2010 Seminars

Energy Security in Asia

4th May 2010 - 01:00pm
Speaker: Dr Michael Wesley Lowy Institute for International Policy

Michael Wesley is the Executive Director of the LowyInstitute for International Policy. Previously he was Professor ofInternational Relations and Director of the Griffith Asia Institute at Griffith University,and a Visiting Fellow at the Universityof Hong Kong and SunYat-Sen Universityin Guangzhou, China. Prior to this, he was theAssistant Director-General for Transnational Issues at the Office of NationalAssessments, and a Senior Lecturer in International Relations at the University of New South Wales.

Between 2007 and 2009, Dr Wesley was the Editor of the AustralianJournal of International Affairs anda Chief Investigator in the Australian Research Council's Centre of Excellencein Policing and Security (CEPS). He has served on the AustralianResearch Council's College of Experts and the Queensland Art Gallery's Board ofTrustees. In April 2008, he was Co-Chair (with Foreign Minister Stephen Smith)of one of the ten issue streams at the Australian government's 2020 Summit and gave the keynote speech at the Summit. Dr Wesley is a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution.

Hismost recent books are Energy Security inAsia (Routledge, 2007); The Howard Paradox:Australian Diplomacy in Asia 1996-2006 (ABC Books, 2007); and (with Allan Gyngell) MakingAustralian Foreign Policy, 2nd edition, (Cambridge UniversityPress, 2007).

Venue: Seminar Rms 214 & 215, The Economics Building (H69), Butlin Ave

Clash of the Titans. The Forgotten War in Russia 65 Years Later: Major Geo-Strategic Lessons

25th May 2010 - 01:00pm
Speaker: Dr. Alexey D. Muraviev Coordinator of International Relations and National Security programs in the Faculty of Humanities, Curtin University of Technology

On 2 May 1945 the Red Army captured the capital of Nazi Germany Berlin, effectively ending hostilities in the European strategic theater. The fall of Berlin was the last battle of an unprecedented four year-long campaign fought on Europe’s Eastern front, which profoundly changed the cause of war in Europe and served as a catalyst for the demise of the Nazi alliance and the eventual fall of the third Reich.

Yet, 65 years later this war within the war remains perceived as a historical event of secondary strategic significance. Still, the European part of World War Two (WWII), particularly the fight between Nazi Germany and the USSR (described by the Russians as the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45) highlighted trends and tendencies, which reflected the nature of East-West strategic relations over the next fifty years. Some of these trends continue to exist.

This presentation will review the Soviet WWII role and critically examine trends that reflected broader East-West strategic power plays. The talk will offer an opportunity to re-assess current strategic relations of major powers, particularly Russian and the United States, as well as patters of contemporary and future conflicts

Alexey D. Muraviev is a strategic affairs analyst at Curtin University of Technology. He is an award-winning lecturer in International Relations and Strategic Studies in the School of Social Sciences and Asian Languages at Curtin.

He has over 40 publications on matters of national and international security, including two books (one co-authored) and two research monographs.

His research interests include problems of modern maritime power, contemporary defence and strategic policy, Russia’s strategic and defence policy, Russia is a Pacific power, transnational terrorism, Australian national security, and other.

Alexey is a member of the Australian Member Committee, Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region (AU-CSCAP), member of Russia-NATO Experts Group, research fellow, the University of Melbourne, reviewer of the Military Balance, member of the Research Network for Secure Australia, member of the Australian Institute of International Affairs (W.A. branch), Royal United Services Institute of Western Australia, and other organisations and think tanks.

In 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010, the Australian Research Council (ARC) College of Experts has nominated Dr Muraviev as an “expert of international standing”.

He advices members of state and federal government on foreign policy and national security matters, consults relevant security agencies, and is frequently interviewed by state, national and international media.

RSVP For catering purposes, RSVP by Friday 21st May is essential - ciss@econ.usyd.edu

Venue: Seminar Rms 214 & 215, The Economics Building (H69), Butlin Ave

A Gathering Storm: China's Challenge to US Power in Asia

4th Aug 2010 - 06:00pm
Speaker: Professor John Mearsheimer University of Chicago

Professor John Mearsheimer, from the University of Chicago, is America's boldest and perhaps most controversial thinker in the field of international relations and an authority on US foreign policy and national security. His book, The Israeli Lobby and US Foreign Policy, which he co-authored with Stephen Walt of Harvard University aroused furious debate, and has been translated into 17 languages.


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Cost: $20 / $15 Concession / FREE University of Sydney students

For more information

Call 02 9351 6752 or email

Venue: The Great Hall, Quadrangle

US Intelligence: Flawed by design

9th Aug 2010 - 01:00pm
Speaker: Associate Professor Amy Zegart University of California, Los Angeles

Amy Zegart is Associate Professor at UCLA's School of Public Affairs, a Fellow at the UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations, and a Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

She teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in U.S. national security policy, U.S. intelligence, global studies, and public policy. In 2003 she was awarded Public Policy Professor of the Year for excellence in teaching.

Zegart has been featured by The National Journal as one of the ten most influential experts in intelligence reform. She served on the Clinton Administration's National Security Council staff in 1993. She has also testified before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, provided intelligence training to the Marine Corps and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and advised local, state, and federal officials on intelligence and homeland security matters.

Her research examines the organizational deficiencies of American national security agencies. Her first book, Flawed By Design: The Evolution of the CIA, JCS and NSC (Stanford University Press, 1999), won the highest national dissertation award in Political Science and has become standard reading for several U.S. military and intelligence training programs. Her second book, Spying Blind: The CIA, the FBI, and the Origins of 9/11(Princeton University Press, 2007) won the 2008 Louis Brownlow Book Award, the top literary prize given by the National Academy of Public Administration for outstanding contributions to the field. She has also published in International Security, Political Science Quarterly, Presidential Studies Quarterly, and other leading academic journals. She is currently writing a text book on U.S. intelligence (under advance contract with Princeton University Press) and a series of articles examining weaknesses in congressional intelligence oversight.

Venue: New Law School Seminar 115

Responding to Human Security threats in East Asia and the Pacific

19th Aug 2010 - 01:00pm
Speaker: Gary Lewis Regional Representative for East Asia and the Pacific, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
Description: Photo of Mr Gary Lewis

Mr. Lewis, a national of Barbados, has served with the United Nations for 23 years in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas. In July 2008, he was appointed as UNODC Representative for East Asia and the Pacific at the organization's Regional Centre based in Bangkok, effective July 2008.

Mr. Lewis started his career with the United Nations as a National Officer with the UN Development Programme Regional Office in the Eastern Caribbean in 1987. He then moved on to join the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Vienna (1993-1995). Thereafter, he has served as Assistant Representative in Pakistan (1995-1997), Deputy Representative in Afghanistan (1997-1999), Deputy Representative in Southern Africa (based in Pretoria from 1999-2003). Immediately prior to his posting to the UNODC Regional Centre, Mr. Lewis served as Representative in the UNODC Regional Office for South Asia, based in New Delhi and covering Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

Mr. Lewis holds a Master of Science degree in International Relations from the London School of Economics. His undergraduate years were spent at Queen's University in Canada and Glasgow University in the UK. In addition to writing on matters related to drug control and human trafficking, Mr. Lewis is a published author on Barbadian history and security matters.

RSVP: business.ciss@sydney.edu.au by Tuesday 17th August

Venue: Rm 214/215 Economic and Business (H69)

A Norm-Taker or a Norm-Maker? China's ODA and Regional Order in East Asia

21 Sep 2010 - 01:00pm
Speaker: Dr James Reilly Department of Government and International Relations, The University of Sydney

What kind of world power will China be? As China emerges as a global power, is it more likely to accommodate itself to the existing systems and norms; or is China going to insist that the international system be reshaped more in its own image and reflecting China’s own national interests? In this talk, I will assess the extent to which China has begun to accept and apply international norms in its aid program in Southeast Asia. I will first distinguish between international and Chinese norms on development assistance, and then examine China’s ODA in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and involvement with regional development institutions. I conclude by considering whether China’s aid represents an alternative East Asian model of development assistance and exploring the implications for regional order in East Asia.

James Reilly is Lecturer in Northeast Asian Politics in the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney. His research and teaching are in the areas of Chinese foreign policy, East Asian politics, and international relations. His forthcoming book is: Strong Society, Smart State: The Rise of Public Opinion in China’s Japan Policy (Columbia University Press). He is also the author of articles in Survival, Washington Quarterly, Asian Survey, and China: An International Journal. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science (George Washington University 2008) and an M.A. in East Asia Area Studies (University of Washington 1999). Before joining the University of Sydney in 2009, he was a Post-Doctoral Research Associate with the China’s War with Japan Programme at the University of Oxford.

Venue: Merewether Seminar Room 1 (Rm 154)

A Farewell to 'WMD': The Language and Science of Mass Destruction

6 Oct 2010 - 01:00pm
Speaker: Dr Christian Enemark Centre for International Security Studies

Before invading Iraq in 2003, the United States and its allies accused that country of illegally possessing ‘weapons of mass destruction’ (WMD). The case for war featured constant repetition of the ‘WMD’ threat; language which conflated the high likelihood that Iraq possessed chemical weapons, which constitute a minor threat, with the lack of evidence that it possessed nuclear weapons, which are vastly more damaging. This presentation advocates abandoning the term ‘WMD’ in official and academic discourse. The term is misleading technically and dangerously vulnerable to political manipulation. Lumping nuclear, biological and chemical weapons together as ‘WMD’ downplays important scientific, strategic and ethical differences. In the interests of sound policymaking and academic analysis, it is important to avoid generating the impression that dissimilar types of weaponry present comparable challenges in the areas of deterrence, defence and non-proliferation.

Dr Christian Enemark is Senior Lecturer in the Centre for International Security Studies, University of Sydney, and a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, Australian National University. His research interests include the security implications of infectious disease threats, including biological weapons, and the ethics and laws of war.

Venue: Economics Building (H69) Rm 214/215

The 'Hermit Kingdom': North Korea through the Looking Glass

6 Oct 2010 - 01:00pm
Speaker: Thomas Wilkins Centre for International Security Studies

North Korea (or the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, as they prefer to be called) is again in the headlines due to the alleged torpedoing of a South Korean naval vessel, the reactivation of its nuclear facilities at Yongbyon, and the long-awaited appearance of Kim Jong-Il's successor, and son; Kim Jong-Un. As a staunchly Communist state, loyal to the ruling Kim dynasty, North Korea often makes the headlines for the wrong reasons - famine, naval clashes, or nuclear brinksmanship - but except to a privileged few 'Pyongyang watchers', the country remains an enigma beyond its superficial stereotypes. What is life really like in the Hermit Kingdom?

Dr Wilkins will present a thematic slide show with accompanying observations from his recent trip to the DPRK, including the capital; Pyongyang, the southern city of Kaesong (home to the North-South industrial complex), and Panmunjom, the site of the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ), marking the North-South border. Dr Wilkins will be happy to field questions on either the political/security dynamics of the Korean peninsula, or general insights into life in North Korea.

Dr Thomas Wilkins specialises in Security Studies and Strategic Studies, with a particular emphasis on the Asia-Pacific region. He wrote his Ph.D thesis on the topic of Coalition Warfare at the University of Birmingham and as an Exchange Visitor at the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University.

Before joining the University of Sydney he was a Lecturer in Military History/Security at the Department of Politics and Contemporary History, University of Salford, and held Post Doctoral Fellowships at the University of San Francisco, the East West Center (Honolulu) and the International Institute for Asian Studies (Amsterdam). In addition to contemporary International Relations and Security Thomas Wilkins retains an active interest the field of international history, where he regularly contributes to Military History journals.

Venue: Darlington Centre The Boardroom