Primary Landing Page

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.

Coalition strategy and the end of the First World War
This project fits within Dr McCrae’s wider work on the way coalitions fight, notions of ‘victory’, and how individuals think about future war during periods of conflict or great international tension.
The Four Flashpoints: How Asia Goes to War
A timely and authoritative account of the four most troubled hotspots in the world’s most combustible region.
New Directions in Strategic Thinking 2.0
This book encapsulates the essence of this cutting-edge thinking and is a must read for those concerned with emerging strategic challenges facing Australia and its security partners.
Inside the Wilderness of Mirrors: Australia and the threat from the Soviet Union in the Cold War and Russia today
Paul Dibb's firsthand account of Cold War espionage, highlighting Pine Gap's importance, Soviet threats, and modern-day Russia's continuing danger
Thai Military Power: A Culture of Strategic Accommodation
The book examines Thailand’s strategic culture and external security while showing how the past continues to influence Thai decision-making.
Serving Our Country
After decades of silence, Serving Our Country is the first comprehensive history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s participation in the Australian defence forces.