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 […]