2011 Seminars

Competitive Coexistence: China-India Relations in the Asian Century

20th October 2011 - 04:00pm
Speaker: Rory Medcalf
Director of the International Security Program at the Lowy Institute
Description:

It has become popular to describe Sino-Indian relations as rivalry. But the reality is more complex - a mixture of cooperative dynamics and security mistrust, perhaps best summed up as competitive coexistence. Rory Medcalf, Director of the International Security Program at the Lowy Institute, will share his assessments on the future of relations between Asia's two rising giants, across security, diplomatic, economic and soft power dimensions, and will consider the indicators that might suggest an emerging rivalry.

Rory Medcalf is Director of the International Security Program at the Lowy Institute. He is concurrently a Senior Research Fellow in Indian Strategic Affairs at the University of NSW and an Honorary Fellow at the Australia-India Institute. Previously he has worked as a diplomat, intelligence analyst and journalist, as was posted to New Delhi as first secretary from 2000-2003, including a stint as acting deputy high commissioner in 2003. His research focuses on great power relations in Asia, the rise of India and China, nuclear issues, maritime security, and Australian strategic policy choices. He is convener of the Australia-India Roundtable, a composite government and non-government bilateral dialogue.

Venue:

Merewether Staff Common Room 327 
Wine and Cheese Reception to follow the seminar.

RSVP: ciss@sydney.edu.au by Wednesday 19th October

The Dragon’s Breath: US/China Strategic Competition in the Western Pacific

6th October 2011 - 04:00pm
Speaker: Professor Alan Dupont
Michael Hintze Chair in International Security and Director, Centre for International Security Studies, University of Sydney
Description:

Professor Alan Dupont is the foundation Michael Hintze Chair of International Security, the Director of the Centre for International Security Studies at the University of Sydney and a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Lowy Institute for International Policy. He holds a PhD in International Relations from the Australian National University and is a graduate of the Royal Military College, Duntroon, and the US Foreign Service Institute. He has worked on Australian defence and Asian security issues for more than thirty years as a strategist, diplomat, policy analyst and scholar. Professor Dupont was Senior Fellow for International Security at the Lowy Institute for International Policy, a Sydney based think tank, a Senior Fellow at the Australian National University's Strategic and Defence Studies Centre and the acting CEO of the University of Sydney's United States Studies Centre. During his time in government he served in the Departments of Defence and Foreign Affairs and Trade which included postings with the Australian embassies in Seoul and Jakarta, the latter as Counsellor. He has also worked as a freelance journalist in South America.

Professor Dupont has published widely on Australian defence and international security issues including a major book entitled 'East Asia Imperiled: Transnational Challenges to Security (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001) which has become a standard text on non-military security threats to East Asia's stability. His academic publications include more than 60 scholarly articles, book chapters and monographs on Australian defence and national security, force modernisation, intelligence, Asian values, ASEAN, Japanese and Indonesian security policy, East Timor, and the security implications of illegal migration, transnational crime, environmental security, disease pandemics, food and water scarcity, energy instability and climate change. He was the lead author on the national security implications of climate change for the 2008 Garnaut Review on Climate Change, prepared for the Federal and State Governments.

Professor Dupont recently released a policy paper for the Lowy Institute for International Policy titled Living with the Dragon: Why Australia needs a China Strategy, available here.

Venue:

Merewether Staff Common Room 327 
Wine and Cheese Reception to follow the seminar.

RSVP: ciss@sydney.edu.au by Wednesday 5th October

Rethinking Violent Religious Fundamentalism

7th September 2011 - 04:00pm
Speaker: Associate Professor Kumar Ramakrishna, Head of the Centre of Excellence for National Security (CENS) at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Singapore. Currently a visiting scholar with the Centre for International Security Studies
Description:

This talk seeks to shed light on the factors which may turn peaceful religious fundamentalist groups violent.  The talk will argue that religious fundamentalism in essence represents a form of cognitive radicalization. While this does not automatically entail a violent pursuit of a particular religio-political agenda, it does suggest violent potentials within fundamentalism. In this respect, the talk will explore how culture and ideology; small group dynamics and an enabling environment could mesh in ways to turn religious fundamentalism violent.

Powerpoint slides now available here.

Kumar Ramakrishna is an Associate Professor and Head of the Centre of Excellence for National Security (CENS) at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Singapore. He obtained a First Class (Honours) in Political Science from the National University of Singapore in 1989 and a Masters Degree in Defence Studies from the University of New South Wales in 1992. He went on to secure his PhD in History from Royal Holloway and Bedford New College, University of London, in 1999.

His current research interests include British propaganda in the Malayan Emergency, propaganda theory and practice, history of strategic thought and counter-terrorism with focus on radicalisation. He was an Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) Special Visitor in March 2003. In 2008 he was a Senior Advisor to the Trusted Information Network on Extremism and Transnational Crime in Southeast Asia and Australia, a joint project of The Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington D.C., and The Lowy Institute for International Policy in Sydney. He has co-edited two books on counter-terrorism, The New Terrorism: Anatomy, Trends and Counter-Strategies (2002) as well as After Bali: The Threat of Terrorism in Southeast Asia (2004). He has two single-authored books entitled Emergency Propaganda: The Winning of Malayan Hearts and Minds, 1948-1958 (2002) and Radical Pathways: Understanding Muslim Radicalisation in Indonesia (2009).

He is currently on sabbatical leave and working on his next book at the Centre for International Security Studies at the University of Sydney. 

Venue:

Merewether Staff Common Room 327 
Wine and Cheese Reception to follow the seminar.

RSVP: ciss@sydney.edu.au by Tuesday 6th September

Rivalrous Interdependence: The New International Relations

19th May 2011 - 04:00pm
Speaker: Adjunct Professor Michael Wesley
Centre for International Security Studies & the Lowy Institute for International Policy
Description:

Adjunct Professor Michael Wesley is the Executive Director of the Lowy Institute for International Policy. Previously he was Professor of International 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 the Assistant Director-General for Transnational Issues at the Office of National Assessments, 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 Australian Journal of International Affairs and a Chief Investigator in the Australian Research Council's Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security (CEPS). He has served on the Australian Research Council's College of Experts and the Queensland Art Gallery's Board of Trustees. 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.

His most recent books are Energy Security in Asia (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).

In 2011 Michael Wesley joined the Centre for International Security Studies as an Adjunct Professor.

Venue:

Merewether Staff Common Room 327 
Wine and Cheese Reception to follow the seminar.

RSVP: ciss@sydney.edu.au by Monday 16 May

Non-traditional Security and Military Institutions: Adapting Roles and Addressing Challenges

18th April 2011 - 04:00pm
Speaker: Leanne Smythe
Department of Political Science at the University of British Columbia
Description:

The complexity of the 21st century security environment has led to considerable debate regarding the effective use of military institutions in democratic societies.  Governments of western states like Australia and Canada have, unsurprisingly, looked to the military in many circumstances to aid civilian agencies in filling the gap in their capacities and expertise to deal with national security issues.  But what impact does this have on those military institutions?  This seminar will look at some of the adaptations—both practical and conceptual—that the Australian Defence Force and the Canadian Forces have had to make over the past 2 decades, along with some of the challenges that accompany these adaptations.

Leanne Smythe is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of British Columbia, and is completing her dissertation titled: “National Security Strategies and Military Institutions: the Impact of Non-Traditional Security Issues”.  Since May 2008 she has also worked at the Liu Institute for Global Issues, where she is part of a research team looking at the implications of climate change for Canada’s national and international security, and public safety.  She holds a Master of Arts degree in International Conflict Analysis from the University of Kent in Canterbury, England, and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in History with International Relations, from Trinity Western University.

Venue:

Merewether Staff Common Room 327 
Wine and Cheese Reception to follow the seminar.

RSVP: business.ciss@sydney.edu.au by Friday 15th April

Brazilian Foreign Policy on India and South Africa: Security Aspects

7th April 2011 - 04:00pm
Speaker: Dr Cristiano Mendes
Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Minas Gerais (Brazil)
Description:

Since 2003, India, Brazil, and South Africa (IBSA), three of the world’s major ‘emerging powers’, have been working together on a quest to improve trilateral cooperation. The IBSA group has shown great potential to increase coordination in several areas, including security. Despite their singularities, Brazil, India and South Africa have been closely collaborating in order to strengthen their position on the world stage, and to guarantee more efficient efforts to attain their security goals. This seminar will investigate the problems and prospects involved in such cooperation.

Dr Cristiano Mendes is a Professor at Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Minas Gerais (Brazil). He works on security aspects in International Relations. Amongst his core interests are themes such as Theories of International Relations, Terrorism, Private Military Companies, and the relationship between emerging powers. 

Venue:

Merewether Staff Common Room 327 
Wine and Cheese Reception to follow the seminar.

RSVP: business.ciss@sydney.edu.au by Wednesday 30th March

Japan, the Pacific War and Historical Memory

31st March 2011- 04:30pm
Speaker: Dr Thomas Wilkins
The Centre for International Security Studies, The University of Sydney
Description:

Dr Wilkins will provide an accessible commentary to a range of slides illustrating various facets of Japan’s struggle in the Pacific War of 1941-45 (and concurrent ‘Great East Asia War’ of 1937-45).  This erudite travelogue will visually guide the audience through some of the contested terrain of Japan’s controversial historical record. 

The journey will take the audience from Tokyo’s Yasakuni shrine for its war dead, and accompanying military museum, to the atomic-bomb sites of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, and offer a rare glimpse at the decaying fortifications of the Bonin Islands (part of the Ogaswara island chain, that includes Iwo Jima).  The seminar aims to expose attendees to a more nuanced-Japanese perspective of these conflicts and an insight into their memorialisation in Japan. 

Dr Thomas Wilkins is a Lecturer in the Centre for International Security Studies, University of Sydney. He is a specialist in Asia-Pacific Security and author of several works examining the Asian theatre of World War II.

Venue: Darlington Centre Board Room (in the Institute Building opposite the Darlington Centre)
RSVP: business.ciss@sydney.edu.au by Wednesday 30th March