Category Archives: Global issues

The Size of Nations

Ever wondered why there are so many countries in the world? My AFR op-ed today attempts to provide an answer. Full text over the fold.

Posted in Global issues, Trade & Development | 5 Comments

Some shows don’t have cheap seats

My friend Michael Fullilove argues in The Australian that the PM is doing the right thing in seeking a UN Security Council seat. He point out that the cost of a campaign is likely to be around $35 million. This … Continue reading

Posted in Global issues, Trade & Development | 1 Comment

The first economist to win a Nobel Prize

Economist Muhammad Yunus, has won the Nobel Peace Prize, for his work on microcredit. From the citation: Muhammad Yunus has shown himself to be a leader who has managed to translate visions into practical action for the benefit of millions … Continue reading

Posted in Economics Generally, Global issues | 8 Comments

Backbench Problems

A bunch of young Aussie globetrotters have just started something called the Backbench World Problems Index. In their words: The BWPI is designed specifically to measure coverage of world problems in selected Australian newspapers. The index covers five world problems … Continue reading

Posted in Global issues | 7 Comments

Terrorism and the World Economy

I’m spending the week in Boston, at the National Bureau of Economic Research’s Summer Institute meetings. Over the next couple of days, I thought I might occasionally blog on papers that have piqued my interest. In Terrorism and the World … Continue reading

Posted in Global issues | 4 Comments

Aid & Growth

I just stumbled across a piece by Helen Hughes on foreign aid, published in the AFR on July 9. As with her 2003 work on aid to the Pacific, assertion again takes the place of evidence. Dr Hughes argues that: … Continue reading

Posted in Global issues | 5 Comments

Worldly Advice

1. If you value your free time, do not install Google Earth. 2. If you ignore (1), and would then like to peer over my shoulder as I work, click on the link below. Download GoogleEarth_Placemark.kmz

Posted in Global issues | 2 Comments

One Finger for the Man in White

Aside from the human rights abuses he has perpetrated, Zimbabwe’s president Mugabe has ensured that his country’s economy is shrinking faster than almost any other in the world (the latest number I could get my hands on was 2000, when … Continue reading

Posted in Global issues | 4 Comments

London

My thoughts and prayers are with those affected by the London disaster. Like many Aussies, I lived in the city for a while (for a while, I changed trains each day at Russell Square), so immediately got on email last … Continue reading

Posted in Global issues

End of Poverty?

If you haven’t already read Jeff Sachs’ The End of Poverty, I’d highly recommend it. Here’s a few thoughts to add to what many others have already said about it: The discussion of geography and history upfront is splendid. Lots … Continue reading

Posted in Global issues

Guns in Papua New Guinea

Sydney University academic Philip Alpers has just released a terrific report (PDF) on gun-running in PNG, which involved him approaching violent highland militia leaders, and asking if they’d mind him checking out their guns. He notes that: In the volatile … Continue reading

Posted in Global issues

More Haste, More Korupsi

Recent reports that Australia has so far only spent $10 million of the pledged $1 billion to rebuild Aceh after the Boxing Day tsunami shouldn’t be cause for concern. It’s one thing to respond fast in providing food, water and … Continue reading

Posted in Global issues

More on Pakistan

Nicholas Kristof continues his campaign in the NYT for the west to put more pressure on Pakistan (full text over the fold). He mentions the embarassment that President Musharraf faced in New Zealand, but said nothing of his reception in … Continue reading

Posted in Global issues

Calling a Dictator a Dictator

Bizarrely, Australia is giving a generous welcome to Pakistani dictator Pervez Musharraf. This despite a chilling tale from Nicholas Kristof, reporting that Musharraf has just ordered the detention of a gang rape victim who works to raise awareness of violence … Continue reading

Posted in Global issues

The Hamlin for Nobel Campaign Begins

So far as I know, no Australian has ever won the Nobel Peace Prize. In the New York Times, Nicholas Kristof makes the case for the award going to Catherine Hamlin, an Aussie doctor treating African women with fistulas.

Posted in Global issues

UNabashed

John Dauth, Australia’s straight-talking Ambassador to the United Nations, spoke at ANU Law School tonight. He was pleasantly direct, praising the Secretariat, the Security Council and agencies like UNICEF, but arguing that the UN General Assembly and its committees – … Continue reading

Posted in Global issues

US Welfare Reform

Greg Barns has a piece in today’s Herald-Sun (not online, sorry), which makes the traditional leftist argument against US welfare reform. These kinds of opeds – a hardy perennial in the Australian debate – make the essentially correct point that … Continue reading

Posted in Global issues | 7 Comments

Corbynomics

Of all the features about the Schapelle Corby case, the oddest seems to be the price disparity. According to the 2004 World Drug Report (PDF file), the price of marijuana in Indonesia is about US$1/gram retail, or US$100/kg wholesale. The … Continue reading

Posted in Global issues | 4 Comments

Who Needs a Lexus if the World is Flat?

Via Catallaxy, "Flathead" is a brutally funny review of New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman’s latest book, The World is Flat. It’s reminisent of "The Datsun and the Shoe Tree", a classic send-up of The Lexus and the Olive Tree … Continue reading

Posted in Global issues

Geldof Goesoff

Andrew Denton  had Bob Geldof on Enough Rope on Monday (transcript here). I found him painful to watch — a man of limited talents who clearly hasn’t had anyone around who was willing to break it to him, and who … Continue reading

Posted in Global issues | 1 Comment

One World

I just finished reading Peter Singer’s One World: The Ethics of Globalisation. It’s a ripper. Singer makes a very compelling case in favour of weighting the welfare of those in other countries the same as the welfare of those in … Continue reading

Posted in Global issues | 4 Comments

Laughable if it weren't so outlandish

Today’s SMH reprints a piece from the Guardian by uber-leftie John Laughland, who is very cross that Ukraine now has a democratically elected government. Is there such a dearth of good opinion writers in Australia that our quality press needs … Continue reading

Posted in Global issues | 1 Comment

Pope John Paul II's AIDS Legacy

Encomiums are pouring forth in the wake of the Pope’s passing. And there is much to be proud of: his direct approach to the Holocaust, his role in the transition from Communism in Eastern Europe, and his passionate focus on … Continue reading

Posted in Global issues | 13 Comments

Bring on those Singaporeans

Being married to an American, and working in a US-centric profession, I couldn’t be more delighted at the prospect that Singapore Airlines will be allowed to compete on the Sydney-LA route. Maybe someone can convince a few of those UK … Continue reading

Posted in Global issues | 1 Comment

Democracy Building

George Packer has a beautifully pitched leader in this week’s New Yorker. It begins: President Bush has put the idea of spreading democracy around the world at the rhetorical heart of American foreign policy. No one should doubt that he … Continue reading

Posted in Global issues | 1 Comment

Blunketty Blunk

So David Blunkett, Blair’s favourite cabinet minister, has gone. Why? As Home Secretary, his lover showed him a letter indicating that it would take a year to get a visa for her nanny. Frustrated at realising the long delays in … Continue reading

Posted in Global issues

World AIDS Day

Today – 1 Dec – is World AIDS Day. In earlier posts I’ve described the global AIDS epidemic as the most urgent humanitarian crisis facing the world today. Just how bad is the AIDS crisis?  Well, imagine if every single … Continue reading

Posted in Global issues

More axes to grind than a blacksmith

The SMH today reprints a piece from the Guardian, written by John Laughland, who argues that the Ukranian elections were really pretty fair. Now I don’t know much about Ukraine, but it did strike me as odd that his arguments … Continue reading

Posted in Global issues | 3 Comments

Indigenous Politicians

One feature of both the Australian and US polls which has so far gone unremarked is that the two elections saw the number of indigenous politicians fall to zero. In Australia, Aden Ridgeway lost his NSW Senate seat, while Andrea … Continue reading

Posted in Global issues | 5 Comments

How Would Kerry & Bush Affect Australia?

Michael Fullilove, a friend of mine who works at the Lowy Institute, has a new report out on the foreign policies of Bush & Kerry (for the whole report, click here; for a summary article in the SMH, click here). … Continue reading

Posted in Global issues