Category Archives: Foreign policy

Evaluation of a “Critical Mass” agreement on agriculture

The stalemate in Geneva on the December 2013 Bali Agreement concerning both Trade Faciliation and agriculture subsidies has revived some interest in the potential for a plurilateral agreement on Agriculture among WTO members. I attach to this brief post a pre-print of the summary that Andy Stoler and I wrote for the journal Global Governance […]

Governed by the gutless?

Alan Beattie’s new booklet “Who’s in Charge Here” (Amazon) is an amusing, accurate, accessible account of the current mess in global financial and trade “governance.” Well worth the $3 price. But he draws a “lesson” from his little history of the crises of 2008-2011 that I find un-satisfying. Who’s in Charge Here is a valuable […]

No spring for shiite Syria

Robert Fisk’s unsentimental analysis of Assad’s strengths As long as Syria can trade with Iraq, it can trade with Iran and, of course, it can trade with Lebanon. The Shia of Iran and the Shia majority in Iraq and the Shia leadership (though not majority) in Syria and the Shia (the largest community, but not […]

Irresitsible engines

Glen Steven’s questions, in his inaugural Warren Hogan lecture, about the expectation of emerging Asia — that they will assume a prominent role shaping and directing the global financial system — and about the readiness of the West to cede that role to them have been tested in the WTO. So far, they remain unanswered […]

The unanswered question about 9-11

Robert Fisk is such a rewarding historian of international policy because his contacts are so broad and his experience is so long and because he writes so clearly, passionately and thoughtfully about the persistent failures of Western policy—and humanity—in the Middle East. There, the UK, France and the United States directly or through their occasional […]

That High Court decision

The Prime Minister is “deeply disappointed” with the decision on the plan to send Christmas Island arrivals to Malaysia. Understandable; it’s not a good look for her government. But is Paul Kelly in the Australian right to argue that the decision was ill-made and an “unjustified” interference in foreign policy? This is certainly an “intrusive” […]

The foreign buck stops here

Why does the Australian government create investment hurdles at the “border” for foreigners who want to put their money into the growth of our economy? It’s madness, when you look at where the money goes: The work we have done internally says that, over the past decade, for every dollar of extra revenue we have […]