Who we are
The Centre is a part of the School of International, Politcal & Strategic Studies in the ANU College of Asia & the Pacific. The Centre's aim is to advance the study of strategic problems, especially those relating to the East Asia and Pacific regions.
Research undertaken at the Centre includes military, political, economic, environmental, scientific and technological aspects of strategic developments. Strategy, for the purpose of the Centre, is defined in the broadest sense of embracing not only the control and application of military force, but also the peaceful settlement of disputes which could cause violence.
A leading academic body
In 2008, the Australian National University was ranked 16 in the Times Higher Education Supplement list of the world's top 100 universities, whilst in 2007 it was ranked 3rd (Top 100 Asian/Pacific Universities) and 57th (Top 500 World Universities) in the Academic Ranking of World Universities – 2007 published by Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
The Strategic & Defence Studies Centre is a leading academic body in Australia specialising in studies on strategy and defence. Centre members give frequent lectures and seminars for other departments within the ANU and other universities, as well as to various government departments. Seminars and conferences on topics of current importance to the Centre's research are held, and the Centre has assisted the major defence training institution, the Australian Defence College, with the strategic studies sections of its courses. Members of the Centre provide advice and training courses in strategic affairs to the Department of Defence and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Since its inception in 1966, the Centre has supported a number of Visiting and Research Fellows, who have undertaken a wide variety of investigations. Recently the emphasis of the Centre's work has been on:
- Problems of security and confidence building in Australia's neighbourhood;
- Australia's defence policy;
- Arms proliferation and arms control;
- Policy advice to the higher levels of the Australian Defence Department; and
- The strategic implications of developments in the Asia-Pacific region, including the new security agenda.
The Centre maintains a comprehensive collection of reference materials on strategic issues, particularly from the press, learned journals and government publications. Its Publications Programme, which includes the Canberra Papers on Strategy and Defence and SDSC Working Papers, produces a significant number of publications each year on strategic and defence issues.
Participation in Centre activities
Participation in the Centre's activities is not limited to members of the University, but includes other interested professional, diplomatic and parliamentary groups.
Our Mission Statement
Our missionThe mission of the Strategic & Defence Studies Centre is to:
- be the leading Australian academic research centre on strategic and defence studies;
- develop postgraduate research on Asia-Pacific strategic affairs, which will support the priorities of the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies;
- achieve quality in its scholarly publication program, which will enhance the Centre's international reputation; and
- promote awareness of, and informed public debate on, strategic and defence issues.
The aim of the Centre is to further the development of strategic studies both as an intellectual discipline and as a foundation for policy advice by:
- fostering an understanding and appreciation of the theoretical and historical background to war and conflict; and
- providing a detailed understanding of strategic and defence issues of relevance to Australia and the region.
This aim will be achieved through excellence in four key areas:
1. Research and analysis
The SDSC is dedicated to rigorous and independent research into defence and strategic issues. It aims to promote strategic studies in Australia, particularly within an Asia-Pacific context. The Centre is national and international in outlook and expertise. It has special concern for issues in Australian defence policy; and has expertise and interest in Australia's defence relationships with its Asian and South Pacific neighbours. Developing new conceptual tools to explain (and predict) post-Cold War strategic developments, both within the Asia-Pacific region and globally, will be a focus of research.
2. Education and training
The SDSC is a stimulating environment for postgraduate research. Postgraduate training by research will concentrate on strategic developments in the Asia-Pacific region. The Centre's postgraduate research program will reflect its reputation for intellectual excellence and the practical policy experience of its members of staff. Training for government officials (from Australia and the region) in defence analysis will be offered at senior levels.
The Centre is in an incomparable position of being able to call upon the experience of defence policy formulators and advisors in Canberra to support its programs. The Centre has been closely involved in high-level research and analysis into Australia's defence and regional security policies for many years. With the quality and experience of its staff, and the international visitors it attracts, it is well-placed to provide expert advice to governments and other agencies.
The provision of consulting services, both within Australia and in the region, will focus on defence and strategic policies, force development and resource allocation of relevance to medium-sized defence forces, the new strategic agenda and confidence building measures.
3. Outreach and liaison
The SDSC has long had professional links with other Australian and overseas universities and centres specialising in strategic and security issues. It aims to foster an enhanced pattern of liaison through the exchange of ideas, personal contacts and, where appropriate, joint projects. The Centre will also continue to provide expert commentary on important defence issues to the Australian and overseas media.
4. Graduate Studies in Strategy & Defence Program
Graduate Studies in Strategy and Defence is the postgraduate teaching arm of the Centre. They provide academically rigorous and policy relevant education in strategic studies, a subject which focuses on the role of force in international politics. Our primary qualifications include the Master of Arts (Strategic Studies) or MA(SS), the Master of Strategic Affairs (MSA) and the Graduate Diploma in Strategic Affairs (GDSA).