Author Archives: Ramesh Thakur

Ramesh Thakur

About Ramesh Thakur

Ramesh Thakur is a professor emeritus at the Crawford School of Public Policy, the Australian National University.

RAMESH THAKUR. A hometown lynching

This gut-wrenching story is from and about my hometown where I was born and grew up. I wish I could say I’m surprised as well as horrified but that would be a lie. This is the reality I grew up … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Human Rights, World Affairs | 4 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. Schadenfreude, thy name is Tony Abbott: No one is above the law

If a law can be abused, it will be. This is as true of laws enacted in the name of national security and anti-terrorism as any other law. Why is this simple reality so hard for politicians to grasp?

Posted in Politics | 5 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. The P5 must reaffirm that nuclear war can’t be won and mustn’t be fought (Strategist 15-10-19)

There are three sets of reasons for a palpable rise in nuclear anxieties around the world: growing nuclear arsenals and expanding roles for nuclear weapons, a crumbling arms-control architecture, and irresponsible statements from the leaders of some nuclear-armed states.

Posted in World Affairs | 2 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. The markets school Modi: India needs reform (Policy Forum 22-10-19)

The Indian government’s tinkering has not been enough to enact real change – Prime Minister Modi must listen to the market and undertake a serious structural transformation, Ramesh Thakur writes.

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

RAMESH THAKUR. Japan’s least bad choice on North Korea (Japan Times 3-10-19)

If Japanese officials have conducted any clear-eyed, hard-headed analysis of the government’s policy options on North Korea’s nuclear challenge, they have managed to keep it well hidden.

Posted in Asia, Defence and Security, World Affairs | Leave a comment

RAMESH THAKUR. ‘It’s no crime to be a refugee’.

Review of Kavita Puri, Partition Voices: Untold British Stories (London: Bloomsbury, 2019), 297 pp. This is an important, interesting and elegantly written book. ‘It is no crime to be a refugee’, says one of the persons interviewed for the book. … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Immigration, refugees, World Affairs | 3 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. The establishment strikes back at the deplorables. Part 4: Partisanship on steroids

The timing of the impeachment inquiry shows frustration. With uncharacteristic honesty, Democratic Representative Al Green confessed in May: ‘I’m concerned that if we don’t impeach this president, he will get reelected’. A speeded-up removal of Trump could well prove cathartic … Continue reading

Posted in World Affairs | 2 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. The establishment strikes back at the deplorables. Part 3: Impeachment

The whistleblower’s complaint, made on 12 August, was based entirely on hearsay. The existing guidelines had said in bold, underlined, all-caps: ‘FIRST-HAND INFORMATION REQUIRED’. After receiving the complaint, the intelligence community inspector-general (ICIG) revised the internal guidance to permit evidence … Continue reading

Posted in World Affairs | 5 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. Relocating the United Nations (Valdai Discussion Club 10-10-19)

The United Nations is the world’s premier and its only universal international organization. It alone houses the divided fragments of humanity. But currently it faces a threat to the foundational principle of inclusivity. Its purpose-built headquarters was located in New … Continue reading

Posted in World Affairs | 2 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. The establishment strikes back at the deplorables. Part 2: The Ukraine connection

We come back to the Russia collusion narrative. A lot of it seems to have had Ukraine connections, so much so that Ukraine was Ground Zero of that story. The primary motive of the Poroshenko administration would have been to … Continue reading

Posted in World Affairs | 4 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. The establishment strikes back at the deplorables. Part 1: ‘Impeach the MF’

Fasten your seatbelts. With fresh revelations on almost a daily basis, we look set for convulsive politics over the coming weeks and months in the UK, the Mother of Parliaments, and in the US, the world’s most successful and powerful … Continue reading

Posted in World Affairs | 5 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. PM Morrison tilts at UN windmill

During Scott Morrison’s recent trip to the US, did the PM absorb some of Donald Trump’s intellectual genius by a mysterious process of osmosis? How else are we to explain his incoherent, befuddled speech at the Lowy Institute on Thursday … Continue reading

Posted in World Affairs | 3 Comments

ANU ANWAR. How China is using tourists to realise its geopolitical goals (East Asia Forum 19-9-19)

Decades of astonishing economic growth have given China new tools for extending its influence abroad and achieving its political goals. Some of these tools are inducements, including Belt and Road Initiative projects and new development financial institutions. But China has demonstrated that it … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, World Affairs | Leave a comment

ROBERT REICH. Trump can do more damage than Nixon. His impeachment is imperative (Guardian 28-9-19)

Amid the impeachment furor, don’t lose sight of the renewed importance of protecting the integrity of the 2020 election.

Posted in World Affairs | 2 Comments

DER SPIEGEL. Tension in the Middle East: The Groundwork Is Laid for a Vast New Conflict (25-9-19)

The attacks on the country’s two biggest oil facilities last month represent an unprecedented humiliation for the Saudis and The kingdom feels disgraced, angry and injured. It also became clear that the Saudis are certain who was behind the attack. … Continue reading

Posted in World Affairs | 1 Comment

ROBERT FISK. As Netanyahu’s Power in the Middle East Wanes, Trump Has to Find His Own Way to Deal with Iran (Counterpunch 24-9-19)

There is an extraordinary irony in the fate of both Benjamin Netanyahu and Iran. The first has been captaining the Titanic, in the words of one Israeli academic, through the past couple of days. The second – a rather better captain, it might be said – has … Continue reading

Posted in World Affairs | 1 Comment

EDOARDO CAMPANELLA. Back to Little England? (Project Syndicate 17-9-19)

Future historians may come to describe Brexit as the defining moment of a nationalist wave that swept away the postwar liberal international order. Yet their task will be complicated by the fact that Brexit is not, in fact, a manifestation … Continue reading

Posted in World Affairs | 2 Comments

WILLIAM LANGWIESCHE. What Really Brought Down the Boeing 737 Max?

Malfunctions caused two deadly crashes. But an industry that puts unprepared pilots in the cockpit is just as guilty. The New York Times investigates.

Posted in Technology | 1 Comment

MARION BENNETT. Working together to end homelessness in Cairns

A new Mission Australia evaluation has highlighted that when people experiencing homelessness in Cairns have the support of strong, caring relationships and when services work collaboratively and seamlessly together, their standards of living and personal relationships improve, they feel safer … Continue reading

Posted in Housing, Indigenous affairs | Leave a comment

RENUKA MAHADEVAN and ANDA NUGROHO. RCEP must move forward, with or without India (East Asia Forum 19-9-19)

As the international trading system grows increasingly strained under the escalating US–China trade dispute and the paralysis of WTO reform, many have eagerly called for the conclusion of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) by the end of 2019. The ASEAN-led initiative is … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, World Affairs | Leave a comment

GEORGE MONBIOT. For the sake of life on Earth, we must put a limit on wealth (Guardian 19-9-19)

It is not quite true that behind every great fortune lies a great crime. Musicians and novelists, for example, can become extremely rich by giving other people pleasure. But it does appear to be universally true that in front of every … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. Justin Trudeau is trashing his own brand

Canada’s PM Justin Trudeau is caught in a messy hypocrisy scandal, not a racism scandal. To be absolutely clear: Trudeau is not a racist, was never a racist and, in my judgment, has never behaved in a racist manner – … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, World Affairs | 1 Comment

BILL MCKIBBEN. If the world ran on sun, it wouldn’t fight over oil (Guardian 18-9-19)

We are sadly accustomed by now to the idea that our reliance on oil and gas causes random but predictable outbreaks of flood, firestorm and drought. The weekend’s news from the Gulf is a grim reminder that depending on oil leads inevitably to … Continue reading

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BENEDICT SHEEHY. Bupa’s nursing home scandal is more evidence of a deep crisis in regulation (The Conversation 13-9-19)

British health-care conglomerate Bupa runs more nursing homes in Australia than anyone else. We now know its record in meeting basic standards of care is also worse than any other provider.

Posted in Health | 2 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. Nuclear arms treaty and umbrella states (Japan Times 12 Sep)

In 1984, U.S. President Ronald Reagan noted the nuclear emperor had no clothes: “The only value in our two nations [United States and Soviet Union] possessing nuclear weapons is to make sure they will never be used. But then would … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, World Affairs | 1 Comment

KEVIN RUDD. Australia destroys its own reputation in the Pacific (East Asia Forum 9-9-19)

The dust-up at the Pacific Islands Forum was not simply a zero-sum game between the Pacific and Australia over coal. While this may have been the tip of the spear, it went to a far deeper divide over climate and … Continue reading

Posted in Climate, World Affairs | 1 Comment

RYAN MANUEL. The United Front Work Department and how it plays a part in the Gladys Liu controversy (ABC News 15-9-19)

Gladys Liu is in hot water over her alleged association with the United Front Work Department of the Chinese Communist Party. Yet no-one has alleged that Ms Liu herself, nor the Liberal Party she belongs to, holds any communist sympathies. … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

MIKE WALLER.What Westminster system, Prime Minister

“These core elements of the Westminster tradition are as important as they have ever been…” Scott Morrison Speech to IPAA “When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said…, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean…’ ’The question is,’ … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

JOHN CASSIDY. Trump’s Awful Middle East Policies Are Coming Back to Haunt Him (New Yorker 17-9-19)

Trump’s in a pickle, and he’s the one responsible for it. By needlessly reneging on the U.S.-Iranian nuclear deal and launching a sanctions campaign that amounts to economic warfare against Tehran, he has strengthened the Iranian hard-liners and further destabilized … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

FINIAN CUNNINGHAM. China Slaps Britain: You Can’t Afford Hostility (Strategic Culture 13-9-19)

China gave Britain a stern warning this week that any naval maneuvers conducted with the US near its declared territories in the South China Sea will be met with a military response. Beijing rapped London further, telling it to dump its “colonial … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments