Independent Strategic Analysis of Australia’s Global Interests

Associate Papers

Associate papers are primary source assessments written by FDI associates. The assessment topics range from regional bilateral relationships and opportunities and challenges in our neighbouring countries.

The Australia-India Bilateral Relationship in 2017: Stable, Static and Newly Significant

24 October 2017 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

The Australia-India relationship has not developed consistently over the decades but recent bilateral engagements in the economic, nuclear energy and security spheres have extended it and created opportunities for new interactions in multilateral forums. The increasing recognition of the benefits that each country has to offer the other has the potential to fully invigorate the relationship.

India’s Primacy in the Indian Ocean Region: Possibility or Misplaced Priority?

17 October 2017 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

India, which has the capacity to be a net security provider in the Indian Ocean Region, views the growing presence of China in the area with some suspicion and has sought to build a collective security framework with other Indian Ocean littoral states. India, Australia and the United States can play an important role by co-operating more closely in maintaining a rules-based order in the Indian Ocean Region.

India Watching Trump Administration’s Hardened Stance towards Pakistan

21 September 2017 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

New Delhi will be closely watching the Trump Administration’s stance towards Pakistan, which it has asked to do more in fighting terror groups. Until it sees what it considers to be satisfactory compliance from Islamabad, Washington will continue to take a harder line in its dealings with Pakistan.

China-Malaysia Relations: Navigating a Complex Geopolitical Sea – Part Two: The South China Sea Issue

5 September 2017 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

The Malaysia-China maritime boundary in the South China Sea remains unresolved. While Malaysia may come to find itself confronted by the uncomfortable prospect that its main economic partner might also become a growing security threat, the trade and financial considerations mean that Malaysia may find its hands tied even as the Chinese claims push ever closer to the Malaysian coast.

China-Malaysia Relations: Navigating a Complex Geopolitical Sea – Part One: Deep Economic Ties

31 August 2017 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

The Sino-Malaysian relationship is at a new high. On the back of considerable annual growth in their two-way trade and major investments in Malaysia, China has become Malaysia’s largest trading partner. Malaysia has warmly embraced such Chinese initiatives as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the “Belt and Road Initiative”, both of which will deepen the economic links between the two countries.

India Must do More to Fully Leverage its Soft Power Potential

24 August 2017 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

As a multicultural society, India is richly endowed with a wide range of soft power resources, which are mostly autonomous of the government and critically depend on the health of its inclusive democracy. Unfortunately, India lacks an appropriate institutional “ecosystem” to harness that soft power and use it to further its interests in the international sphere.

South China Sea Incremental Encroachment Tactics Replicated on Doklam Plateau

22 August 2017 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

The standoff at Doklam appears to be the most recent iteration of the strategy of incremental encroachment that China has employed for some time in the South China Sea. As at sea, conflict will benefit neither party, so diplomatic efforts to find a resolution must continue.

The Removal of Nawaz Sharif and Changing Role of Punjab in Pakistani Politics

15 August 2017 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

The removal from office of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif could be the catalyst for a change of approach to the civil-military relationship on the part of the influential province of Punjab. If Sharif’s party, the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), decides to continue his attempts at better relations with India, it will again place the government at odds with the army.

Modi and Trump: Possible Pathways?

1 August 2017 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

The leaders’ Joint Statement and Rose Garden speeches are indicative of possible future directions for the bilateral relationship, which will be underpinned by the domestic policy priorities exemplified by “Make in India” and “America First”. Beyond that, the strategic partnership is focussed on defence, security and stability but there is no shared strategic vision for the Indo-Pacific region.

India’s Gilgit-Baltistan Problem – Part Two: What Can New Delhi Do?

13 July 2017 | Associate Papers, Indian Ocean

Almost one year after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi drew international attention to Gilgit-Baltistan, there is little to no clarity on his government’s broad policy objectives for the disputed territory. It is unclear if the issue is merely being used to score brownie points with the domestic audience, to divert attention away from the crisis in Kashmir, to raise the cost of the CPEC or as a bargaining chip with Pakistan and/or China.

Publication Guide

  • Associate papers are primary source assessments written by FDI associates. The assessment topics range from regional bilateral relationships and opportunities and challenges in our neighbouring countries.

  • Feature interviews are interviews conducted by an FDI Research Manager. Interview topics range from the sustainability of our planet to the improved provision of emergency food aid.

  • Normally issued in hardcopy, these represent a comprehensive study of one of FDI’s four research areas.

  • Strategic alerts are priority current intelligence items. We provide these alerts when events such as military deployments or foreign election results occur.

  • A 1500 to 3000 word, single topic assessment.

  • A number of short articles addressing current intelligence topics, issued each week.

  • A record of discussions resulting from a single, or series of, roundtable conferences.

Donate Now and Support Independent Research

Donate now to help us provide independent research and advice on global issues facing Australia