Sunday 26 May 2019 | 09:18 | 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

Australia in the UN Security Council

In this Lowy Institute Analysis, Richard Gowan reviews Australia’s time as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. Gowan argues that while it has not changed the world, Australia has acquitted itself well, bringing extra rigour and professionalism to the Council’s debates.

What's wrong with TED talks?

'Science, philosophy and technology run on the model of American Idol' is how Benjamin Bratton defines the TED talk. Since we've featured so many TED talks on The Interpreter over the years, it's worth also noting this critique. Credit also to TED for hosting it: [youtube:Yo5cKRmJaf0#t=11

A little more on predictions...

As if to reinforce the point made in my earlier post by Philip Tetlock about the unreliability of predictions, here's a magazine front page from twenty-five years ago I just stumbled across on Twitter. I love this image because it reflects so many elements of the way the future is often depicted

LGBT rights: It really matters where you live

Daniela Strube is a Research Fellow with the G20 Studies Centre at the Lowy Institute. Marriage equality and LGBT (Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender) rights are again in the headlines in Australia, with the High Court due to rule today on the Commonwealth’s challenge to the same-sex marriage

'They have killed my president'

Perhaps it has become routine, almost hackneyed, to remember where one was on 22 November 1963. Yet memory of that event can still say something about its impact. For if the Kennedy Administration's 'Camelot' has undergone reassessment and has lost some of its lustre, it's important to recognise

Documentary trailer: Tales from the Organ Trade

From the synopsis on the official website: TALES FROM THE ORGAN TRADE is a gritty and unflinching descent into the shadowy world of black-market organ trafficking: the street-level brokers, the rogue surgeons, the impoverished men and women who are willing to sacrifice a slice of their own

Depressing chart of the day: Overfishing

Marty Harris is an assistant digital editor at the Lowy Institute. Measuring the impact of over-fishing is difficult: conducting global stock assessments is both complex and expensive, while seasonal and long-term changes in currents and water temperatures effect feeding and spawning habits,

AusAID passes aid transparency exam, just

Philippa Brant is a Lowy Institute Research Associate. Yesterday the transparency advocacy organisation Publish What You Fund released its 2013 Aid Transparency Index. Now in its third year, the index scores and ranks aid providers on the aid information they publish. The index and website

When exceptionalism meets insularity

The sentiment expressed in the tweet above would be laughable from any source, but from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies? Have they looked at world rankings of  social mobility lately? As you can see from the thread, Lowy Institute Executive Director Michael Fullilove

Australia missing the lessons of Lampedusa

Dr Khalid Koser is a Lowy Institute Non-Resident Fellow and Deputy Director of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy. As I write, divers are ‘unpacking a wall of bodies’ from the hull of a smuggler’s trawler that sank off Lampedusa last week, with 297 people so far confirmed dead. In

Macroeconomic gains from gender equity

Marty Harris is an assistant digital editor at the Lowy Institute. Approximately 862 million women worldwide have the potential to more fully contribute to their national economies, according to a new IMF report on the macroeconomic gains stemming from gender equity in the workforce. The report

As privacy falls, freedom rises

A provocative argument from Stuart Armstrong on the benefits of the surveillance state. Ubiquitous surveillance will reduce crime and reduce the need for police, improve the incentives to enter into arms control agreements (because they are more verifiable), and then there are the global health

Development links: UN General Assembly

 So it’s that time of year again: 193 member states convening in New York City for the UN General Assembly, this year (the 68th session) focusing on the post-2015 MDG agenda (and no doubt annoying New Yorkers for clogging up 1st and 2nd Ave’s). For Julie Bishop, the trip to New York will be

Reader riposte: Silicon Valley politics

Amy Denmeade responds to Sam Roggeveen's post on the politics of Silicon Valley: If you haven't read it, George Packer's New Yorker piece from a few months ago is worth a look on the subject of Silicon Valley and politics. It generated some interesting debate. I read Morozov's book right after

Yes, there is a point to an embassy

Dr Daniel Woker is the former Swiss Ambassador to Australia and now a Senior Lecturer at the University of St Gallen. After the recent precautionary closure of US and other Western embassies in the Middle East due to terrorist threats, Anthony Bubalo's questioning of whether too much security

It might be chilly, but it's not cold (war)

Gorana Grgic is a PhD candidate at the Department of Government and International Relations, University of Sydney. For some, the announcement that US President Barack Obama decided against meeting Vladimir Putin in early September is a signal of the beginning of new Cold War. Others argue it is

Is there any point to an embassy?

Over the weekend the US closed many of its embassies in the Middle East and North Africa as a result of what was described as a serious al Qaeda threat. Given the number of times US embassies have come under attack in the last decade or so, and certainly in the post-Benghazi era, it would seem hard

What should I ask Julian Assange?

I've been asked to participate in the Sydney Morning Herald's Google Hangout with Julian Assange on Wednesday at 12.30pm. Along with host Tim Lester and a few other guests, I'll be quizzing Julian Assange, who of course will join us from the Ecuadorean Embassy in London. The discussion will be

Movie trailer: The Fifth Estate

Benedict Cumberbatch does a more than passable Australian accent in this first trailer for the new feature about Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. Apparently Assange did not like the early script of this film, but judging by this trailer it seems like a pretty favourable treatment of his organisation

Whaling debate redux

With Japan having just made its closing argument in the International Court of Justice case launched by Australia, some highlights from a debate we hosted back in March between Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson and Griffith University's Michael Heazle. First, Paul Watson: Sea Shepherd is in