If there’s one thing we can be confident about at the moment, it’s that policymakers won’t be turning to international relations (IR) specialists for advice on how to handle a truly global problem. Most of us are accustomed to being studiously ignored, but it’s still a bit deflating.
So Mr Hockey goes to Washington. The former treasurer will take up his post at the Australian chancery on Massachusetts Avenue early in the new year.
Hockey's appointment, percolating through Canberra circles for months now, has drawn fire from several quarters. Conservative columnist Janet
Malcolm Turnbull's visit to Jakarta this week did not signal any drastic changes for the direction of the Australia-Indonesia relationship, but it did leave relations considerably warmer than before. So warm, in fact, that both the prime minister and his Indonesian counterpart were forced to remove
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and British Prime Minister David Cameron last week (Photo:Getty Images)
A week after the crash of a Russian airliner carrying 224 passengers in the Sinai desert its official cause is yet to be established. Evidence is increasingly pointing to foul play or
Later today, Indonesian President Joko Widodo will become only the latest Asian leader to arrive at the White House for consultations with President Barack Obama. But Obama’s talks with Jokowi, as the president of the world's third largest democracy is known, will be quite different from his
A few days ago a suggestion was made on Crikey that DFAT, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, should be scrapped. I was tempted to ignore it, because as far as I can tell, the author, Jason Murphy, based his call largely on the fact that he just doesn't like free trade agreements
It's leaders' week at the UN. The 70th Session of the General Assembly is open for business under the Presidency of Mogens Lykketoft of Denmark. General-Secretary Ban Ki-Moon is presiding over his penultimate session; next year he will be replaced by an 'Eastern European woman,' if Russia's
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has just announced that Australia will bid for a seat on the UN Security Council in 2029-30.
That's 15 years from the end of our last Security Council seat (2013-14). But it compares against the 27 years between our fourth and fifth outings at the Security Council.
Having a Catholic Pope and the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China descend on Washington at almost exactly the same time helped illustrate something important about diplomacy. When staging a high-level state visit, there is a simple choice: emphasise either the head or the heart. This
When the rest of the world dealt with Australia in the past, it was familiar figures that emerged from the VIP planes and who stretched out their experienced hands. For over a decade during the Howard years, Australia not only had the same prime minister, but also the same foreign affairs minister,
Following a community outcry over the plight of asylum seekers in Europe, the Australian Government has announced that it will resettle 12,000 Syrian and Iraqi refugees. This will be in addition to the annual refugee and humanitarian intake of 13,750. Prime Minister Tony Abbott has described the
By Yanmei Xie, International Crisis Group’s Senior China Analyst, and Rachel Vandenbrink, graduate student at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy of Tufts University.
China’s unsuccessful invitation to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to attend the 70th anniversary celebrations of the
In March 2011, the Syrian people started their national uprising, motivated by the Arab Spring and following decades of oppression under the dynastic Assad regime.
The peaceful uprising lasted for an entire year. The Syrian regime confronted it with violence and directed its security forces, and
The US and Russia are reportedly promoting a concert-of-powers approach to new negotiations over Syria.
Although any movement toward a political solution will be limited by the unwillingness of ISIS and other Islamists to engage in such a process, recent intelligence contact between the Syrians and
Indonesia's President Jokowi will welcome Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Jakarta today, making it his third meeting with an international leader this week. Jokowi hosted British Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday and visited Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Tuesday in a
In a new Lowy Institute Paper, former ONA analyst Ken Ward makes the case for 'more realistic' expectations for the Australia-Indonesia relationship.
He writes that despite years of Australian governments prioritising the relationship, it continues to be marked by tensions and crises. The recent
It remains too early to predict the collapse of the Assad regime, or the way in which it might end, although the possibility of 'catastrophic success' on the part of the jihadist opposition is weighing on minds in Washington.
What is clear, however, are grounds for serious concern about the
The conclusion of the Iran nuclear deal – or the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, to give it its formal title – has already guaranteed us one thing: mutually assured hyperbole.
Barrages of outrage were being fired even before the deal was signed. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Six months into its membership of the UN Security Council, New Zealand will get to wield the gavel at the famed horseshoe table in New York over the course of this month.
Occupying the president's chair will be the Kiwi's new Permanent Representative, Gerard van Bohemen, a refreshingly direct and
Two hundred years ago last Friday, British and allied troops defeated Napoleon at Waterloo. Exiled in April 1814 to Elba after his defeat by the Sixth Coalition, by March 1815 Napoleon had escaped and returned to Paris. Much of the army of Louis XVIII, the newly installed King of France, deserted to
Danielle Cave has argued that Australia could benefit from a less cautious approach to digital diplomacy. For example, the increasing informality of Foreign Minister Julie Bishop's Twitter presence has led to new audiences. Would Buzzfeed have bothered to interview Bishop if she hadn't agreed to
At a time when international cooperation on refugees is most sorely needed, countries are instead resorting to increasing unilateralism. Australia is at the forefront. Retreating inwards by trying to seal off borders to people in search of protection is both unrealistic and unsustainable.
In recent years, strategic rivalry between India and China has been evident across the Indo-Pacific, with Beijing progressively growing its diplomatic, economic and military influence on India's land and maritime periphery, and India belatedly pushing back to preserve its once privileged position in
Australia's approach to digital diplomacy is second-rate and entirely inadequate for a nation that sees itself as 'a top 20 country'. Despite an expanded social media presence, Australia continues to lag far behind other countries – large and small – that are investing serious resources into
Last month, a majority of the Republicans in the US Senate sent an open letter to the leadership of Iran.
In it, they declared that any deal on Iranian nuclear technology between Tehran and the Obama Administration might be undone by Republicans in Washington, especially if they re-take the White
You might wonder whether the result of the recent second round of French departmental elections – with Nicolas Sarkozy taking credit for the UMP's win of 67 departments, trouncing Francois Hollande's Socialists, who got 34 – has anything to do with Australian
On 3 March, Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said, 'We must use the celebration of International Women's Day to highlight the plight of women still fighting for freedom and equality, for when that is achieved it will be for the betterment of us all.'
That fight is ongoing in the Asia-
To everyone's surprise, it was announced on Monday that Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop intends to travel to Tehran in April 2015. The visit isn't about the nuclear negotiations with Iran. After all, while Australia would rather not see Iran go nuclear, it isn't exactly a foreign policy
One of Australia's last acts on the UN Security Council was to vote against a resolution being brought by the Palestinian Authority.
Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel and John Key, Prime Minister of New Zealand, 2009
Washington regarded this piece of paper as so one-sided against Israel
January should be called pundit accountability month. On websites such as this, we make all sorts of predictions and forecasts, or we identify structural trends or leadership changes as critical, and so on. The temptation to choose our ideologically-preferred independent variables, or to otherwise
As haggard negotiators left the UN climate change conference in Lima in the early hours of Sunday morning, many observers noted the contrast between the political acrimony that characterised the final days of these tortured discussions and the sense of optimism that many felt going into the talks
Two years ago, I wrote that the Myanmar Police Force (MPF) was gradually being recognised as a large, increasingly powerful and influential organisation that, in a more civilianised form, was likely to become a key instrument of state control under the hybrid civilian-military Government inaugurated
Tom Allard recently reported in the Sydney Morning Herald that Australia and East Timor are ready to restart talks on the maritime boundary between the two countries, with all its complications of petroleum revenues and history. The tradition is to keep these talks under wraps, but Allard's article
This morning it was announced that the nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5-1 have been extended for another seven months; or to be specific, another four months to reach a political agreement and another three months beyond that to finalise technical details.
That the talks did not end
Part 1 of this two-part series here.
I would argue that, for the Obama Administration, a nuclear deal with Iran is central to its recalibration of America's policy and posture in the Middle East. Of course it is not explicitly articulated that way, and for obvious reasons cannot be, but it's not
Thirty years ago to the week, New Caledonia was torn apart by violent protests. The pro-independence FLNKS boycotted an election and town halls were burned throughout the country. It provoked a four-year long civil war euphemistically known as 'the events'.
At first, Australia supported the Kanak
Narendra Modi has just concluded his first visit to Australia, the first by any Indian prime minister in 28 years. Combined with Prime Minister Abbott's visit to India in September and multilateral interactions at the East Asia Summit and G20, this marks an unprecedented level of engagement between
Asia's summit season kicks off this week with the 20th APEC 'economic leaders' meeting in Beijing. The region's political jamborees have become very cluttered of late and leaders from all of Asia's key powers may become a little tired with one another's company. After APEC they will jet to Naypyidaw
A few months ago I stood on a beach in Tarawa, the most populous of islands comprising the Micronesian nation of Kiribati. It's long and thin sliver of land where you can walk from one side of the island to the other in minutes. It has a population density up to twice that of Sydney or New York, but
It is certainly fitting to examine Gough Whitlam's foreign policy record and considerable achievements. However, in seeking to whitewash the controversy over Whitlam's role leading up to Indonesia's brutal invasion of East Timor in December 1975, Gary Hogan's piece does us all a great disservice.
As commentators rightly eulogise Gough Whitlam's foreign policy achievements, most of the attention has focused on his grand outreach to communist China and the independence of Papua New Guinea. These two acts were conspicuous hallmarks of Whitlam's game-changing diplomatic moments.
A 1979 Peter
A few times over the past year, Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop has referred to Australia as a 'top 20 nation' or a 'top 20 country'. She prefers this to the standard description of Australia as a middle power, a term she has mostly avoided. As she responded to the Sydney Morning Herald's
By Catherine King MP, Federal Shadow Minister For Health and the Member for Ballarat.
The Ebola crisis is no longer a humanitarian crisis for West Africa; it now poses a direct threat to world economic growth and if not contained, will spread well beyond the borders of Sierra Leone, Liberia and
The latest news from the ABC bunker is that while Lateline may survive the latest round of cuts, the bureaux in Tokyo and Delhi may be shut down.
The ABC Board met yesterday, reportedly to decide on measures to achieve efficiencies of up to $100m following the Budget and the Lewis Review, and in
The rapidly escalating situation in Iraq is a major test for US foreign policy. President Obama, who outlined in his West Point address a policy of selective US engagement and sharply circumscribed US military power, now faces unpalatable decisions about reengaging in Iraq.
But there is a