Tuesday 21 May 2019 | 04:08 | SYDNEY
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Global Issues

The Global Issues program examines themes that lie at the intersection of global political trends and Australia’s interests, specifically US foreign policy, global migration & multilateral institutions.

The program has published ground-breaking papers on diasporas, the provision of consular assistance to Australians overseas, and Australia’s asylum-seeker policy.


Latest Publications

Wall on Wall in Berlin

German photographer Kai Wiendenhofer has photographed some of the world's most contentious and heavily defended barriers, from Belfast to Korea to Israel to Mexico. Some of his work is now on display in mural form in Berlin, exhibited on remains of the Berlin Wall. Below you see a Berlin local

Global growth gloom: Let's calm down

The IMF has updated its forecasts for global growth. The Financial Times reports that the IMF has 'slashed its forecasts' and that 'the downgrades highlight the gathering clouds around the world economy'. The Wall Street Journal opens its reporting on the update like this: 'investor fears that the

Interview: Adam Alter part III

Here's part 3 of my interview with Adam Alter, author of Drunk Tank Pink: An Other Unexpected Forces that Shape how we Think, Feel and Behave, in which we've discussed the subtle non-verbal cues that make up such an important but neglected part of international business and diplomacy. Here's part 1

Flying through the zombie apocalypse

My review of World War Z got some attention over the weekend thanks to tweets from colleagues and RTs from a number of others. My thanks in particular to a couple of readers who pointed out that, although I said that the scene in the film showing a C-130 Hercules taking off from an aircraft carrier

HIV: 30 years old and still drawing a global crowd

Thirty years after HIV first started to make global headlines, it's still doing it, but this time for what is deceptively good news.  At this week's International AIDS Conference in Kuala Lumpur, there was the remarkable announcement that two previously HIV-positive men no longer had any

(R)evolution in Brazil?

Patrick Carvalho is the former Head of the Economic Studies Division at the Federation of Industries of Rio de Janeiro and co-author of Great Southern Lands: Building Ties Between Australia and Brazil. Is Brazil next? Following the Arab uprisings, and most recently the Turkish one, protests in

World War Z a colossal disappointment

For those who enjoyed Max Brooks' novel and saw the recently released Brad Pitt feature, the above Venn diagram (courtesy of The Oatmeal) surely says it all. What a colossal disappointment the film was. I had my doubts from the beginning, and wondered whether the cinema was really the right

The bipartisan route to St Petersburg

Mike Callaghan is Director of the Lowy Institute's G20 Studies Centre. Prime Minister Rudd has confirmed that he will attend the G20 St Petersburg Summit on 5-6 September. This is welcome. Continuing doubt over whether an election on 14 September would preclude the prime minister attending the St

Clive James: Politics and The Sopranos

With the death of actor James Gandolfini, Clive James has written a short new introduction to a brilliant essay he wrote ten years ago celebrating The Sopranos, which starred Gandolfini and which was the show that arguably began the modern renaissance of TV drama.  In fact, 'renaissance' might

Reader riposte: Cholera in Haiti

Alasdair Stuart responds to last Friday's piece about the cholera outbreak in Haiti: Uh this may seem trivial, but cholera is BACTERIAL. Antibiotics work really well — you can actually see the critters (with a microscope). It's not a VIRUS (really tiny, laughs at antibiotics). Nice article

Cholera in Haiti: Is UN immunity now impunity?

Sara Dehm is a PhD researcher working on international law, global institutions and migration governance at the Melbourne Law School. Last month, advocates for over 5000 Haitians affected by a mass cholera outbreak gave the UN an ultimatum: either the UN agrees to meet or mediate their negligence

Trailer: The Impossible Image

Above, some footage from a new documentary called The Impossible Image, interspersed with commentary from photographer Richard Mosse, who took the unusual step of traveling to the Democratic Republic of Congo to photograph the civil war on infrared film. I loved this quote from Mosse: Of

G8 Summit: Lessons for the G20

Mike Callaghan is Director of the Lowy Institute's G20 Studies Centre. Lough Erne, Northern Ireland, the site of the recent G8 summit, was chosen to inspire leaders, with Northern Ireland demonstrating that even the most intractable problems can be resolved. Were leaders inspired? David Cameron

Afghanistan's women: Patchy gains under threat

Susanne Schmeidl is co-founder of the Afghan NGO, The Liaison Office. In 2009 Afghan President Hamid Karzai enacted, by presidential decree, a law on the Elimination of Violence Against Women (EVAW). The law, which provided broad protections for for women and girls from a range of violent actions

Reader riposte: Roosevelt's five envoys

Steve Weintz responds to this video of Foreign Minister Bob Carr and Lowy Institute Executive Director Michael Fullilove talking at the launch of Michael's new book, Rendezvous with Destiny: How Franklin D Roosevelt and Five Extraordinary Men Took America Into the War and Into the World: What a

Friday funny: Chris Christie

I don't know a whole lot about Governor Chris Christie, but I know he worships Springsteen, and he can do this: Christie vs Hillary? That could be a fun presidential race. (H/t Tastefully Offensive

Interview: Kishore Mahbubani's great convergence

Kishore Mahbubani's latest book, The Great Convergence, offers political, strategic and economic analysis on the grandest scale. The book was inspired by FT columnist Martin Wolf's opinion piece from 2011, which argued that 'far and away the biggest single fact about our world' is that developing

China's agenda in Switzerland (and Europe)

Dr Daniel Woker is the former Swiss Ambassador to Australia and now a Senior Lecturer at the University of St Gallen. For his first trip abroad as Chinese premier last month, Li Keqiang went to India and Pakistan and then continued to Switzerland and Germany before heading back home. Germany

Reader riposte: Taxing Americans abroad

Darryl Daugherty writes from Bangkok: In her comments published 12 June 2013, it seems Janet Magnin may be under some misapprehensions concerning the American electoral system. Owing to the constitutionally mandated role of the Electoral College, Americans voting for president do so at the

PRISM: Less privacy = more freedom?

The privacy vs security debate that has been opened up by The Guardian's revalations about NSA snooping reminds me of Scott Adams' unconventional take on this topic from 6 May: The only reason law enforcement can afford to act against drug users, or prostitution, or gambling, for example, is

Obama-Xi: Good tone, but challenges ahead

Michael Green served on the US National Security Council staff from 2001-2005 and is now Senior Vice President for Asia at CSIS and a non-resident fellow at the Lowy Institute. The pundits gave a variety of bad advice to President Obama going into the Sunnylands Summit with Xi Jinping. One

Obama-Xi: Not too hot, not too cold

Many readers know the lines from the 19th century fable about Goldilocks and the three bears: 'not too hot, not too cold, just right.' Those lines come to mind when reading the mostly positive initial reports of the informal summit between presidents Obama and Xi. These two leaders needed to get

Aid after 2015: New donors show muscle

Philippa Brant is a Research Associate at the Lowy Institute. Danielle Romanes is a research assistant in the Lowy Institute's Myer Foundation Melanesia Program. Since the beginning of this century the aid provided by the developing BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) is

In conversation: Fullilove on US envoys

On Monday I talked with Lowy Institute Executive Director Michael Fullilove about his new book Rendezvous with Destiny: How Franklin D Roosevelt and Five Extraordinary Men Took America Into the War and Into the World. Every time I read a book about World War II I feel both lucky and slightly

Post-MDG development framework emerging

Garth Luke leads World Vision's analysis of government aid policies. Last Friday the next set of global anti-poverty and sustainability goals took a big step closer to agreement. The UN High Level Panel of Eminent Persons (HLP), chaired by the presidents of Indonesia and Liberia and the UK

'I guess it's more international'

Marília Garcez, a volunteer steward at the game, said she had mixed feelings. "It's more beautiful but somehow less Brazilian," she said. "I guess it's more international." That quote from The Guardian, by a Brazilian asked for her views about the recently refurbished Maracana stadium in Rio, is

Afghanistan: More asylum seekers coming

Dr Khalid Koser is a Lowy Institute Non-Resident Fellow and Deputy Director of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy. There is almost universal consensus among the analysts, humanitarians, and policy-makers with whom I've spoken in recent weeks that security in Afghanistan is likely to deteriorate

The internet circa 1991

Just found this lovely piece of internet history while looking for something else. The Ludington Times, incidentally, hails from Michigan, though a Google search suggests it no longer exists. No doubt it was put out of business by 'a computer network called Internet