Robert O'Neill War Studies Lecture. From Syria to Scotland: geopolitics in today's world

Event details

Public Lecture

Date & time

Thursday 27 March 2014


Copland Lecture Theatre, Building 25, ANU
ANU Canberra


Professor Sir Hew Strachan


kerrie hogan
+61 2 6125 2174

During the Cold War, our defence interests and our economic priorities appeared to be geographically aligned. The 'west' and the 'east' said it all (or most of it). Since the end of the Cold War, there has been a perceived separation of these interests and priorities. In this lecture, Professor Sir Hew Strachan explores the argument that the emphasis on national interests, defined in terms of geopolitics, can run counter to our ideological commitments, including the 'responsibility to protect'. He argues that the current impasse over Syria is suggestive of a wider trend and more fundamental shifts. 

Hew Strachan is Chichele Professor of the History of War at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of All Souls College. Between 2004 and 2012 he was the Director of the Oxford Programme on the Changing Character of War. He also serves on the Strategic Advisory Panel of the Chief of the Defence Staff, on the UK Defence Academy Advisory Board, and on the Council of the International a sdfInstitute for Strategic Studies. ForeignPolicy listed him as one of the most influential global thinkers for 2012 and he was knighted in the New Year's Honours for 2013. His books include the first volume of his projected three-volume work The First World War (2001), which was awarded two American military history prizes and nominated for the Glenfiddich Scottish book of the year; The First World War: A New Illustrated History (2003), published to accompany a ten-part television series for Channel 4 and nominated for a British Book Award; and Carl von Clausewitz's On War (2007). His recent edited volumes include The Changing Character of War (2011) and How Fighting Ends (2012). The Direction of War: contemporary strategy in historical perspective (2013) is his most recent publication. 

This lecture is the inaugural Robert O'Neill War Studies Lecture. Emeritus Professor Robert O'Neill, AO (SDSC) was Head of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre (1971-1982) and remains an active part of the academic community. One of the world's leading experts on strategic and security studies, O'Neill previously served as Director, International Institute for Strategic Studies, London (1982-1987); Chichele Professor of the History of War at Oxford University (1987-2000); Chairman of the Council of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (1995-2001); and Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Imperial War Museum (1997-2001). 

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