Jonathan Pearlman
Jonathan Pearlman

Jonathan Pearlman is the editor of Australian Foreign Affairs and the world editor of The Saturday Paper. He previously worked at The Sydney Morning Herald, covering foreign affairs and politics from Canberra and Sydney. He has worked as a correspondent in the Middle East, and has covered various international stories, including the 2008 US election and the violence in eastern Congo. He is a correspondent for The Straits Times newspaper (Singapore) and was Australia–Pacific correspondent for The Telegraph (UK). His work has appeared in numerous publications, including The Diplomat, Good Weekend magazine and Australian Book Review, and he has been a Walkley Award finalist and a United Nations Media Award winner.  He was born in Sydney and studied at the University of New South Wales and Oxford University.

Australia is increasingly affected by events beyond its borders, especially as global power and wealth shifts towards Asia. The challenges facing Australia and the region are varied and complex, but they are also fascinating. There is a strong need and appetite for a publication that explores these challenges and debates the ways Australia should respond.

— Jonathan Pearlman, Editor, Australian Foreign Affairs

As a contributor

Cover of The March on Autocracy
Australia’s Fateful Choices

In the face of a rising authoritarian Asia and a declining democratic West, can democracy fight back?

Friends, Allies and Enemies: Asia’s Shifting Loyalties
Asia’s Shifting Loyalties

As we confront a changed world, how do Australia’s alliances, friendships and rivalries help and hinder us?

Cover of AFA9 SPY VS SPY
The New Age of Espionage

The ninth issue of Australian Foreign Affairs explores the threat facing Australia as changes in technology enable malign actors to target individuals, officials, businesses and infrastructure – challenges that have only sharpened due to COVID-19.

Articles by Jonathan Pearlman

 Five big COVID-19 questions
And five answers from AFA

Extracts by Jonathan Pearlman

As an editor

Cover of The March on Autocracy
Australia’s Fateful Choices

In the face of a rising authoritarian Asia and a declining democratic West, can democracy fight back?

Friends, Allies and Enemies: Asia’s Shifting Loyalties
Asia’s Shifting Loyalties

As we confront a changed world, how do Australia’s alliances, friendships and rivalries help and hinder us?

Cover of AFA9 SPY VS SPY
The New Age of Espionage

The ninth issue of Australian Foreign Affairs explores the threat facing Australia as changes in technology enable malign actors to target individuals, officials, businesses and infrastructure – challenges that have only sharpened due to COVID-19.

Australian Foreign Affairs 8: Can We Trust America?
A Superpower in Transition

The eighth issue of Australian Foreign Affairs examines the changing status of the United States as its dominance in the Asia-Pacific faces challenge from China and its “America First” foreign policy marks a shift away from global engagement.        

Can We Trust America? looks at the uncertainties for Australia as questions arise about the commitment of its closest ally.            

Yellow journal cover of AFA7 CHINA DEPENDENCE with dark purple writing and red shipping containers
Australia’s new vulnerability

The seventh issue of Australian Foreign Affairs explores Australia’s status as the most China-dependent country in the developed world, and the potential risks this poses to its future prosperity and security.

Yellow cover of AFA6 with blue writing and a picture of a plane flying over the sea
Rivalry in the Pacific

The latest issue of Australian Foreign Affairs examines Australia’s struggle to retain influence among its Pacific island neighbours as foreign powers play a greater role and as small nations brace for the impacts of climate change. 

AFA5 Are We Asian Yet?
History vs Geography

The latest issue of Australian Foreign Affairs examines Australia’s struggle to define its place in Asia as it balances its historic ties to the West with its geography. 

“Whether we like it or not, the challenge of defending Australia will become much harder in the twenty-first century. We are no longer a strategic backwater.” MICHAEL WESLEY

The fourth issue of Australian Foreign Affairs examines the challenge of defending Australia at a time of regional uncertainty and fast-changing military technology. 

Cover image of AFA3
Can We Be Friends?

Australian Foreign Affairs is published three times a year and seeks to explore – and encourage – debate on Australia’s place in the world and global outlook.

AFA2 Trump in Asia
The New World Disorder

Trump in Asia is essential reading for anyone wanting to understand the issues facing Canberra as Australia’s closest ally recasts its alliances.