At the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre we understand strategic studies as the analysis of force in its political context. Within strategic studies, the Centre's core areas of expertise consist of three related research clusters. 

Research clusters


Military studies

The Strategic and Defence Studies Centre (SDSC) is home to a team of academics who specialise in military operations, operational, military and war history, military culture and intelligence studies across Australia, Asia, Europe and the United States. Our research informs better understanding of how armed conflict has occurred in the past and how the future will encompass continuities as well as revolutions in the nature of such conflicts. Our team provides the firm foundation in military operations, cultures and history essential to navigating a potentially turbulent future.

Australian defence

The Strategic and Defence Studies Centre (SDSC) research has long been at the forefront of Australian defence policy debate and development. We are particularly renowned for our work on the conceptual foundations of Australian strategic policy and many key scholarly texts on Australia's defence have been written here. Two core questions drive the Centre's research in this area:

  • What kind of armed forces should Australia have?
  • How and under what conditions should these be committed?

SDSC has brought the traditional strengths and virtues of scholarship to bear upon these questions and also reflects the deep experience and contribution of policy practitioners who have turned to the academic study of Australian strategic and defence policy questions.

Armed conflict

Asia-Pacific security

The Strategic and Defence Studies Centre (SDSC) expertise in Asia-Pacific security spans the entire spectrum of strategic relations across the Asia Pacific. Expertise includes vital strategic relations between the United States, China and Japan and flashpoints such as the Korean peninsula and the East and South China Seas. Our scholars also debate global strategic problems such as nuclear proliferation and maritime security, transnational security challenges and cooperation and the nexus between economic and security issues. Our research in these areas informs our understanding of key strategic challenges and defence priorities in the Asia-Pacific region.

Adding to the strength of this research cluster is the establishment of the Graduate Research and Development Network on Asian Security (GRADNAS), convened by Professor Evelyn Goh. GRADNAS aims to build an international network of key scholars undertaking cutting-edge research on strategic and security issues in Asia, including established scholars from leading universities around the world, as well as advanced doctoral students and promising early career researchers.

The breadth of research expertise, as well as its continuing engagement with issues of strategic relevance is well illustrated by the initiatives managed by our academic community.


Discover the range of publications by our academic community that demonstrates the commitment to scholarly excellence, and showcases our policy-relevant research expertise and engagement.

Chinese Investments in Southeast Asia: Patterns and Significance
Explore Southeast Asia's complex economic ties with China. Goh and Liu's study offers a comprehensive analysis of Chinese investments from 2005 to 2019, revealing political and strategic implications.
Reliability and Alliance Interdependence Iain Henry
This research explores how America’s alliances in Asia function as an interdependent system.
Alliances, Nuclear Weapons and Escalation Stephan Fruehling
Nuclear weapons remain central to the internal dynamics of US alliances in Europe and the Indo-Pacific. But cooperation related to them has varied significantly between allies and over time.
Niche Wars: Australia in Afghanistan and Iraq, 2001–2014
Niche Wars examines Australia’s experience on military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq from 2001 to 2014.
In from the Cold: Reflections on Australia’s Korean War
What did Australia contribute to the Korean War from June 1950 to July 1953? What were the Australians doing there? How significant was the contribution and what difference did it make?
Rethinking Sino-Japanese Alienation Evelyn Goh
In this book, Professor Goh and Professor Buzan develop a new understanding of contemporary Japan-China problems by studying bilateral relations from the 15th century onwards.
National Versus Human Security: Australian and Canadian Military Interventions
This book argues that for Australia and Canada, the concept of human security works better in practice than it does in theory.
After American Primacy: Imagining the future of Australia's defence
It focuses on Australia's defense amidst global shifts, addressing US policies, China, Russia, and emerging regional powers, offering strategic scenarios for a transformed Indo-Pacific post-America.