Research at CISS is predicated on the belief that while war is not the only threat to international security, armed conflict remains a critical and enduring challenge. Our Geosecurity area analyses political violence alongside the resources, institutions, development assistance, technological transformations, and other driving factors that might build peace or trigger armed conflict in regions that directly or indirectly impinge on Australian security interests.
For example, how does defense policy adapt to the complex interplay between trade and national security in the Asia-Pacific? How does the rise of China and India – as well as an “Asia pivot” by the United States – actually impact regional alliances, institutions, and the balance of power? Can the growing demand for energy and resources in Asia be accommodated peacefully? And what are the prospects for nuclear non-proliferation within this fluid environment? States remain the most powerful actors in international security, but they are not alone and facing new competitors on the global stage. Are attempts by states to combat non-state threats like terrorism, crime, and piracy effective or do some policies incite more violence? When does humanitarian intervention and international aid help states at risk and – seeing the Middle East and Africa as integral to the Indo-Pacific region – when might external influence inadvertently impede the development of strong domestic institutions? These are the type of questions that the Geosecurity program at CISS answers through critical, historical, and political analysis.