Independent Strategic Analysis of Australia’s Global Interests


Indonesian Elections 2019: Prabowo Loses Presidential Vote, but Gains Ground in the Legislative Vote

While support for Prabowo’s Gerindra party has marginally improved, the makeup of parliament remains largely unchanged.

Dams in Africa: balancing food, water and energy security

Mervyn Piesse Research Manager Future Directions International 2 August 2018   In his paper titled “Dams in Africa: balancing food, water and energy security”, Mervyn Piesse, Research Manager, Global Food and Water Crises, examines African dams and their effect on the economy such as the improvement of water, food and energy security and the issues…

Iran: As the Regime Withers, the Dangers Grow

The Iranian theocracy continues to weaken in the face of sustained opposition from those it rules. That can only lead to a dangerous time for all Iranians.

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,…

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?

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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