Tuesday 19 Mar 2019 | 08:56 | SYDNEY
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Europe

A grand bargain: What Russia now wants from the West

The election of Donald Trump as president of the United States of America has elicited thousands of lines of newsprint as academics, journalists and the wider public seek to make sense of its implications. It has occasioned no less speculation in Russia, much of it shot through with a strong sense

Western democracy and the crumbling party system

After the election of Donald Trump I argued that populism may not be the right lens through which to view recent political trends in Western democracies ('Is there a global wave of populism?'). Instead what we have seen in the Euro crisis, Brexit, the Trump election and to a lesser extent in

The British left must rediscover its internationalism

When the United Kingdom first applied to join the European Common Market in the 1960s, the great Clement Attlee, former Labour PM, rose in the House of Lords to argue against membership. His objections were made on two bases: The harmful rigidity of a political union with European countries,

Russia's revolutionary centenary

Russians are preparing for a New Year heavy with historical symbolism. A hundred years after their revolution, the French celebrated 1789 as year zero not only of the Republic that had finally emerged as France’s settled form of government, but also of a new, Enlightened era in the history of

EU-Turkey relations: A decade of reversals

After the European parliament’s overwhelming vote to freeze Turkey’s EU accession process, the European Council summit that will get underway later today in Brussels will debate relations between Turkey and the EU. For economic and strategic reasons, both the EU Council and the Turkish

Merkel pays the price for a bold stance on refugees

In the East German city of Dresden upwards of 5000 protesters linked to the anti-Islam PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West) party march through the streets every Monday. It's a confronting sight for the hundreds of newly migrated Syrians allocated to the city, a

The future according to Vlad and Shinzo

Vladimir Putin’s visit to Japan later this week is not interesting in itself. Rather, it is the strategic environment in which it is happening that holds our attention. Through this visit we can discern what the world’s powers think a Trump administration may mean for them, and see how they

Renzi's referendum and the future of the euro

On Sunday, Italians resoundingly rejected the constitutional changes put to them by Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. Formally, the referendum sought to curtail the powers of the Senate (Italy’s upper house). But despite arguments to the contrary, the real question was: ‘How much pain are you

Can a populist EU survive?

Nationalism is contrary to what the EU is all about: nation states pledging to further coordination and cooperation for the common good based on common heritage and values, preventing the nationalist and authoritarian deviation that has continuously dragged Europe into conflict over the centuries

The ascendancy of François Fillon

Written off until only a week ago, François Fillon has won the nomination of France’s mainstream right-of-centre party Les Républicains in next year’s presidential elections, where it seems likely he will face the Front National’s Marine Le Pen. In all likelihood, Fillon will be the next

Trump: Not the ideal poster-boy for European populists

Sometimes luck can be so timed as to give an impression of genius. So it seemed with Angela Merkel’s announcement last week that she would stand as the German Christian Democrat Chancellor candidate for a fourth time in 2017.  The announcement itself was no surprise: Merkel’s apparent

Trump’s victory seen from Europe

Beyond the notion that 'the elite' (the mainstream media, the 1%, intellectuals, academics, established politicians, whoever) had not grasped the craving for deglobalisation by 'the people', seemingly all assembled in the boundless expanse from the Rust Belt to the Rockies, three main points appear

Trump, Germany and the new European order

Like much of the world, Germans watched the election of Donald Trump with surprise and dismay. It signified the ascent to high office of a man whose values and political methods have shocked even the most conservative of observers, and whose foreign policy positions threaten to unravel a

The real Trump-Putin connection

Among the first (and originally few) world leaders to congratulate Donald Trump on winning the White House was Russian President Vladimir Putin. But was Putin also the first to call it? After months of speculation about Russian meddling, nobody is now saying that Putin 'threw' the election

US-Russia rivalry takes the stage

Recent developments in the US Presidential race should put to rest any lingering doubt that one nation’s information warfare capabilities can fundamentally affect the politics of another. At the third US presidential debate in Las Vegas, Hillary Clinton accused the Russian government of aiding

Don't count on the Russians backing down this time

Happily, Russia and the US seem to have pulled back from some of the bitterness, outrage and disappointment that set the tone between them 10 days ago.  But the stakes in Syria remain incredibly high. There's a real danger that both sides, which had appeared to be on the verge of

Understanding Boris Johnson's call to protest Russia

On Tuesday, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson made an unusual suggestion during his debut appearance at the House of Commons as a representative of the government. 'I would certainly like to see demonstrations outside the Russian embassy', he said, in agreement with a Labour Party MP who had

Russia over a South China Sea barrel

Russia and China have just kicked off a joint naval exercise in the South China Sea, Joint Sea 2016. It is scheduled to last until 19 September, including a visit by the Russian surface contingent to China’s South Sea fleet headquarters at Zhanjiang. This is the latest in a series of Russo-Chinese

Where the Russian intervention in Syria is headed

Russian President Vladimir Putin is well on the way to achieving several objectives of his military intervention in Syria. Russia has ensured the survival of the Assad regime, its only Arab partner, without loss of Russian personnel to the rebels or becoming mired in a ground conflict. In doing so

Iran and Russia: Not an easy relationship

Iran’s relationship with Russia has been characterised as many things, ranging from a ‘marriage of convenience’ to a ‘long-lasting alliance’. In reality it's a  pragmatic working relationship forged between two countries that  have faced similar political and economic pressures

Putin's plan to restore the Romanovs (Part 2)

Part one of this series examined the notion that Putin is encouraging re-Stalinisation in Russia. This post looks at the public rehabilitation of the Romanov Tsar Nicholas II. If there's a Russian leader whose reputation has been unequivocally rehabilitated during the Putin era, it's Nicholas

Putin's plan to restore the Romanovs (Part 1)

When US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Moscow in March, looming over his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin was a statue of Russian Emperor Alexander II (1855-81). Known as the ‘Tsar-Liberator’, Alexander freed the serfs, introduced trial by jury, relaxed press

Few answers to the existential questions posed by Brexit

A week and a half after the vote that shook the world, the list of unanswered questions continues to grow. Will Brexit really happen? Who will take responsibility? Who and what lost Northern England? Has unbridled populism won or has the popular will prevailed, reflecting a majority disenfranchised

Brexit: The view from China

Reports that China’s central bank will allow a further fall in the renminbi, which is already trading at its lowest level in over five years, highlight Beijing leadership’s immediate concerns over Brexit. Premier Li Keqiang’s speech to the World Economic Forum last week painted a

What we can learn from Brexit

There is much being written about the implications of Brexit. This stream of commentary will undoubtedly continue for some time; Matthew Goodwin said the repercussions from Brexit will be felt 'for generations'. While the focus is mostly on the negative implications, some think there may

Brexit is England's silliest decision since Suez

It's now over 70 years since British Prime Minister Winston Churchill told his Australian counterpart John Curtin of his wish to see a united western Europe, of which Britain would be a member. The allies had fought their way up the southern Italian peninsula but the Normandy landing was still a

Brexit: Bruised egos will heal, trading relationships will endure

By  Brett Hogan, Senior Fellow and John Roskam, Executive Director at the Institute of Public Affairs Brexit’s victory in last Thursday’s referendum may very well have been a surprise for the pollsters, financial markets, and possibly even the leaders of the Leave campaign but, to twist

Australia and the UK's leap into the unknown

By Dr Annmarie Elijah, Associate Director, ANU Centre for European Studies, Australian National University and Dr Ben Wellings, Deputy-director, Monash European and EU Centre, Monash University. The full ramifications of the events of 23 June, when a majority of British voters elected to leave the

Brexit: The view from Berlin

'One has to face up to the fact that the other members of the EU have been slagged off fairly royally, and they're the people who you would be negotiating with.' That was the assessment two weeks ago of Lord Jonathan Hill, who on Saturday resigned as Britain's European Commissioner. First among

Brexit should be a wake-up call for the G20

The economic and political consequences of last week's Brexit bombshell will have far-reaching implications. One of these is that the G20 should see Brexit as a wake-up call. Philip Stevens from the Financial Times points out that capitalism needed saving in the aftermath of the Global Financial

The economics of Brexit

A vote to leave would represent an immediate and profound shock to our economy. That shock would push our economy into a recession and lead to an increase in unemployment of around 500,000, GDP would be 3.6% smaller, average real wages would be lower, inflation higher, sterling weaker, house prices

After the vote comes the reckoning

Sometimes cliches and hyperbole are inescapable. Britain’s decision to leave the EU really is momentous; it really will reshape Europe’s political landscape; things really will never be quite the same again. The implications of this entirely avoidable decision look uniformly bad, and not just

Brexit: Unknown forces unleashed by outcome

In just over 90 hours after the UK's excruciating referendum vote to leave the EU, the politically shattered British Prime Minister, David Cameron, was due to go to Brussels to attend a long-planned EU leaders summit. Instead of celebratory champagne, he and his fellow EU confreres will be bracing

Brexit would be good for the UK and good for Europe

By Brett Hogan, Senior Fellow, and John Roskam, Executive Director, Institute of Public Affairs. This week's referendum on whether the UK remains with, or leaves, the EU is primarily about democracy and the right of a sovereign people to live under their own laws.  A vote to leave would be a

The strategic consequences of Brexit

If Britain votes to leave the EU on 23 June, it may well represent the greatest strategic shock to the continent since the breakup of the Soviet Union and consequent reunification of Germany a quarter century ago. The balance of power and influence between Britain, France and Germany – a crucial

The word on the street

As an Australian living in the UK, I have been asked by friends from home what's the word on the street about Brexit. The idea of reporting public opinion as 'the word on the street' brings to mind the infamous George Negus–Margaret Thatcher interview in which the Iron Lady calls out the

Brexit: Where are all the Leave pundits?

Daniel Woker writes on these pages that the Brexit campaign 'lack(s) any intellectually sound argument'. Judging by how difficult it has been for my colleagues and I at The Interpreter to find writers who favour the Leave campaign, it is tempting to agree. And The Interpreter is not alone: we have

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