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International relations

Analysis and Comment (26)

Chinese anger at Malaysia’s handling of the search for flight MH370 has had a damaging impact on the bilateral relationship. EPA/Kamal Sellehuddin

The diplomatic fallout from flight MH370 reveals a region on edge

When Malaysian Airlines flight 370 failed to arrive, authorities at first concluded it had crashed in a relatively shallow part of the Gulf of Thailand. As the days passed more countries dispatched ships…
At ease: Indian soldiers deployed at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. John Giles/PA

West fears the rise of some countries more than others

When a highly populous, rapidly developing, nuclear armed, space-voyaging and increasingly assertive Asian nation announces the purchase of its third aircraft carrier, a few months after launching its…
Taking dictation: David Cameron vists Kazakh President Nazarbayev. Leon Neal/PA

Kazakhstan shows how dictators can survive diversity

Why do states and societies collapse? Efforts to explain the hugely complicated conflicts in Syria and Libya have understandably placed heavy emphasis on these nations’ ethnic or tribal diversity. Writers…
Welcoming the world for centuries (and causing trouble for almost as long). aherrero

American dream retains appeal despite tarnished reputation

The reputation of the American political system both at home and abroad has taken a battering of late. A recent poll showed the overall approval rating for Congress at just 11%, falling from what were…
Prepare for the unexpected. Christiaan Triebert

Businesses must pay attention to Syrian warning signs

The Syrian crisis enters a new chapter. The international community has struggled to produce what may prove to be an interim solution. But this is just another crisis in the Middle East, they say. Things…
More populous than powerful. Anthony Devlin/PA

India will never become a superpower

The end of the Cold War and the era of “unipolar” US dominance that followed has led many to wonder about the future of international power. Who will rival, or perhaps even replace, the US? At least one…
The state is still in control, it’s when drones and robots develop their own interests that Terminator becomes a true story. AAP / Alan Porritt

Lethal autonomous robots: who’s really in control?

Anxiety about lethal autonomous robots has some substance. The state of play as currently constituted, however, already provides enough cause for concern. The Terminator scenario Monash associate professor…
Russia has turned its back on marine protected areas in Antarctica. Where to now? Flickr/US Embassy New Zealand

Antarctic marine reserves: how many ways can you say “Nyet”?

Russia blocked the approval of new marine protected areas in the Antarctic this week, demanding more scientific information and a definition of marine protected areas. The surprise move postpones a joint…
The approval of the first global arms treaty by the UN may be more a case of misplaced enthusiasm than cause for real celebration. EPA/Inter Services Public Relations

Up in arms: why the UN’s weapons control treaty lacks bite

The United Nations on Tuesday approved the first treaty on the global arms trade which would regulate a business that amounts to over US$70 billion. There were 154 nations in favour, three against and…
Mourners accompany the remains of the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez through the streets of Caracas. EPA/David Fernandez

In death, Chavez is more alive than ever in Latin America

The recent death of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez from cancer comes as no great surprise. The former military leader had rarely been seen in the public eye since December last year when he travelled…
President Nixon’s meeting with China’s Communist Party Leader Mao Tse Tung in 1972 began closer ties between the two countries. Wikimedia/Office of Presidential Libraries

Stabilising the Middle East: lessons from the US rapprochement with China

Now, as at the time of the Vietnam war, the global primacy of the United States is increasingly being questioned. Among the reasons are its role in the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), the continued and…
Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has lost a close ally after a bomb attack killed his Defense Minister Daoud Rajha. EPA/SANA

Death in Damascus: bomb attack rattles an Assad regime in decline

In something reminiscent of the plot to kill Hitler with a briefcase bomb, several high-ranking figures of the Assad regime have been killed in an apparent suicide attack. The top level security apparatchiks…
The US is growing in popularity down under … have we all got Obamamania? AAP/Scott Barbour

Has Australia fallen for Obama’s soft power?

When Barack Obama was under fire for his foreign policy inexperience in 2007, he told the New York Times that his unique biography could be a vital instrument in a new American foreign policy. “If you…
Chinese paramilitary police prepare for a storm in the South China Sea. EPA/str

Toeing the U-shaped line in the South China Sea

The lines traversing the surface of the globe are legal fictions that determine the fates of nations. Nowhere is this truer than in the South China Sea. China’s infamous U-shaped line claims most of this…
Rudd’s commitment to Australia’s bid for a UN security council seat must continue under Bob Carr. EPA/Jason Szenes

Australia shouldn’t give up on a UN security council seat

Now we have a new foreign minister, some have suggested it’s time for Australia to give up its bid for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. During his time as prime minister and foreign minister…

Columnists (1)

Play it again, Sam

Like him or loathe him, the late Samuel Huntington was one of the towering figures in political science and international relations. Even those who disagreed with his ideas were forced to engage with them…

Research and News (4)

Research Briefs (1)

Indians rank Australia highly

Indians' ranking of Australia as a good place to do business, study or travel has risen to 8th out of 38 countries, up from…