspective, International Security Program Director Rory Medcalf examines the risks and background of possible terrorism at the October 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.

The Return of Geo-economics: Globalisation and National Security, September 2010
Mark Thirlwell

There is a growing tendency for governments to view issues of international economics through the prisms of national security and foreign policy. The GFC was seen not just as an economic catastrophe, but as a security challenge. Other examples of a tendency to mingle economics and geo-politics include policy debates over: the implications of the economic rise of China; Beijing’s exchange rate policy; the rise of state capitalism in general, and of inward investment by SWFs and state owned enterprises in particular; and the growing focus on resource security. In a new Lowy Institute Perspectives, Mark Thirlwell asks whether this heralds the return of geo-economics.

Our Consensus Future: The Lay of the Land in 2025, September 2010
Mark Thirlwell

The global financial crisis is a powerful reminder of how bad we are at forecasting. Yet despite the scale of this recent shock, we continue to have a fairly strong consensus view of where the world economy is likely to head over the next couple of decades. Indeed, this consensus forecast has survived the GFC largely unscathed. In a new Perspectives based on a presentation to the Australian Economic Forum on 6 August 2010, Mark Thirlwell describes this consensus future and some of the risks associated with it.

How do we know when we are at war? August 2010
Peter Leahy

In this Lowy Institute perspective, former Australian Chief of Army Peter Leahy argues that Australia needs greater civilian engagement if it is to have a chance of prevailing in counter-insurgency warfare. His recommendations include parliamentary ratification of military deployments and a reset of military-media relations, including the appointment of an ombudsman to improve responsible media access to operational information.

Global Encounters: Outcomes Report, August 2010

On Friday, 25 June 2010, the Lowy Institute held its seventh annual New Voices conference, bringing together Australia’s leading international relations and development studies students for a discussion with practitioners working in the field. The outcomes report can be downloaded here.

Australia and India: How to Advance, May 2010
Rory Medcalf

In this new Lowy Institute Perspective, Lowy Institute Program Director Rory Medcalf argues that a mix of flawed policy and flawed perception is holding back a truly strategic partnership between Australia and India.

This text is based on a speech delivered by Mr Medcalf at the Advance Global Australians Emerging Leaders' Conference in New Delhi on 4 May 2010.

Why Neoconservatism Still Matters, April 2010
Justin Vaïsse

In this paper, Justin Vaïsse argues that neoconservatism remains an important school of thought in American foreign policy debates, and predicts that neoconservatives will play a meaningful role in shaping U.S. foreign policy in the future. After offering a definition of this complex movement, and shedding light on its complex history, he describes the reasons for neoconservative resilience after the Iraq war. Because of their institutional, intellectual and political dynamism, the neocons will remain an influential force in American foreign policy for years to come.

The 'New Middle East' and Why it Matters to Australia, April 2010
Anthony Bubalo

In a new Lowy Institute Perspective, West Asia Program Director Anthony Bubalo explores two major changes that are creating a new Middle East: the end of American hegemony; and the economic and strategic reconnection of the Middle East to Asia. Bubalo explores some of the implications of this shift for Australian international policy, against the background of continuing community ambivalence toward the Middle East and to those issues that are part of the Middle East security equation, most notably, Afghanistan.


The vital place of nuclear weapons in 21st century US national security strategy, December 2009
Franklin C. Miller

Kevin Rudd launched the report of the International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament in Tokyo on 15 December. In this publication Franklin C. Miller, a former senior US government official with extensive involvement in nuclear policy making over five Administrations, makes the case for the United States maintaining a strong, safe and credible nuclear deterrent in the 21st century..

Toward a nuclear weapons free world: a Chinese perspective, November 2009
Professor Dingli Shen

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 Australian-Japanese International Commission for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, due to report at the end of 2009.

The Lowy Institute has issued this perspective to expand the range of views published under its partnership with the Nuclear Security Project (www.nuclearsecurityproject.org).

The Gulf States and Iran: Robust Competitors or Interested Bystanders? November 2009
Dr Rodger Shanahan

In a new Lowy Institute Perspectives, Rodger Shanahan, non-resident fellow in the West Asia Program, examines relations between the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Iran. 'The Gulf states and Iran: robust competitors or interested bystanders' discusses how a complex mix of insecurity, economic interests, cultural ties and shared geography shape Gulf attitudes toward their large neighbour. This paper also examines the dilemmas facing Gulf states as they seek to balance conciliatory and confrontational approaches to Iran, particularly over the nuclear issue.

After the Perfect Storm: Indian Students in Australia, October 2009
Janaki Bahadur

In this Lowy Institute Perspective, Janaki Bahadur draws upon her experience as an Indian-born journalist living in Australia to look below the surface of this year’s controversy about the welfare of Indian students in Australia. She identifies the commercial and nationalistic drivers of the sensationalised Indian media coverage, while also observing that the intense media attention exposed genuine problems, not so much about racism as about the quality of vocational education on offer and the motives of Indian vocational students in Australia. She concludes that the storm may ultimately lead to more sustainable education and immigration policies along with improved Australia-India ties.

The Case for Australia's UN Security Council Bid, September 2009
Dr Michael Fullilove

In this new Perspective, Dr Michael Fullilove makes the case that Australia’s bid for the Security Council is both prudent and popular, and refutes the various arguments that have been made against the bid.

The Pacific Islands and the World: The Global Financial Crisis, August 2009
Jenny Hayward-Jones

The Lowy Institute's conference, The Pacific Islands and the World: The Global Economic Crisis, held in Brisbane on 2 and 3 August, brought together Pacific Island leaders, ministers, officials from international and regional organisations, private sector and civil society representatives, in advance of the annual Pacific Islands Forum leaders meeting.

The Pacific Islands region as a whole has weathered the global economic crisis better than many other developing countries to date but the impact of the global recession is still significant.

The conference recommended that the Pacific Island governments should seize the opportunity of the global economic crisis to make fundamental reforms to the way they manage their development planning and do business.

The report of the conference has been published in this Lowy Institute Perspective.

Barack Obama, Kevin Rudd and the Alliance: American and Australian Perspectives, August 2009
Dr Michael Fullilove Dr Michael O'Hanlon

A good deal of copy has been written about the Australia-US alliance over the past decade, but almost all of it, naturally enough, described the alliance as it developed under the stewardship of conservative leaders in Washington and Canberra. Now the alliance is in the hands of a Democratic president and a Labor prime minister. This new Lowy Institute Perspective sets out the views of two analysts, one American, Michael O'Hanlon, and one Australian, Michael Fullilove, on the developing relationship between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and the kind of alliance over which they will preside.

A New Climate Strategy Beyond 2012: Lessons From Monetary History, August 2009
Professor Warwick McKibbin

A new climate strategy beyond 2012: lessons from monetary history
In this Perspective, based on the 2007 Shann Memorial Lecture, Professor Warwick McKibbin outlines the key features that are needed in a new climate change framework beyond Kyoto, drawing on lessons from monetary history. Using the analogy of the way modern central banks run monetary policy, it outlines an alternative to the Kyoto protocol which is a system of national climate policies coordinated around a common global price for carbon.

Outcomes Report: 'New Voices 2009' Networked, July 2009

On Thursday 11 June 2009, the Lowy Institute held its sixth annual New Voices conference for early and mid-career professionals, which this year discussed networks. The outcomes report can be downloaded here.

Australasian Anxieties: How Winston Churchill Shaped Australia's Relations with Britain, Japan and the United States For Six Decades, July 2009
Graham Freudenberg AM

In a new Lowy Institute Perspective, author and political adviser Graham Freudenberg offers a view on Winston Churchill's impact on Australia's foreign policies.

Australia's International Future, July 2009
Dr Michael Wesley

In a new Lowy Institute Perspective, Michael Wesley, the Executive Director of the Lowy Institute, addresses the challenges ahead for Australia and the Lowy Institute. The world after the Global Financial Crisis will be a world which asks some very searching questions of Australia’s foreign policy makers, businesspeople, and citizens. How should Australia respond to the new position of China as a key power determining the future of collective global issues? What are the challenges to Australia’s economy as posed by an increasingly knowledge-intensive and Asia-centric global economy? How will Australian society adjust to new concepts of risk and new sensitivities to systemic instability? Michael Wesley addresses these and other issues, and in doing so, outlines his vision for the Lowy Institute over the next five years.

Going Global - Japanese version, April 2009
Dr Malcolm Cook , Andrew Shearer

In 'Going global: a new Australia-Japan agenda for multilateral cooperation', a Lowy Institute report released on 30 April 2009, supported by the Australia-Japan Foundation, Andrew Shearer and Malcolm Cook proposed a new agenda for multilateral cooperation between Australia and Japan.

That report is now available for download here in Japanese.

Tackling Extreme Poverty in Papua New Guinea, May 2009
Stephanie Copus-Campbell Jenny Hayward-Jones

The Lowy Institute and CARE Australia convened a conference in Sydney on 14 May 2009 on tackling extreme poverty in Papua New Guinea. The conference brought together politicians, government officials, academics, private sector and non-government experts to explore ways of improving the situation of about one million people living in extreme poverty in Australia’s nearest neighbour. Papua New Guinea’s most disadvantaged communities, who live around the fringes of the highlands and in inland, lowland areas, suffer from very low cash income, limited access to education and health services, poor transport and communications infrastructure, low life expectancy and high child and maternal mortality.

The report of the conference with recommendations for more cooperation between government, NGOs and the private sector to improve the lives of the most disadvantaged communities in Papua New Guinea has been published in this Lowy Institute Perspective.

International Imbalances and International Policy Coordination, May 2009
Dr Stephen Grenville AO

In a new Lowy Institute Perspective, Dr Stephen Grenville looks at the role of external imbalances and international capital flows in the global financial crisis. He argues that whether or not these imbalances were a major factor in explaining the current crisis, capital flows have often enough been associated with previous crises to demonstrate the need to put in place better financial infrastructure to link countries with surplus savings with the countries that have the best opportunities to use these savings. Dr Grenville suggests that this would be an appropriate challenge for the G-20 Leaders.

Going Global: A New Australia-Japan Agenda for Multilateral Cooperation, April 2009
Dr Malcolm Cook and Andrew Shearer

In new Lowy Institute report, supported by the Australia-Japan Foundation, Andrew Shearer and Malcolm Cook propose a new agenda for multilateral cooperation between Australia and Japan. The growing international weight of Asia and the forces of globalisation are expanding the number of issues states must manage and respond to in new ways. Yet, the traditional multilateral organisations are under growing strain and have proven largely ineffective.

Japan and Australia, as long-standing supporters of an effective multilateral world and complementary powers in Asia, are well placed to cooperate more intensely on a range of multilateral issues and through new groupings like the G-20 and Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate. Australia-Japan cooperation in Iraq from 2004 to 2006 and the International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmaments are good building blocks. Much more should be done.

The Long Rise of China in Australian Defence Strategy, April 2009
Richard C. Smith AO PSM

Media reports and Hugh White's recent Lowy Institute Paper have ignited debate about the extent to which China's rapid military modernisation should shape the government's long-awaited Defence White Paper.

In this Perspective, former Secretary of Defence Ric Smith charts the place of China in Australian defence strategy over 50 years and highlights that a preoccupation with China's military capabilities and intentions is far from new for Australia's defence planners.

Nuclear Disarmament: The Need for a New Theory, March 2009
Professor Sir Lawrence Freedman

In this Lowy Institute Perspective, Professor Sir Lawrence Freedman examines what a realistic assessment of the developing state of the international system might mean for current efforts to reduce nuclear dangers and pursue the abolition of nuclear weapons. This publication is based on a lecture Professor Freedman presented at the Lowy Institute in February 2009, under the Lowy Institute's partnership with the Nuclear Security Project of the Nuclear Threat Initiative (www.nuclearsecurityproject.org).

Australia and Indonesia: Partners in a New Era, March 2009
Dr Malcolm Cook

Last month, the Australian government, in cooperation with the Lowy Institute, held a major conference in Sydney on the future of Australia-Indonesia relations. The conference drew to Australia one of the largest and most senior delegations ever from Indonesia. Discussion and debate over the two days focussed on the growing depth of contacts between Jakarta and Canberra over the last decade and the growing gap between government-to-government links and broader people-to-people links and popular opinion. For more information about the conference, please see the Outcomes Report prepared by Malcolm Cook.

Towards the London Summit: Next Steps for the G-20, March 2009
Mark Thirlwell

On 5 March 2009, the Lowy Institute hosted a roundtable discussion in the run-up to the G-20 meeting of world leaders that will be held in London on 2 April this year. The roundtable was supported by the British High Commission in Canberra and was part of the British Government's efforts to reach out to the wider community for ideas before this critical summit meeting. The discussion brought together a small group of informed Australians from outside government to give their views. The roundtable was held under the Chatham House Rule, but the Institute has produced an outcomes report, summarising the discussion. The outcomes report is available here.

All change or plus ça change: The global financial crisis and four key drivers of the world economy, February 2009
Mark Thirlwell

It's now common to hear the claim that the global financial crisis will fundamentally change the world economy. In a new paper in the Lowy Institute's Perspectives series, Mark Thirlwell asks whether the changing facts about the world economy - plummeting growth, soaring risk aversion, collapsing commodity prices, and a massive expansion in the role of government – are so significant that we have to change our minds about the fundamental ways in which the world now works.

Obama's Inaugural Address and U.S. Foreign Policy: Lessons from History, January 2009
Dr Michael Fullilove

In this Perspective, Dr Michael Fullilove, who is currently based at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC, looks ahead to President-elect Barack Obama's inaugural address on 20 January. Obama is an unusually gifted writer and speaker with an old-fashioned attachment to speeches, who will likely address his vision for US foreign policy in his address. Dr Fullilove distills three lessons on the relationship between presidential language and foreign policy: foreign policy speeches should be well written but not overwritten; foreign policy rhetoric should be firmly tethered to foreign policy reality; and multiple and diverse audiences need to be addressed.

A Non-provocative Defence Posture for Australia, December 2008
Sam Roggeveen

In a new Lowy Institute Perspective, Sam Roggeveen makes the case for a non-provocative defence policy for Australia. We can ameliorate the security dilemma for our neighbours and reduce the likelihood of arms racing by giving up some of our offensive military capabilities.

Engineering Political Stability in Solomon Islands, October 2008
Jenny Hayward-Jones

The Lowy Institute and the Solomon Islands Working Committee on Political Party Integrity Reform held a conference in Honiara on 24 and 25 September 2008 to explore the potential for reforms to engineer greater political stability in Solomon Islands. The conference sought to identify mechanisms to address the endemic problems that have plagued the sustainable development and prosperity of Solomon Islands, including disparities between the demands of the Westminster system and society's expectations of members of parliament, weak political parties, flaws in the electoral system, frivolous use of motions of no confidence and corrupt practices.

The report of the conference and options for reform proposed by participants have been published in this Lowy Institute Perspective.

Asian Military Modernisation, October 2008
Richard C. Smith AO PSM

In this Lowy Institute Perspective, Visiting Fellow Ric Smith examines the patterns in Asian military spending in recent years. He demonstrates that the region's military modernisation does not equate with an arms race. This publication was originally a presentation delivered to the International Institute of Strategic Studies' 50th Anniversary Global Strategic Review in Geneva in early September 2008.

The Changing Global Financial Environment: Implications for Foreign Investment in Australia and China, July 2008
Dr Malcolm Cook and Mark Thirlwell

A surge in Chinese investment into Australia's resource sector has been making headlines in recent weeks. On 4 July, in conjunction with the Australia China Business Council and Monash University, the Lowy Institute participated in a forum on The Changing Global Financial Environment: Implications for Foreign Investment in Australia and China. The forum, which was also addressed by the Federal Treasurer, the Hon Wayne Swann MP, covered several topical policy issues including the evolving international financial environment; the rise of sovereign wealth funds and state-owned enterprise foreign investment; foreign investment in the Australian resource sector during the current resources boom; and growing Chinese outward investment and the Australia-China relationship. For more information about the conference, please see the Outcomes Report.

Hizbullah: Walking the Lebanese Tightrope, July 2008
Colonel Rodger Shanahan

Hizbullah’s month-long war with Israel in 2006, its withdrawal from and effective blocking of the Lebanese government later that year, and its May 2008 armed takeover of West Beirut has shown how politically and militarily powerful this group is. As a consequence it is often held up as the exemplar of radical Islamist organisations. Despite this, some recent miscalculations have shown that even Hizbullah can be vulnerable politically. In this new Lowy Institute Perspectives paper, Chief of Army Visiting Fellow Rodger Shanahan argues that despite its recent successes, like all political parties it faces challenges in the future. Its ability to face these challenges will determine its future viability, but at the moment they are likely to remain a strong force.

New Governments, New Beginnings: An Outlook On Korea-Australia Relations, June 2008
Dr Malcolm Cook

On 20 June, the Lowy Institute hosted a conference on the future of relations between Australia and South Korea under the new Rudd and Lee Myung-bak administrations with the support for the Australia-Korea Foundation. Both countries are self-identified middle powers allied to the United States and are involved as the weakest member in “strategic squares” with the United States, Japan and China. The conference focused on new areas of cooperation in trade, official development aid and multiculturalism, coordinating our respective alliance relationship with the United States in East Asia and beyond, and pushing for the expansion of the G-8. For more information on the conference, please read the outcomes report.

Labour Mobility: An Australian Seasonal Work Visa Scheme For Pacific Islands Labour, June 2008
Jenny Hayward-Jones

On 12-13 June 2008, the Lowy Institute hosted a conference to examine the questions associated with the possible introduction of a seasonal work visa scheme for Pacific Islanders in the Australian horticulture sector. The conference focused on the horticultural industry’s requirements for a stable and reliable workforce, the strong interest and capacity of Pacific Island countries suffering from high unemployment to take up seasonal employment in Australia, the importance of appropriate design of pilot programs and the likelihood that the benefits of establishing a seasonal labour scheme for Pacific Islanders would outweigh the social and economic costs of administering a scheme. For more information on this conference, please read the outcomes report.

Think Tanks and Foreign Policy, May 2008
Allan Gyngell

On the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the founding of the Lowy Institute for International Policy, Executive Director Allan Gyngell writes, in a paper in the Institute's Perspectives series, on the role of think tanks in shaping Australian foreign policy and in strengthening Australia's voice in the world.

The New Defence White Paper: Why We Need It and What It Needs to Do, April 2008
Professor Hugh White

In this Lowy Institute Perspective, Visiting Fellow Hugh White examines why Australia needs a new defence white paper, outlines the proper aims of such a project and identifies the pitfalls that need to be avoided.

He draws upon his experience in managing the development and drafting of Australia's 2000 defence white paper, arguing against any process which does not align strategic objectives, military capability plans and projected budgetary realities.

Liquid Terror: The Dynamics of Homegrown Radicalisation, December 2007
Waleed Aly

In a new Lowy Institute Perspectives, Waleed Aly explores the connection between international policy and domestic radicalisation.

A presentation to the Lowy Institute by Waleed Aly on this topic is available at: http://www.lowyinstitute.org/Publication.asp?pid=676.

Crunched: Lessons from the 2007 TLA Crisis, November 2007
Mark Thirlwell

In a new Lowy Instsitute Perspectives, Mark Thirlwell looks at the current turmoil in international financial markets. While this is often named after the US subprime sector in which it originated, he suggests that an alternative description could be the TLA crisis, given the profusion of three letter acronyms such as MBS, CDO and SIV deployed in any analysis of developments. Mark argues that recent events tell us something important about the current financial system and its vulnerability to crisis, and provide some significant lessons for regulators and central banks.

Institutionalising Interests: Japan-Australia Relations in the 21st Century, November 2007
Dr Malcolm Cook

On 12 October, the Lowy Institute hosted a conference, featuring six Japanese speakers, on the future of Australia-Japan relations, on the back of the joint declaration on security cooperation and the commencement of free trade deal talks. Japan has been Australia's closest regional diplomatic ally and major export market for decades. The Institute received generous support for the conference from the Australia-Japan Foundation and the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Sydney. For more information on the content of the conference, please read the outcomes report.

Africa's Trajectory: Through the Long Lens, October 2007
Philip Green OAM

The Lowy Institute is pleased to announce the launch of a 'Perspectives on Africa' page on its website under Programs & Projects. Reflecting both growing interest in Africa and a desire to present more nuanced portrayals of the African continent, the page will provided a regularly updated site for analyses, opinion pieces and speeches by scholars of and visitors to the Lowy Institute.

The Lowy Institute is launching its 'Perspectives on Africa' page with an analysis by Australian diplomat Philip Green on Africa's changing prospects. Green critically examines the commonplace perception of Africa as a continent of little more than war, famine and plague and identifies a number of positive trends in Africa's development going forward.

The Khmer Rouge Tribunal: An Ambiguous Good News Story, August 2007
Dr Milton Osborne

In a new Lowy Institute Perspectives, Milton Osborne reviews the ambiguous history of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal and analyses its prospects and limitations.

He argues that the Cambodian government has been hesitant to see the tribunal come into being, a position shared by China, and that it will only prosecute a small number of those associated with the tyrannical Pol Pot regime. Even so, it will play some part in assuaging Cambodia's national pain.

Milton Osborne, a Visiting Fellow at the Lowy Institute and an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Asian Studies at the Australian National University, is one of Australia's best-known Cambodia experts.

Still Looking to America: Labor and the US Alliance, August 2007
Dr Michael Fullilove

On 9 August 2007, Dr Michael Fullilove delivered the John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library Visiting Scholar’s Public Lecture for 2007 at Curtin University. The lecture, entitled 'Still looking to America: Labor and the US alliance', is available here in the Lowy Institute's Perspectives series.

Building on Strong Foundations: The Future of the China-Australia Relationship, July 2007
Dr Malcolm Cook

On 17-18 May, the Lowy Institute co-hosted a conference on the future of China-Australia relations with the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs and the Tianda Institute. The conference focused on the growing national and regional importance of this bilateral relationship based on economic complementarity but political and strategic differences. For more information on this conference, please read the outcomes report.

The Bangkok Challenge: From Conflict to Cooperation and Beyond, Outcomes Report, June 2007
Dr Malcolm Cook

On 15 May, the Lowy Institute co-hosted with the George Institute for International Health a seminar on Thailand's recent decision to issue a compulsory licence for a patented heart drug. This decision has reignited the debate over the patent rights of innovating pharmaceutical companies and the growing public health care demands of poorer countries. It was the first time a developing country had used the WTO rules on compulsory licensing outside of the HIV/AIDS area. For more information on the seminar, please read the outcomes report.

Australia and New Zealand in a Globalising World, May 2007
Allan Gyngell , Dr David Skilling , Mark Thirlwell

The fourth annual Australia-New Zealand Leadership Forum was held in Sydney on 22 and 23 April this year. The Lowy Institute's Executive Director, Allan Gyngell, and the Director of the International Economy program, Mark Thirlwell, together with the founding Chief Executive of the New Zealand Institute, David Skilling, spoke to the forum on the challenges posed to both economies by globalisation's successes and its failures. Their presentation is now available as part of the Lowy Institute's Perspectives series.

The Water Politics of China and Southeast Asia II: Rivers, Dams, Cargo Boats and the Environment, May 2007
Dr Milton Osborne

In a new Lowy Institute Perspectives, Milton Osborne, a visiting fellow at the Institute, evaluates the social and economic impacts for the littoral states of the damming of the Salween River and the opening of the Mekong River to large cargo boats. Both of these processes are being driven by China's rapid economic growth and are integrating China more closely with continental Southeast Asia. Yet, as Milton's earlier work for the Institute on the Mekong emphasises, not all is smooth sailing and the regional politics of water management are bound to become more contentious.

Dealing with a Democratic Indonesia: The Yudhoyono Years, March 2007
Ken Ward

In a new Lowy Institute Perspective entitled Dealing with a democratic Indonesia: the Yudhoyono Years, Ken Ward analyses how democratisation is changing Indonesia's political system, what challenges are facing democratic consolidation and how Canberra should respond. Ken is one of Australia's best Indonesia analysts and has observed the country for over forty years, both from inside and outside government.

International Liquidity, March 2007
Dr Stephen Grenville AO

In this new paper in the Perspectives series, Visiting Fellow Stephen Grenville argues that the term 'liquidity' has too many meanings for it to be analytically useful.

From National to International Climate Change Policy, March 2007
Professor Warwick McKibbin

In the Sir Leslie Melville Lecture entitled 'From National to International Climate Change Policy', Professor Warwick McKibbin argues that major countries must respond to the issue of climate change, taking into account the enormous uncertainties that are involved. He discusses the key features of the climate change policy problem and outlines what is required in a policy framework that would allow an effective but flexible response to curbing greenhouse gas emissions both nationally and globally.

He also addresses the issue of whether there is an economic case for Australia to lead the world in the design and implementation of a market-based approach before a global system is implemented. It is argued that starting with a series of national systems which are coordinated across countries to create a global system is the only sensible way forward on climate change policy.

Advancing the National Interest in a Globalising World: Australia's International Policy in the 21st Century, February 2007
Dr Nick Bisley

In December 2006, the Lowy Institute for International Policy hosted a seminar on 'Australia and World'. The seminar built on the contemporaneous launch of three Lowy Papers on the Australian economy, foreign and defence policy. Leading scholars, commentators and practitioners were asked to talk about the major international trends likely to shape Australian interests over the coming years, and what policy settings would be required to deal with them.

Attached is a Lowy Institute Perspective by Dr Nick Bisley, who was the rapporteur at the seminar. This Perspective is not a summary of the proceedings but the response of one participant to the debate and discussion.

Globalisation and Capital Flows: Unfinished Business in The International Financial Architecture, February 2006
Dr Stephen Grenville AO

In this Lowy Institute Perspective, Stephen Grenville argues that volatile international capital flows are once again becoming a problem for emerging market economies.

These countries would be in a stronger position to manage these flows if the “international financial architecture” – the rules, procedures and understandings that surround international financial flows – were strengthened to endorse Chilean-style short-term capital inflow controls, and to improve the international crisis management measures.

After Iraq, December 2006
Owen Harries

In this new Perspective, Owen Harries, one of Australia's leading commentators and a Visiting Fellow at the Lowy Institute, writes on US and Australian foreign policy 'After Iraq'.

In the last three and a half years, 'Iraq' has come to stand for many things beyond a geographical location and a state: a political and moral commitment; the first testing of a new and hugely ambitious strategic doctrine; a bloody, many-sided conflict involving terrible atrocities; examples of hubris and incompetence; a bitter debate and some startling second thoughts. Now, as it appears increasingly as if the whole episode may be approaching its end, Owen Harries discusses its consequences and the lessons it might turn out to hold: for the United States, who initiated it all; for Australia, who has given its ally undeviating support; and for the international system as a whole.

This Perspective is adapted from a speech Mr Harries gave at the Lowy Institute on 29 November.

Macroeconomic Policy Challenges for New Zealand: Monetary Policy, November 2006
Dr Stephen Grenville AO

New Zealand is a small open economy in a globalised world. The close linkages with international financial markets present challenges for domestic stabilisation policy, which are explored in this paper in the Lowy Institute Perspectives series. There may be lessons, too, for Australia as financial markets become increasingly integrated internationally. These issues raise, once again, the desirability of even closer economic linkages across the Tasman.

Regional and Global Responses to the Asian Crisis, October 2006
Dr Stephen Grenville AO

In this Lowy Institute Perspective, Dr Stephen Grenville asks how economic policymaking changed as a result of the Asian crisis of 1997-8, in the countries affected, in the region, and at the global level. It is perhaps surprising how little change has occurred in the broad approach to economic policy, but there is a much greater awareness of the vulnerabilities posed by large international capital flows. The broad tenets of the Washington Consensus, with its market-based policies, remain in place, but there is a recognition that well-functioning markets require complex institutions, rules and procedures, and that these take time and effort to develop. Most of this institutional development will have to take place at the national level, but regional arrangements can offer support, and multilateral agencies (such as the International Monetary Fund) have learned from the crisis.

Australians and Indonesians: The Lowy Institute Poll 2006, October 2006
Professor Murray Goot

In this Lowy Institute Perspective, Murray Goot, Professor of Politics and International Relations at Macquarie University, compares Australian and Indonesian public opinion on foreign policy, global affairs, and each other, using the results of the Lowy Institute Poll 2006.

Balancing Australia's Security Interests, September 2006
Allan Gyngell

Lowy Institute Executive Director Allan Gyngell delivered a speech to the Global Forces 2006 Conference at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute on 27 September 2006.

Is a "New Middle East" possible? August 2006
Ambassador Martin Indyk

A new Lowy Institute Perspective by Ambassador Martin Indyk asks the question 'Is a "New Middle East" possible? This Perspective is based on a recent speech by Ambassador Indyk, a Lowy Institute board member, at the Conservatorium of Music in Sydney.

Australia-Indonesia Roundtable on the future of Australia-Indonesia, August 2006
Dr Malcolm Cook

On 4 July, the Lowy Institute organised an expert roundtable on the future of Australia-Indonesia relations. The half-day event focused on three foundational political and social changes sweeping Indonesia – democratisation, decentralisation and Islamisation – and how these are affecting its political system, government and international policy. Democratisation and decentralisation together are vastly increasing the number of influential voices in Indonesia, both within the formal political system and in the wider community. Australian understanding of Indonesia needs to take these significant and ongoing changes into full consideration or risk having an incomplete and out-dated view of our closest Asian neighbour.

Milton and the Terrorist Mind, June 2006
Simon Haines

In an address to the Lowy Institute on 7 July 2006, Dr Simon Haines showed how great works of literature can throw light on contemporary problems.

He used the example of Milton’s portrayal of Satan in Paradise Lost to examine an extremist, terrorist pathology of an ideological or fundamentalist kind, and thereby opened a window on to the terrorist impulse that is concerned less with global politics than the human condition.

Dr Simon Haines is Reader in English and Head of the School of Humanities at the Australian National University.

In Praise of Hypocrisy: The Role of "Values" in Foreign Policy, May 2006
James Fallows

A new Lowy Institute Perspective authored by the eminent American journalist James Fallows and entitled In Praise of Hypocrisy: The Role of ‘Values’ in Foreign Policy has been released.

Mr Fallows’s essay is adapted from a speech he delivered to the Lowy Institute’s recent conference on ‘Values and Foreign Policy’. He argues that for countries such as the US and Australia the inclusion of values in national foreign policy is unavoidable – and that the surest way of advancing the nation’s values is to recognize how little one nation can actually do.

James Fallows is one of the United States’s leading journalists and authors. He is National Correspondent at The Atlantic Monthly, where he has worked for more than two decades. His article about the likely consequences of victory in Iraq, ‘The Fifty First State?’, won the 2003 National Magazine Award.

The people have spoken: elections and the future of Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking, April 2006
Anthony Bubalo

In this new Lowy Institute Perspective, Research Fellow Anthony Bubalo examines the results of recent Palestinian and Israeli elections and their implications for Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking.

The Trouble with Trade: the International Trading System after Hong Kong, March 2006
Mark Thirlwell

In December last year, Hong Kong hosted the sixth World Trade Organization (WTO) ministerial meeting. In this paper in the Institute’s Perspectives series Mark Thirlwell, director of the international economy program, asks why it proved so difficult to secure a substantive agreement at Hong Kong, and discusses what this tells us about the health of the international trading system.

Given what appears to be a declining appetite for multilateral liberalisation, the odds on a successful conclusion to the Doha Round within the currently envisioned timetable have again worsened. As a result, it seems likely that the action on trade liberalisation, such as it is, will remain at the bilateral and regional level. Since such agreements have several problematic features, past and future trade deals based on this template should be subjected to rigorous and independent review in order to minimise the risks associated with a trade strategy based around preferential trade.

Japan: Ripe for Re-assessment, February 2006
Dr Malcolm Cook and Huw McKay

In this new Perspectives, Malcolm Cook, Program Director Asia & the Pacific at the Lowy Institute, and Huw McKay, Senior International Economist at Westpac, argue that the conventional wisdom on Japan is outdated. Japan is experiencing three powerful transformations that are well entrenched and explain Japan’s revived economy, more assertive political leaders, and tougher international policy.

Japanese corporate balance sheets have recovered boosting asset prices and credit demand. Political reforms have empowered individual political leaders and permitted Prime Minister Koizumi to be the most influential Japanese leader for decades. Japan’s international policy has responded by focusing more directly on the national interest and perceived threats to it. The new Japan creates new opportunities and challenges for Australia in the Asia Pacific. Ignoring these transformations risks missing the new opportunities and being surprised by the new challenges.

Japan's 'New Internationalism', December 2005
Dr Malcolm Cook

Dr Malcolm Cook spoke at the Australia-Japan Roundtable on 25 November. His response to a presentation by the new Japanese Consul-General looked at the domestic and regional causes of recent changes to Japanese foreign policy.

Shaking the World? China and the World Economy, August 2005
Mark Thirlwell

A favourite cliché of China watchers has been the Napoleonic aphorism: 'Let China sleep; when she wakes, she will shake the world.' In this paper in the Lowy Institute’s Perspectives series, Mark Thirlwell asks whether a resurgent China is 'shaking' the world economy and reshaping our international economic environment. This paper was originally delivered to a conference on 'The Chinese economy – impact on Korea and Australia' held at the Lowy Institute on 5 August 2005.

The Pacific: Beyond Post-colonialism and the Pacific Way, a New Era? May 2005
Dr Malcolm Cook

On 13 May 2005, the Lowy Institute, with the support of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, hosted a roundtable that brought together Australia’s Pacific Heads of Mission and representatives from the business community, not-for-profit sector, academia and media. After discussing the new assertiveness in Australia-Pacific relations, the discussion focused on three firm policy recommendations for the Pacific and for Australia-Pacific relations: 1) increase labour mobility between Pacific countries and Australia and New Zealand; 2) enhance the understanding of the role of the private sector in economic development in the Pacific; and 3) encourage Pacific states to adopt a “look North” policy to leverage East Asia’s economic dynamism and balance their strong ties with Australia and New Zealand.

New Voices 2005, Binding the World Together, June 2005
Dr Malcolm Cook

On 10 June 2005, the Lowy Institute hosted its second annual New Voices conference. The New Voices initiative is part of the Institute’s outreach efforts and serves three main goals: 1) to introduce the Institute and some of the bigger questions it grapples with to a new audience; 2) to provide engaged early-career people from a variety of backgrounds with a platform to express their insights and ideas on important issues of international policy; and 3) to facilitate professional cross-pollination and relationship-building.

China and the International Economy, May 2005
Mark Thirlwell

Mark Thirlwell took part in a panel discussion on 18 March marking the launch of the CEDA research report, China in Australia's Future. Mark also contributed the overview chapter, a copy of which is available from the CEDA web site (www.ceda.com.au) along with information about the full report. A copy of Mark's paper is also available as part of the Lowy Institute's Perspectives series.

Grand Strategy, National Security and the Australian Defence Force, May 2005
Dr Alan Dupont

In this paper in the Perspectives series, Dr Alan Dupont argues that Australia needs an overarching national security strategy to deal with the very different security challenges of the 21st century. Without one, Australia will be condemned to repeat the mistakes of the past where policy is made on the run, there is no benchmark for matching ends with means, our security concerns are too often conflated with military threats and policy makers lack crucial coordination and implementation tools. Moroever, there ought to be a wider and sustained debate about Australia's future sources of power and influence and an examination of the elements of national power, how we should wield it and to what purpose.

Staying the Course: AusAID's Governance Performance in Indonesia, April 2005
Geoff Forrester

The Australian government's unprecedented $1 billion response to Indonesia's tsunami recovery more than doubled Australian aid to Indonesia. It enhanced the role of aid in Australia-Indonesia relations and put new strains on Australia's aid program in Indonesia. Geoff Forrester's paper in the Perspectives series looks at the underlying weaknesses in the governance elements of this program and provides feasible recommendations on how to address them. Acknowledging and addressing these institutional and policy weaknesses is a pressing matter.

A New, New World Order? Challenges for International Economic Policy in the New Millennium, March 2005
Mark Thirlwell

With rising levels of cross-border economic integration, the emergence of new Asian economic powers and growing strains on the international economic architecture the claim is sometimes made that we are witnessing the emergence of a new international economic order. In this paper in the Lowy Institute Perspectives series, Mark Thirlwell asks whether these changes warrant such a description and considers some of the challenges they might pose for international economic policy.

Getting the Job Done: Iraq and the Malayan Emergency, February 2005
Dr Milton Osborne

Dealing with the entrenched insurgency in Iraq is the largest task facing the new Iraqi government, Washington and its allies. In a new Lowy Institute Perspectives, Dr. Milton Osborne, one of Australia's leading historians of Southeast Asia, analyses what lessons we can draw for Iraq from colonial Britain's successful counter-insurgency campaign during the Malayan Emergency. Dr. Osborne argues that the communist insurgency in Malaya had much shallower roots than the Sunni-led insurgency in Iraq, while the British colonial authorities were in a much better position to tackle the insurgency aggressively than the new interim government in Iraq or the United States-led multilateral forces. Despite these more favourable conditions, the Malayan Emergency lasted for 12 years and required a very heavy application of military and police force. The roots of success in Malaya suggest that the Iraqi insurgency is a long-term problem with no easy solutions.

The Outlook for the Global Economy in 2005: Dealing with An Unbalanced World, December 2004
Mark Thirlwell

Mark Thirlwell takes a look at the outlook for the world economy next year and highlights four downside risks to the consensus forecast.

Parallel Worlds, September 2004
Allan Gyngell

Depending on the way we look at the world at present it is possible to see the international system as unipolar or multipolar, as intensely inter-connected or deeply divided. Each of these angles of view reveals important truths about the global environment.

Allan Gyngell looks at the lessons Australia needs to learn from the interaction of these Parallel Worlds.

New Voices 2004, A La Carte Sovereignty: Australia's Transforming Borders, May 2004
Conference proceedings

On Friday 28 May 2004, the Lowy Institute organised the inaugural New Voices Conference which examined the changing nature of Australia's borders across a wide range of issues. The conference brought together, in an informal and interactive forum, a small group of early-career people from a wide range of relevant backgrounds. Participants were selected from the fields of international law, international relations, international civil society, investment banking, the media, policy advisers and key government agencies. The conference tackled issues ranging from global market consolidaton to the likely impact of the International Criminal Court to Australia's reactions to the new wave of global terrorism.

The published proceedings provide a flavour of the day's dynamic discussions and provide unique insights into Australia from young, knowledgeable people with few other public channels of communication.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Assessing Criticism of the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement, June 2004
Mark Thirlwell

Criticism of the Australia-US FTA has come from a wide range of sources, running the gamut from free-trade economists through to protectionist-minded economic nationalists. While the breadth of views has made the discussion interesting, it has also made it confusing.

Mark Thirlwell seeks to bring some clarity to the debate over the FTA by providing a critical assessment of some of the key arguments, distinguishing between those that have some merit, those that appear somewhat dubious, and those that remain tough to evaluate.

Integration: "Think Global, Act Regional" April 2004
Dr Stephen Grenville AO

As international integration continues, the scarcity of rules governing these cross-country relationships becomes more pressing. The multilateral framework has gone some distance to proving international rules, but these can be usefully supplemented both by regional efforts to get a louder voice in international rule-making and by regional institutions.

Within the East Asian region, efforts have been intensified since the Asian crisis. Whatever the pace and final outcome of these efforts, Australia ought to be part of the debate. Of course, we can only do so by invitation, but we should demonstrate our readiness to take part, and show our credentials as a country that can offer different and complementary skills and attitudes.

A version of this paper will be included in a volume on Regional Integration in the Asia Pacific, to be published jointly by the OECD, the Hawke Centre and the Academy of Sciences at the end of 2004.

Wither the Anglosphere? April 2004
Dr Michael Fullilove

Michael Fullilove, Program Director, Global Issues, argues that a closer association of English-speaking nations (Anglosphere) is not a sustainable organising principle for foreign relations.



Source: Lowy Institute