Curated expert opinion on intractable contemporary issues
Global Outlook Articles by Ramesh Thakur
Ramesh Thakur is emeritus professor in the Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University; Senior Fellow, Toda Peace Institute; and a member of the Asia-Pacific Leadership Network Board of Directors. He was formerly a United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and Co-Convenor of the APLN.
By Ramesh Thakur | 31 January, 2022
Every great power needs an organising principle of foreign policy; great powers rise and fall on the tide of history and no power remains great forever; no great power retreats forever; there’s no way to reliably judge whether a great power has begun its descent into permanent decline or is merely in temporary retreat; and geopolitical fault lines during periods of power transition are fraught with grave risks of war rooted in miscalculations of relative power.
By Ramesh Thakur | 13 January, 2022
Proving that history does irony, banks that once feared masked robbers now fear mask-free customers. But does history also do mockery? The 1984 Nobel Peace laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu passed away on Boxing Day in Cape Town. Almost a decade ago, Tutu refused to share the stage with former British prime minister Tony Blair in Johannesburg, saying he should be in the dock in The Hague answering for war crimes.
By Ramesh Thakur | 17 November, 2021
Prime Minister Scott Morrison is embroiled in a tussle with both French President Emmanuel Macron and US President Joe Biden which, given the power asymmetries, risks leaving Australia exposed and vulnerable in a major-power league above its paygrade.
By Ramesh Thakur | 27 October, 2021
A common intellectual parlour game is to rank American presidents in order of greatness. Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Theodore Roosevelt have long reigned supreme in the top four slots in C-SPAN’s survey of presidential historians. Switching angles and timeframe, although few question the US decision to exit Afghanistan, few defend how it was done. The calamitous domestic political consequences will be matched by lasting damage to the US’s global reputation and interests. This prompts the question: what were the single worst blunders by recent presidents?
By Ramesh Thakur | 09 August, 2021
On the 71st anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, for the first time, a global treaty is in force outlawing the bomb. Last month, I completed and dispatched to the publisher an edited book on the nuclear ban treaty (or the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, as it’s officially called) with contributions from many familiar people in academia, think tanks, foreign ministries and civil society.
By Ramesh Thakur | 21 June, 2021
After the summit talks in Geneva on 17 June, Russian and US presidents Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden held separate and contrasting press conferences. Biden made it clear his staff had given him a prepared list of reporters on whom to call, strongly suggesting questions and answers drafted in advance to minimise gaffes by a president whose thoughts can wander sometimes.
The views and opinions expressed in Global Outlook are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Toda Peace Institute.