James O Fairfax Theatre
National Gallery of Australia
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Canberra  ACT

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Global wealth and power are shifting eastwards. Three of the world’s four largest economies are in Asia, and the fourth, the United States, is a Pacific power. By 2025, two thirds of the world’s population will live in Asia, and only around a tenth in the West. This transformation is reshaping the global distribution of power, with profound implications for war and peace in the twenty-first century.

The Lowy Institute Asia Power Index is an analytical tool for tracking changes in the distribution of power in the region. It aims to sharpen the debate on geopolitics in Asia.

The Index ranks 25 countries and territories in terms of their capacity to influence regional events, using 114 indicators across eight thematic measures of power: economic resources and relationships, military capability and defence networks, diplomatic and cultural influence, as well as resilience and future trends.

Join the expert panel of Hervé Lemahieu, Director of the Asian Power and Diplomacy Program; Bonnie Bley, Research Fellow; Dr Huong Le Thu, Senior Analyst, Australian Strategic Policy Institute, and Primrose Riordan, Political Reporter, The Australian, for a discussion on the method and findings of the largest comparative assessment of power in the region ever undertaken, followed by a Q&A. 

CHAIR: Primrose Riordan, Political Reporter, The Australian
Primrose Riordan is a political journalist covering foreign affairs and trade with The Australian after working for The Australian Financial Review for two years. Prior to that she worked at The Canberra Times. She has a special interest in China after working for China Radio International and freelancing in Beijing. In 2017, Primrose was awarded the Wallace Brown Young Journalist Award.
Dr Huong Le Thu, Senior Analyst, Australian Strategic Policy Institute
Dr Huong Le Thu is a senior analyst at ASPI, Defence and Strategy Program. Prior to joining ASPI she worked at the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs (ANU), Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (Singapore), and Institute of International Relations (Taiwan). Her research interests include multilateral security in Asia, foreign policy in post-socialist countries, as well as identity politics. Dr Le Thu’s academic publications have appeared in The Pacific Review, Asia-Europe Journal, Oxford University Press among others; her policy analyses have been featured by: The International Institute for Strategic Studies, Council on Foreign Relations, The Brookings Institution, Centre for Strategic and International Studies, East West Center, Royal United Services Institute, Nikkei Asian Review, South China Morning Post, Sydney Morning Herald etc.

Bonnie Bley, Research Fellow, Lowy Institute
Bonnie Bley is a Research Fellow at the Lowy Institute, where she works on the Lowy Institute Asia Power Index. The project is the largest comparative assessment of power in the region ever undertaken. Prior to joining the Lowy Institute, Bonnie worked at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London, where she was responsible for web content and social media strategies, notably at the 2016 IISS Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore. She furthermore worked on a range of IISS products, including the Military Balance, Armed Conflict Database and Strategic Comments. Bonnie earned first-class honours in European Social and Political Studies at University College London (UCL). She also studied at the University of Bologna.

Hervé Lemahieu, Director, Asian Power and Diplomacy Program, Lowy Institute
Hervé Lemahieu is Director of the Asian Power and Diplomacy Program at the Lowy Institute. His expertise is in the political economy and foreign policy of countries in mainland Southeast Asia and the broader Asia-Pacific region. His analysis has featured or been quoted in the Financial Times, Bloomberg, Foreign Policy, El País, Bangkok Post, The Straits Times, South China Morning Post, and Nikkei Asian Review. Prior to joining the Lowy Institute, Hervé was Research Associate for Political Economy and Security at the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). He started his career at Oxford Analytica where he was responsible for the consultancy’s analysis of the Mekong region. Hervé earned an MSc in Global Governance and Diplomacy from the University of Oxford, and an MA in International Relations and Modern History from the University of St Andrews.

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