I recently went to the 50th anniversary conference for the Australian National University’s Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, which was a lot of fun.
The videos are all up on the ANU’s YouTube channel, but for convenience I’ve embedded them here, with the lists of speakers.
There were five sessions, all included below. I particularly recommend the talk by Evelyn Goh. Her question, about whether grand bargains between great powers are actually possible, is hugely relevant for Australia given growing tensions between the US and China. I’m sceptical of her argument (I’m pessimistic about grand bargains and consider the idea to be a huge gamble), but it’s an important position to debate. I also really liked Amy King’s talk, as economic aspects of security are something I wish I knew better. The talks about strategic studies as a field (of study and practice) by Peter Ho, Eliot Cohen, Hew Strachan, Amitav Acharya and Robert O’Niell are also great.
Also, some people have recently asked me if my PhD is in strategic studies, because I’ve had so many blog posts on strategic and military issues this year. It’s not. I’ve just taken a lot of interest in strategic studies this year, in part because it’s not part of my PhD, but also because the history of its contentious relationship with both the state and the academy fascinates me (which has obvious parallels with terrorism studies).
Session 1: Strategy and Power
Chair: Professor Michael Wesley
21st Century Strategic Order – Dr C. Raja Mohan
Economics and Strategy – Dr Amy King
Elements of National Power and Strategic Policy – Major General John J. Frewen
Great Power Grand Bargains: Myth or Reality? – Professor Evelyn Goh
Session 2: Strategic Thinking: Concepts and Challenges
Chair: Emeritus Professor David Horner
Old Wine in New Bottles? The Continued Relevance of Cold War Strategic Concepts – Professor Robert Ayson
Alliances After the Cold War – Professor Thomas Christensen
Nuclear Strategy After the Cold War – Dr Nicola Leveringhaus
Session 3: Strategy and Domains
Chair: Professor Joan Beaumont
The Return of Geography – Professor Paul Dibb
Maritime Strategy in Asia – Dr Euan Graham
The Evolution of Military Capability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific Region – Dr Tim Huxley
Session 4: Strategic Studies in Practice
Chair: Admiral Chris Barrie
Strategic Studies in Practice: The Australian Perspective – Professor Hugh White
Strategic Studies in Practice: The Southeast Asian Perspective – Mr Peter Ho
Training the Next Generation of Strategic Thinkers – Professor Eliot Cohen
Session 5: New Directions in Strategic Studies
Chair: Professor Daniel Marston
US Grand Strategy in the Post-Cold War Era – Dr Hal Brands
The Future of Strategic Studies: Lessons from the Last Golden Age – Professor Sir Hew Strachan
An Asian School of Strategic Studies? – Professor Amitav Acharya
The Future of Strategic Studies: The Next Golden Age – Professor Robert O’Neill