Geography, Power, Strategy and Defence Policy

Geography, Power, Strategy and Defence Policy

Essays in Honour of Paul Dibb

Edited by: Desmond Ball, Sheryn Lee orcid

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Paul Dibb AM has had an extraordinary career. He enjoys an international scholarly reputation of the highest order, while at the same time he has done much distinguished public service. He was a pioneer in moving back and forth between posts in government departments, notably the Department of Defence, and academia. He began as a student of Soviet economic geography, and then spent nearly two decades in Australian Defence intelligence, including service as Head of the National Assessments Staff (NAS) in the Joint Intelligence Organisation (JIO) from 1974 to 1978, Deputy Director of JIO in 1978–80, Director of JIO in 1986–88, and Deputy Secretary of Defence (Strategy and Intelligence) in 1988–91, before becoming a Professor in the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre (SDSC) at The Australian National University (where he is now an Emeritus Professor). He has been quite happy to engage in vigorous public debate about important and controversial strategic and defence issues, giving him a high public profile.

The contributors include two former Chancellors of ANU, one a former Minister of Defence, and the other a former Secretary of the Department of Defence, a former Chief of the Defence Force (CDF), and other former senior officials, as well as academic specialists in geography, international relations, and strategic and defence studies.


This would be a high-quality set of essays for any edited volume, but for a festschrift – a genre that sometimes generates uneven collections – this is an exceptional assembly. The individual pieces are very good; together, they have coherence and power.’
– Professor Ian Hall, Professor of International Relations, Griffith University


ISBN (print):
ISBN (online):
Publication date:
May 2016
ANU Press
Arts & Humanities: Biography & Autobiography; Science: Geography; Social Sciences: Military & Defence Studies, Politics & International Studies
Australia; East Asia: China; Europe: Russia; North America; Pacific: New Zealand; World

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Geography, Power, Strategy and Defence Policy »

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  1. Introducing Paul Dibb (1): Britain's Loss, Australia's Gain (PDF, 87KB) – Allan Hawke doi
  2. Introducing Paul Dibb (2): An Enriching Experience (PDF, 80KB) – Chris Barrie doi
  3. Getting to Know Paul Dibb: An Overview of an Extraordinary Career (PDF, 94KB) – Desmond Ball doi
  4. Scholar, Spy, Passionate Realist (PDF, 112KB) – Geoffrey Barker doi
  5. The Power of Geography (PDF, 1.6MB) – Peter J. Rimmer and R. Gerard Ward doi
  6. The Importance of Geography (PDF, 151KB) – Robert Ayson doi
  7. Paul Dibb's Impact on Australian Defence Policy (PDF, 89KB) – Former Ambassador Kim Beazley doi
  8. Concepts for Defence Planning (PDF, 169KB) – Richard Brabin-Smith doi
  9. The Politics and Practicalities of Designing Australia's Force Structure (PDF, 169KB) – Peter Jennings doi
  10. The 'Priceless' Alliance: Paul Dibb and ANZUS (PDF, 160KB) – Benjamin Schreer doi
  11. 'Weak and Mighty': Unravelling the Enigma of Soviet Power (PDF, 131KB) – Hugh White doi
  12. Paul Dibb and the Asian Balance of Power (PDF, 148KB) – Brendan Taylor doi
  13. Hard Power and Regional Diplomacy: The Dibb Legacy (PDF, 177KB) – Raoul Heinrichs and William T. Tow doi

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