Blog Profile / The Interpreter

Filed Under:News / International Affairs
Posts on Regator:5231
Posts / Week:25.7
Archived Since:August 31, 2011

Blog Post Archive

Indonesia: engagement through communication and culture has barely begun

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. Show More Summary

Southeast Asia Links: Human trafficking, UK in SEA, Thai-Vietnam trade, Hun Sen's hold and more

Human Rights Watch slammed the conviction of 11 opposition activists in Cambodia. The activists are from the Cambodian National Rescue Party and have been sentenced to between 7 and 20 years in prison for 'insurrection'. Indonesia has...Show More Summary

Japanese defence normalisation: Progress on three fronts

Over the last two months, there has been noticeable progress on three separate fronts in Japan's 30-year process of 'renormalising' its' approach to external defence: Last week, the Abe cabinet approved the 2015 Japanese Defence White...Show More Summary

Technology and its discontents

[youtube:SrlPyKxdMX4] This trailer for a new documentary about Steve Jobs (there's also a biopic in the works starring Michael Fassbender) reminds me that I have been meaning for some time to tell you about a thoughtful essay I readShow More Summary

Indonesia: We don’t have to be condemned to crisis

Ken Ward is to be congratulated for a straight forward and sober analysis of the Australia-Indonesia relationship. In his own matter of fact style, Ken takes us through a complex relationship and provides unique understanding and insight. His...Show More Summary

Are we on the threshold of a United States of Europe?

Four days ago, French President François Hollande declared his in-principle commitment to the creation of a 'euro government, with the addition of a specific budget and a parliament to ensure democratic control.' This is more an opening...Show More Summary

Aid & development links: Popularity of development banks, US leadership, SDGs, African leaders and more

By the Lowy Institute's Melanesia Program Director, Jenny Hayward-Jones and Research Associate Philippa Brant Stephen Spratt from the Institute of Development Studies analyses the growing popularity of development banks. How does the...Show More Summary

Indonesia: Too many 'unforced errors'

Maybe it's just the title – Condemned to Crisis? – that gives Ken Ward's book such a downbeat despairing tone, as if the accident of geography has locked us in an unhappy marriage with Indonesia and there is not much we can do about it. Of course we should be realistic: we won't ever have the sort of familial ties that we have with New Zealand. Show More Summary

Weekend catch-up: Condemned to Crisis?, Indonesian debt, Talisman Sabre, ISIS in Turkey and more

This week the third in the Lowy Insitute Paper series, published by Penguin, was released. Condemned to Crisis?, by former ONA analyst and Indonesia specialist Ken Ward, examines the Australia-Indonesia relationship and argues that Australian...Show More Summary

New Development Bank launch: Optimism from within and scrutiny from without

On Tuesday, the US$50 billion BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) was opened in Shanghai by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. This follows the institution's entry into force, confirmed two weeks ago at the 2015 BRICS Summit in Ufa, Russia. Show More Summary

Digital Asia links (China special!): WeChat, intelligence wars, Taylor Swift, Spartan models and more

The Asia Pacific is the most dynamic digital landscape in the world, home to the fastest adopters of new technologies and the largest concentration of mobile and social media users. An escalation in online activism, changing cyber dynamics,...Show More Summary

Here be pirates: Why Southeast Asia needs to boost maritime cooperation

Source: IMB data, compiled by Elliot Brennan. On 1 April, a Malaysia-flagged tanker was attacked and hijacked by 15 to 25 armed pirates off the coast of Borneo. The crew was held hostage at gunpoint while the pirates transferred the tanker's gas cargo to their own vessel before escaping. Show More Summary

Movie trailer: The Experimenter

Why do people commit cruelties on their fellow human beings? Because they're politely told to: [youtube:83MuxHAKfEg] Hints of Hitler's Willing Executioners here. For another recent movie trailer in the same genre, see The Stanford Prison Experiment. (H/t Slashfilm.)

This week in Jakarta: Quiet streets, loud rumours

The streets of Jakarta were quiet over the past week as millions left the capital to return to their hometowns for the holidays. Meanwhile, rumours grew louder over a predicted reshuffle for President Jokowi's cabinet, and police inShow More Summary

Australia's PNG solution: The seeds of sectarianism?

As part of the 'Sectarianism and Religiously Motivated Violence' Masters course run by the Lowy Institute's Rodger Shanahan at ANU's National Security College, students are asked to write an article on contemporary sectarian conflict. Show More Summary

Obama's big month was years in the making

[youtube:L88H2HWEXrw] A couple of things jump out at me from President Obama's latest (and last) interview with The Daily Show's Jon Stewart. The first is that in interview settings, Obama is not the most compelling advocate for his own policies and record. Show More Summary

A frank and refreshing assessment of Australia-Indonesia relations

The great strength of Ken Ward's Condemned to Crisis? is that it confronts head-on some of the false constructs surrounding Australia-Indonesia relations. Although many of the arguments have been made by other Indonesia experts overShow More Summary

Interview: Sadegh Zibakalam on the Iran nuclear deal

Professor Sadegh Zibakalam is a prominent Iranian intellectual and political commentator and a Professor of Political Science at the University of Tehran. I spoke with him from Tehran: Q. Is this a good deal for Iran? How significant are the concessions made by Iran to reach this agreement? Obviously it's about more than the content of the deal. Show More Summary

Indo-Pacific security links: Philippines defence, SCS surveillance, Japan and East China Sea, submarines in Indian Ocean and more

The Indo-Pacific is a strategic system encompassing the Indian and Pacific oceans, reflecting the expanding interests and reach of China and India as well as the enduring role of the US. The Lowy Institute's International Security program...Show More Summary

From icon to politician: Aung San Suu Kyi's choice

By Professor Roman David, Lingnan University, and Professor Ian Holliday, University of Hong Kong. After nearly five years of quasi-civilian rule in a quasi-democratic framework, Myanmar is gearing up for the real thing. On 8 November, Myanmar will go to the polls for the first proper elections in more than 55 years. Show More Summary

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