• Leadership in the Pacific

    Graeme Dobell     |      February 21, 2024

    The South Pacific has strong societies but weak states, and the social traditions which hold them together are beginning to shift and fade, underlining the importance of better Australian leadership in the region.

  • Three different views from Shangri-La

    Graeme Dobell     |      June 17, 2023

    The optimism expressed by Kevin Rudd about the ‘Asian Century’ and close relations with China has been tempered in recent years by a more realistic appraisal of China’s true intentions and the need to protect Australia through stronger ties to traditional allies.

  • A bad year for the bad guys

    Graeme Dobell     |      December 24, 2022

    The death-knell for democracy is always being tolled, but the weakness and folly of authoritarian rule has proved itself this year, epitomised by the Russian dictator’s disastrous invasion of its democratic neighbour, Ukraine.

  • Fighting in the streets

    Graeme Dobell     |      December 5, 2022

    The recent history of riots in the South Pacific belies its gentle reputation, and highlights the social tensions created by authoritarian governments and growing Chinese influence.

  • Portents and echoes from Whitlam to Albanese

    Graeme Dobell     |      November 28, 2022

    A new Labor government takes office, threatened by a global recession, seeking a new start with China, and worried by war in a ‘time of entrenched geopolitical competition and stark divisions’ – A tough menu confronted Gough Whitlam’s government when it won office on 2 December 1972.

  • China crisis

    Graeme Dobell     |      September 6, 2022

    Former Prime Ministers Kevin Rudd and John Howard sought closer ties with China in their time, and both remain hopeful that conflict can be avoided.

  • Reaching out to the people of the South Pacific

    Graeme Dobell     |      June 6, 2022

    While China woos the leaders of the South Pacific, Australia’s great counter-offer is to the region’s people.

  • The fine art and inexact science of Australian politics

    Graeme Dobell     |      May 23, 2022

    After twenty years of squabbling and inaction by both sides of politics, the 2022 election has surely brought the ‘climate wars’ to a close, but both Labor and the Liberals will have new battles to fight in government and opposition.

  • Panda huggers and dragon slayers

    Graeme Dobell     |      April 26, 2022

    Dazzled by the prospect of economic opportunities, Australia had high hopes for a closer relationship with China at the start of the ‘Asian Century’ but the reality of China’s oppressive, aggressive intentions has forced all but the most craven China apologists to reassess their views.

  • Europe at war

    Graeme Dobell     |      March 29, 2022

    The debate about whether we’re in a new cold war has a decisive, brutal answer with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

  • Murder in uniform

    Graeme Dobell     |      March 15, 2022

    Heartbreaking images of Putin’s war in Ukraine are circulating around Russia as well as the rest of the world. If Putin grinds on, the smartphone war may just deliver regime change in Russia rather than Ukraine.

  • The case for national values

    Graeme Dobell     |      March 9, 2022

    Australia’s leaders need to be idealistic as well as pragmatic in their international dealings, because strong national values are as important as political favours and the economic bottom line.