Articles on Foreign Affairs

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Flanked by his family, US President Elect Donald Trump called for unity as he claimed victory. Carlo Allegri/Reuters

President Trump will change the United States and the world, but just how remains to be seen

Leading Australian academics respond to Donald Trump’s victory, and look ahead to what kind of president he might be. Much…
Under proposed changes, the war crime of murder would not apply to collateral civilian deaths resulting from an otherwise lawful attack. EPA/Zouhir Al Shimale

Australia’s proposed war crimes amendments demand careful scrutiny

Under proposed changes, the war crime offence of murder, in a non-international armed conflict, would not apply to collateral civilian deaths resulting from an otherwise lawful attack.
The Coalition government has moved to rapidly alter the balance of Australia’s foreign policy spending. AAP/Rashida Yosufzai

Ideas for Australia: Sold short – Australia’s aid cuts have foreign policy consequences

A reduced aid budget equates to the forsaking of real opportunities in foreign policy terms. In the long term, this could make the savings look miniscule compared to opportunity costs.
While Julie Bishop stays on as foreign minister, domestic political calculations might be less of a factor in policy if the government can put dire opinion polls behind it. AAP/Lukas Coch

Can foreign policy be freed from populist politicking?

Australia will benefit if a Turnbull government pursues a foreign policy agenda attuned more to regional and global goals and developments, and less to domestic political challenges.
The Abbott government’s instinct on foreign policy is to approach it through the lens of domestic politics. AAP/Lukas Coch

Global pressures expose the limits of Australian foreign policy

The pressure the Abbott government faced over the Syrian refugee crisis hints at a broader trend. Global political dynamics are now exposing a credibility deficit in Australian foreign policy.
AAP/Ed Jones

Australia’s twin track diplomacy

It has become commonplace to observe that Australian policymakers face a major challenge trying to reconcile the strategic and economic aspects of foreign policy. But while we might have become used to…
A Chinese government image of soldiers on one of the built-up Spratly islands. mod.gov.cn

Exposing US hypocrisy on South China Sea island reclamation

The US is considering using warships and helicopters to pressure China into scaling back construction in the Spratly islands. But why is there one rule for China, and another for other nations?
One of four koalas on loan to Singapore Zoo, where they were unveiled to the public on Wednesday May 20. Qantas Airways

Koalas, platypuses and pandas and the power of soft diplomacy

Four female koalas have just made their debut in front of an adoring public at Singapore Zoo – the latest in a long line of animals used for diplomatic purposes, going back to Winston the platypus.
Australian aid can make a difference to the lives of millions – but there are few votes and little media interest in it, so it’s an easy target for budget cuts. John Bransby/Department of Foreign Affairs

A fair budget? Not for the poor losing Australian aid in record cuts

Foreign aid will fall to close to 90 cents in every A$100 of federal government spending in the 2015 budget -- its lowest level ever.
Iranians, who celebrated in the streets of Tehran following this month’s nuclear agreement, are keen to rebuild relations with the West. EPA/Abedin Taherkenareh

Julie Bishop can reach out to Iran now that confrontation has failed

By reaching out to Iran, Australia can help end a long stand-off with the West that prevented solutions to many of the world's most dangerous problems, including Syria's civil war and Islamic State.
Australian has moved swiftly to fly relief aid and personnel to Vanuatu but has been less responsive to Pacific Islanders’ pleas to act on climate change. AAP/Dave Hunt

Vanuatu disaster exposes limits of Australian internationalism

While Australia’s leaders express concern for the people of Vanuatu, the welfare of poor states is a commitment from which Australia is walking away.
Australia’s ability to influence China will largely depend on how it engages with China’s complex and growing diplomatic machinery. Shutterstock

Speaking with: Kerry Brown on China, Australia and diplomacy

Speaking with: Kerry Brown on China, Australia and diplomacy.
The emergence of China as a 21st-century superpower has already had profound impacts on Australia. As China reshapes the balance of power, not only in the Asia-Pacific region but globally, its influence…
Tony Negus with Prime Minister Tony Abbott earlier in 2014. AAP/Alan Porritt

Former police chief gets plum diplomatic post

Tony Abbott is appointing the former chief of the Australian Federal Police, Tony Negus, as Australia’s new high commissioner…

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