Published daily by the Lowy Institute

Anthony Bubalo

Anthony Bubalo is a Nonresident Fellow of the Lowy Institute. He was Deputy Director of the Institute between 2015 and 2018 and Research Director from 2012 to 2018. As Research Director he managed the Institute’s research output, including the commissioning and editorial processes. He has also produced research on a variety of Middle Eastern issues, including Middle East–Asia linkages,  Islamism, democratisation, terrorism, and energy security. He comments on Middle Eastern politics for the Australian and international media outlets. He has written for The Australian, The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, the Financial Times, Ha’aretz and Asahi Shimbun newspapers, as well as The American Interest and ForeignPolicy.com.  Before joining the Lowy Institute, Anthony was an officer of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He served in Australian diplomatic missions in Saudi Arabia and Israel and was Middle East Analyst with the Office of National Assessments from 1996 to 1998.


Articles by Anthony Bubalo (48)

  • The Middle East in 2016 (part 5): Cultivating order

    Part 1 of this seven-part series is here; part 2 here; part 3 here: and part 4 here. In February 2014 I visited Za'atari refugee camp in Jordan, near the Syrian border. According to official estimates it today houses around 80,000 refugees from the conflict in Syria, although in 2014, the Jordanian police commander of the camp put the population at some 110,000. The thing that strikes you about Za'atari is how flat, arid, dusty, and white the terrain is.
  • The Middle East in 2016 (part 4): Focus on governance, not provenance

    Part 1 of this seven-part series is here; part 2 here; and part 3 here. In the first three parts of this series I focused on what I think will happen in the Middle East. I didn't, and couldn't, cover everything, so I focused on those things happening in 2016 that would be most consequential beyond 2016. In the second half of the series I will focus on things that Western policy makers should do to respond to unrest in the Middle East. A good place to start is the so-called 'Obama doctrine'.
  • The Middle East in 2016 (part 3): Saudi Arabia, Iran and the economics of change

    Part 1 of this seven-part series is here; part 2 here. A key feature of the Middle East's current disorder is the rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia. This has a long history, but in the last decade has once again become sharper and more overt. Unsurprisingly, the geopolitical aspects of this rivalry capture a lot of attention. It is reflected in Saudi concern over the nuclear deal with Iran.
  • The Middle East in 2016 (part 2): The old order will continue to decay

    Part 1 of this seven-part series is here. One of the enduring myths of the Arab uprisings is that it was primarily a brave, noble but ultimately vain attempt by young liberals to overthrow the old authoritarian order in the Middle East. Many observers now dismiss the uprisings as a passing episode; a failed experiment with democracy that has mostly resulted in violence and disorder, and seen a return to repression. Like all myths this one contains a kernel of truth.
  • The Middle East in 2016 (part 1): Levantine limbo

    This is the first post in a series of seven on the Middle East in 2016. The first three will look at what I think will happen in the region this year; the second three will discuss how I think Western countries should respond; and a final post will discuss Australian policy. To understand what will happen in the Middle East in 2016 the most obvious place to start is Syria.
  • Syria: The ugly truth behind those calls for 'pragmatism'

    In Manila this week Prime Minister Turnbull, echoing the language of other Western leaders of late, spoke of the need for pragmatism when it comes to Syria: ...what we need there is a political settlement. And it is clear that the principal determinants of, the people that will decide who can be in or out are going to be the people in Syria. You know that dictating terms from foreign capitals is unlikely to be successful.
  • Greste, the West and 'the republic of darkness'

    Over the weekend an Egypt court found Al-Jazeera journalists Peter Greste, Mohammed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed guilty on charges of operating in Egypt without a press licence and of ‘spreading false news’. Greste and Fahmy were given sentences of three years in prison; Mohamed was given three years and six months.