Articles on Diplomacy

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Scott Morrison has heavily promoted his government’s ‘Pacific Step Up’, but it hasn’t invested the requisite funds to support the initiative diplomatically. Darren England/AAP

Australia is spending less on diplomacy than ever before – and its influence is suffering as a result

New research shows that funding for DFAT has hit a new low of 1.3% of the federal budget. Scaling back has a real effect on Australia's influence around the world.
A soldier participates in a training during a tactical leader’s exercise at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. REUTERS/Bryan Woolston

America now solves problems with troops, not diplomats

Data show that the US intervenes more in other countries' affairs than it did in the past. It also currently hires fewer career professionals for ambassadorial or foreign affairs positions.
The flag of Western Sahara is displayed during a march outside the Moroccan embassy in Madrid, Spain. EPA-EFE/LUCA PIERGIOVANNI

Morocco and Western Sahara: a decades-long war of attrition

At first glance, it would seem like nothing has changed since 1991. Yet, things have been slowly and discreetly evolving in recent years at Morocco's behest.
Julie Bishop and Marise Payne have risen to the top in foreign affairs, but their successes may be masking more systemic issues preventing women from advancement. William West/AAP

Diplomacy and defence remain a boys’ club, but women are making inroads

A new report has found a major gender gap persists in Australia's diplomatic, defence and intelligence fields. Australia needs good ideas, and we cannot assume they will all come from the same place.
Parmesan cheese, prosciutto, salami, olive oil… Italian food is at the heart of intense diplomatic lobbying. Shutterstock

Front-of-pack nutrition labels: ‘The parmesan and prosciutto war’

To defend traditional Italian products such as meats and cheeses – delicious, but often high in fat and salt – the country's government has launched an intense lobbying campaign to fight nutrition labels.
A board for the Prussian wargame of ‘Kriegsspiel.’ Matthew Kirschenbaum/Wikimedia Commons

War games shed light on real-world strategies

War games let you test your political and military acumen right at your kitchen table – while also helping you appreciate how decision-makers are limited by the choices of others.

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