Published daily by the Lowy Institute

Matthew Sussex

Matthew Sussex was formerly a Nonresident Fellow at the Lowy Institute for International Policy. 

He is the Academic Director at the National Security College, Crawford School of Public Policy, College of Asia and the Pacific, Australian National University. Previously he was Head of the Politics and International Relations program at the University of Tasmania. His research specialisations include international security, Russian politics and foreign policy, strategic studies and international relations theory. His most recent publications have been in the areas of energy security, power relations in the Asia Pacific, security in the former Soviet space, and Australian strategic policy. He has received grants from the Australian Research Council (Discovery Grants), the Fulbright Foundation and the International Studies Association, among others. He has been a National Executive member of the Australian Institute of International Affairs and associate editor of the Australian Journal of International Affairs.


Articles by Matthew Sussex (21)

  • First reaction: Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko at the Lowy Institute

    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko finished his speech at the Lowy Institute about 90 minutes ago. His visit was the first ever by a Ukrainian leader to Australia, after he accepted an invitation from Tony Abbott to discuss security and trade issues in the wake of the loss of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 over Ukrainian territory on on July 17 this year. A transcript of the speech will be available soon, but meantime here are the highlights, with my initial reactions:
  • It's time for the West to re-evaluate its whole approach to Russia

    Presidential systems of government often feature an annual speech by the chief executive. In general they are carefully choreographed affairs that are less about governance than grandstanding. They tend to reflect a list of outstanding achievements, punctuated by vigorous applause, while carefully skirting over the past year's policy missteps. Vladimir Putin's recent state of the nation address was no exception.
  • Shirt-fronting: Why Abbott missed the mark

    Was it really necessary for Tony Abbott to promise to 'shirt-front' Vladimir Putin at the upcoming G20 summit in Brisbane? Seasoned public servants often blanch when their political masters make populist remarks about other nations or their leaders. An intemperate comment from a politician can ruin a bilateral relationship, or at least jeopardise many years of patient diplomacy. Except, in the case of Australia-Russia ties, there isn't much of a bilateral relationship to speak of.
  • Putin's 'New Russia' looks a lot like the old one

    I have just returned from St Petersburg, regarded as the most 'European' of all Russia's cities. Burgeoning investment has made St Petersburg look modern (if still a little grim), and many of its residents have a worldly and cultured air. Shiny new office developments are starting to crowd out older grey concrete monoliths, and expensive products are advertised everywhere. But for all that, St Petersburg is still Putin's Russia. The only media sources are state-approved.
  • Ukraine: Aid convoy an ominous signal from Moscow

    The mysterious Russian 'aid' convoy — announced with much fanfare by the Kremlin on 11 August — has now reached Voronezh near the Ukrainian border. What happens next has been the subject of intense speculation. But it does seem that Vladimir Putin has made up his mind to intervene directly in eastern Ukraine.
  • Ukraine: US and Europe fail, crisis deteriorates

    It is now two weeks since the downing of MH17 over rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine. In that time we have witnessed frenetic activity by leaders in Europe, the US and Australia. But amid the flurry of diplomacy, little seems to have changed for the better, either for the investigation or for the conflict more generally. If anything, the situation is even uglier.
  • Russia's MH17 response: How to mismanage a crisis

    For Western audiences, Moscow's initial prickly attitude to the downing of MH17 can be read as an example of how not to manage a crisis. Even with the weak hand he inherited, President Vladimir Putin has been consistently strong when on the foreign policy offensive, devising creative ways to advance Russian interests.
  • MH17: A chance for Russia and Ukraine to blink?

    The downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 is the most dramatic moment in the Ukraine-Russia conflict. As well as a terrible tragedy – current figures put the death toll at 298 – it radically raises the stakes by fully internationalising the conflict.
  • Russia-Crimea: Putin's revanchism

    Yesterday Vladimir Putin delivered a searing address to the Federal Assembly in Moscow. In part, it marked a happy occasion for him: to welcome the re-incorporation of Crimea after 96% of participants (if the results are to be believed) agreed to join the Russian Federation in last weekend's referendum. But mostly it was to deliver an anti-Western diatribe that whipped policymakers and the public into patriotic fervour.