Independent Strategic Analysis of Australia’s Global Interests


Implications of the Chinese Communist Party’s 19th Congress: Part One: Xi Consolidates Power

The recently-concluded Congress of the Chinese Communist Party saw President Xi consolidate his power and set China on a revised and ambitious path, one perceived as more becoming of a superpower. Such a move also presents risks for the region and for China itself.

US Leads Calls for World Bank Lending Reform to Help the World’s Poor

Recent testimony from a senior US Treasury official suggests that the US is in the process of re-evaluating its foreign assistance programme, potentially leading to institutional adjustments that could improve food and water security in developing countries.

Red Sea–Dead Sea Project: By Threatening to go it Alone, Jordan Exposes Project’s Flaws

By threatening Israel with the “Jordan only” option to go it alone in the Red Sea–Dead Sea Project, Jordan has exposed how the venture could be used as a political club by one member against the other.

The Ord River Irrigation Scheme – Charting a Course for Economic Success

Geoffrey Craggs, Research Analyst Future Directions International 19 October 2017 In his paper titled “The Ord River Irrigation Scheme – Charting a Course for Economic Success” Geoffrey Craggs, Research Analyst, Northern Australia and Land Care Research programme, discusses the history of the Ord River Irrigation Scheme with a view to a positive economic future. This…

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

Professor Vivian Louis Forbes, Associate Future Directions International 10 September 2017 In this paper, FDI Associate Professor Vivian Louis Forbes continues his analysis of the Sino-Malaysian relationship with an assessment of the two countries’ unresolved maritime boundaries in the South China Sea. The situation is such, Dr Forbes finds, that even as Malaysia finds itself…

Modi in Israel: Agriculture, Water Security and Keeping Policy Promises

Benjamin Walsh, Research Analyst Future Directions International 12 July 2017 In his paper titled “Modi in Israel: Agriculture, Water Security and Keeping Policy Promises” Benjamin Walsh, Research Analyst, the Global Food and Water Crises Programme, writes that Prime Minster Narendra Modi’s trip to Israel demonstrates India’s desire to expand the bilateral partnership beyond defence and into food and water security,…

Indo-Russian Ties in the Age of Trump – Part Two: The Re-formation of the Partnership

The strong India-Russia relationship, having diminished, appears to be set to be revived because of changed international circumstances. Russia needs India’s economic strengths just as much as India needs Russia’s technological and strategic advantages. This mutual need can only see the bilateral relationship grow once again.

The Management of Soil Nutrients: Chemical Fertilisers or Not?

Large-scale industrial farming with a heavy reliance on chemical fertilisers is enabling agricultural to produce food on the scale necessary to feed the growing world population. It is also, however, degrading soil quality and the ever-increasing use of chemicals to support grossly over-harvested mono-cultures will never lead to environmental sustainability. Organic nutrient management has many environmental advantages but it currently has a productivity cost. What is the future of global agriculture?

Environmental Concerns Unlikely to Threaten Chinese Plans to Dredge Thai Mekong

Caleb Gorton, Research Assistant Future Directions International 10 May 2017 In his paper titled “Environmental Concerns Unlikely to Threaten Chinese Plans to Dredge Thai Mekong” Caleb Gorton, Research Assistant, the Global Food and Water Crises Programme, writes that China’s plan to dredge the Mekong River to improve access for larger cargo ships is another component of…

Timor-Leste: An Uncertain Future and an Unsettled Boundary

Jarryd de Haan, Research Analyst Future Directions International 23 February 2017 In his paper titled “Timor-Leste: An Uncertain Future and an Unsettled Boundary”Jarryd de Haan, Research Analyst, Indian Ocean Research Programme, looks into the issue of maritime boundary delimitation between Australia and Timor-Leste. Mr de Haan considers the current and probable future economic circumstances of Timor-Leste, together with…

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.

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