On 17 April 2019 up to 193 million eligible voters in Indonesia went to the polls. For the first time in Indonesian history, the president, the vice president and members of the local and national legislatures were elected on the same day. The two presidential candidates were the incumbent t President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and former Lieutenant-General Prabowo Subianto. The election was a re-match of the 2014 presidential election, in which Widodo defeated Prabowo.

The new make-up of parliament is of significant interest to Australia, as it will determine whether or not the recently signed Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) will be ratified by Indonesia and, if so, how long it may take to get through. If ratified the IA-CEPA is expected to help build economic prosperity throughout the region since most predictions have Indonesia on track to be the world's fifth-largest economy by 2030.

Join the panelists Phil Turtle, Ella S. Prihatini, and Associate Professor Hadrian Djajadikerta to discuss what the presidential election and the IA-CEPA mean for Australia.

The UK plans to leave the European Union on 29th March 2019, nearly three years after a referendum vote in June 2016. Negotiating Brexit has been a major preoccupation for the UK over the last two years. It has caused major political dislocation in the UK and divided the government, parliament, political parties, and the public.

The UK has been a participant in the European integration process since 1973 and over the last 45 years its politics, economy, society, and place in the world have been increasingly tied to Europe. Brexit is a major point of departure for the UK.

On the eve of the UK’s departure from the EU Professor Whitman will untangle the intricacies of the Brexit process, look at the state of play in the UK’s relationship with the EU, and offer an assessment of the UK’s future place in Europe.

In his recent book, "Asian Century … on a Knife-edge," John West questions the conventional wisdom that the 21st century will belong to Asia. He argues that in recent years many observers have succumbed to a case of “Asian-Century hype.” In reality, Asia is suffering from stunted economic and social development. John identifies seven economic, social, political and geopolitical challenges for realising an Asian Century, but doubts that Asia’s leading economies have the political will to tackle these challenges. Further, he identifies numerous possible sources of economic, social, and political crisis.

 

Nevertheless, the Indo-Pacific of the 21st century is becoming increasingly dominated by Asia’s emerging giants - China, India and Indonesia - which have some of the world's largest economies. John argues that these countries are fragile superpowers whose power derives mainly from their enormous populations. Even by mid-century, they will still be well behind advanced countries like the US, Japan and Germany in terms of economic, business, and technological sophistication. But this has not stopped the rise of strategic competition between an increasingly distracted US and a growingly assertive China, despite the latter's domestic fragilities. Countries like Australia face great challenges in adapting to this new strategic environment.

 

In the second episode of the new Australia in the World podcast, AIIA National President Allan Gyngell and ANU academic Darren Lim discusses recent elections in Pakistan and Cambodia, a new trilateral investment fund announced by the United States, Japan and Australia, and the recent AUSMIN talks. The discussion finishes with a deeper dive into the topic of how worried Australia should be about the decline of the United States.

Note this episide will be cross-posed on the dedicated "Australia in the World" channel, coming soon wherever you subscribe to podcasts. Look for announcements on social media.

In a pilot episode of the forthcoming “Australia in the world” podcast, AIIA National President Allan Gyngell and the ANU's Dr Darren Lim discuss the rules-based international order and the priorities and challenges facing Australia as it seeks to shore up this key pillar of its foreign policy. The rules-based order was the subject of conference on Australia and the Rules-Based International Order held on 18-19 July organised by the Australian Institute of International Affairs, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and ANU Coral Bell School with the support of the Attorney-General’s Department. The conference brought together many of Australia’s leading foreign policy officials and thinkers discussed various aspects of the order.

 

Allan’s bio: https://www.internationalaffairs.org.au/about-us/our-people/allan-gyngell/

 

Darren’s bio: https://researchers.anu.edu.au/researchers/lim-dj

 

Allan Gyngell’s opinion piece on the rules-based order in the Australian Financial Review: https://www.afr.com/opinion/columnists/if-trump-just-quits-the-rulesbased-order--what-happens-next-20180723-h130ds

On March 23, United States President Donald Trump announced in a tweet that he was removing H.R. McMaster as his national security advisor, and that John Bolton would take over on 9 April, 2018.

Despite a heavily partisan caucus, all sides agree that Bolton's rise indicates more unilateral US action.

Former Australian Ambassador to the US, Kim Beazley, spoke with Flavia Zimmermann from the Australian Institute of International Affairs in Western Australia about John Bolton, Trump politics in the Indo-Pacific, and its implications for Australia.

Increasing attention is being paid to the role public opinion plays in shapng foreign policy. Would US governments have remained in Vietnam, except for the humiliation of conceding defeat? How is the current American partisanship affecting the way Washington DC approaches the world? How can education affect the public's attitude towards international issues?

Dr Charles Miller, lecturer in strategic studies at the Australian National University, studies this intersection between public opinion and foreign policymaking. In early 2018, he spoke with AIIA National Office Intern, Zoe Halstead, about why it's important to consider public opinion when assessing foreign policy, with a focus on recent developments in the US and Australia.

Ambassador Anwarul Chowdhury is the former Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations (2002-2007) and is widely regarded for his work towards progress for the least developed nations and in particular championing the rights of women and children in conflict and post-conflict scenarios.
AIIA NSW Intern Damian Meduri spoke with the Ambassador when he visited Sydney in November 2017.

For her AIIA Fellow's Lecture, ABC Presenter Geraldine Doogue spoke to AIIA for WA about the consequences of foreign affairs becoming water-cooler conversation. 

The lecture was recorded by AIIA for WA council member, Flavia Zimmerman, and was edited by Adem Kerimofski from the University of Western Australia .

 

In an interview at AIIA for WA, Australian Ambassador to Russia Peter Tesch told Natalie Myer that Russia is an important relationship for Australia, though in a different way to what it was 25 years ago. Counter-terrorism initiatives play a large part, but there is also significant economic potential in the relationship.

While the trading relationship remains influenced by counter-sanctions and import restrictions on the Russian side, opportunities are emerging in mining, education and infrastructure. 

Tesch is also Ambassador to Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan.

 


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