When we launched Incline back in April, we were motivated by a sense that there was not enough commentary on the issues that affect New Zealand as it charts its way in the world. We felt there were too few discussion pieces that put a New Zealand spin on developments in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. We wanted to do our bit to try and fill the gap. Looking back as 2015 draws to a close, we like to think we’ve made a good start.
Since April, we have published thirty substantive posts covering everything from parliament’s scrutiny of trade agreements to the future of the monarchy in the Pacific, from killer robots to New Zealand’s actions on the UN Security Council. We’ve touched on bilateral issues, including ties with China, India, Russia and the United States, as well as New Zealand’s dealings with regional groups like ASEAN and the Pacific Islands Forum. There has been debate about the next Defence White Paper, and commentary on the UN’s women, peace and security agenda and how best to protect civilians in conflict zones.
We’ve stuck to our promise not to toe a particular ideological or political line. Some writers have been fulsome in their praise for the government, others have been sharply critical. Some contributors have been hawkish on defence policy, others have called for New Zealand to be more active in its disarmament diplomacy and questioned just how ‘like-minded’ we are with some of our traditional partners.
We have also wanted Incline to provide a platform for a more diverse range of voices than is sometimes heard in foreign affairs and security debates in New Zealand. Of our 20 different authors, about a quarter can be described as emerging researchers, including several graduate students, and we have been delighted to publish their work. Gender diversity is also important to us, and so far, eight of our 20 contributors have been women. We’d like to see that number rise next year. We are very grateful to all our contributors for their hard work and we hope you have enjoyed their posts.
The editors are going to take a bit of a break over the Christmas and New Years holidays, but Incline will be back from the middle of January with more commentary and analysis. (If you haven't already, please sign up at the right to get new posts emailed straight to your inbox.) Between now and then we will also be thinking about ways to try and improve the blog and perhaps find ways add more regular content. As always, we welcome your feedback and comments.
In the meantime, our sincere thanks to our managing editors Benedict Xu-Holland and Cassandra Shih, and to you, the readers. We wish you all a safe, peaceful and happy holiday season.