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A New Rival State? »

Australia in Tsarist Diplomatic Communications

Publication date: October 2018
A New Rival State? is a unique collection of dispatches written in 1857–1917 by the Russian consuls in Melbourne to the Imperial Russian Embassy in London and the Russian Foreign Ministry in St Petersburg. Written by eight consuls, they offer a Russian view of the development of the settler colonies in the late nineteenth century and the first years of the federated Commonwealth of Australia. They cover the federalist movement, the changing domestic political situation, labour politics, the treatment of the Indigenous population, the ‘White Australia’ policy, Australia’s defensive capacity and foreign policy as part of the British Empire. The bulk of the material is drawn from the Russian-language collection The Russian Consular Service in Australia 1857–1917, edited by Alexander Massov and Marina Pollard (2014), using documents from the archive of the Russian Foreign Ministry.

New Directions in Strategic Thinking 2.0 »

ANU Strategic & Defence Studies Centre's Golden Anniversary Conference Proceedings

Edited by: Russell W. Glenn
Publication date: July 2018
The Australian National University’s Strategic & Defence Studies Centre (SDSC) is Australia’s premier university-based strategic studies think tank. Fifty years after the Centre was founded in 1966, SDSC celebrated its continued research, publications, teaching and government advisory role with a two-day conference entitled ‘New Directions in Strategic Thinking 2.0’. The event saw the podium graced by many of the world’s premier thinkers in the strategic studies field. An evening between those tours to the lectern brought together academics, practitioners and other honoured guests at a commemorative dinner held beneath the widespread wings of the ‘G for George’ bomber in the Australian War Memorial—an event that included SDSC’s own Professor Desmond Ball AO making his last public appearance. Since SDSC’s 25th anniversary, the world has seen the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. Bipolarity gave way to the emergence of the United States as the world’s sole superpower, a status many now see as under threat. Both the nature of the threats and identity of individual competitors has changed in the interim quarter-century. Non-state actors are presenting rising challenges to national governments. Meanwhile, a diminished Russia and far more wealthy China seek to reassert themselves. Never before has the call for reasoned innovative security studies thinking been more pronounced. Rarely has a group so able to offer that thought come together as was the case in July 2016. 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.

Cascades of Violence »

War, Crime and Peacebuilding Across South Asia

Publication date: February 2018
War and crime are cascade phenomena. War cascades across space and time to more war; crime to more crime; crime cascades to war; and war to crime. As a result, war and crime become complex phenomena. That does not mean we cannot understand how to prevent crime and war simultaneously. This book shows, for example, how a cascade analysis leads to an understanding of how refugee camps are nodes of both targeted attack and targeted recruitment into violence. Hence, humanitarian prevention also must target such nodes of risk. This book shows how nonviolence and nondomination can also be made to cascade, shunting cascades of violence into reverse. Complexity theory implies a conclusion that the pursuit of strategies for preventing crime and war is less important than understanding meta strategies. These are meta strategies for how to sequence and escalate many redundant prevention strategies. These themes were explored across seven South Asian societies during eight years of fieldwork.

Solomon Islanders in World War II »

An Indigenous Perspective

Authored by: Anna Annie Kwai
Publication date: December 2017
The Solomon Islands Campaign of World War II has been the subject of many published historical accounts. Most of these accounts present an ‘outsider’ perspective with limited reference to the contribution of indigenous Solomon Islanders as coastwatchers, scouts, carriers and labourers under the Royal Australian Navy and other Allied military units. Where islanders are mentioned, they are represented as ‘loyal’ helpers. The nature of local contributions in the war and their impact on islander perceptions are more complex than has been represented in these outsiders’ perspectives. Islander encounters with white American troops enabled self-awareness of racial relationships and inequality under the colonial administration, which sparked struggles towards recognition and political autonomy that emerged in parts of the British Solomon Islands Protectorate in the postwar period. Exploitation of postwar military infrastructure by the colonial administration laid the foundation for later sociopolitical upheaval experienced by the country. In the aftermath of the 1998 crisis, the supposed unity and pride that prevailed among islanders during the war has been seen as an avenue whereby different ethnic identities can be unified. This national unification process entailed the construction of the ‘Pride of our Nation’ monument that aims to restore the pride and identity of Solomon Islanders.

Crown and Sword »

Executive power and the use of force by the Australian Defence Force

Authored by: Cameron Moore
Publication date: November 2017
The Australian Defence Force, together with military forces from a number of western democracies, have for some years been seeking out and killing Islamic militants in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, detaining asylum seekers for periods at sea or running the judicial systems of failed states. It has also been ready to conduct internal security operations at home. The domestic legal authority cited for this is often the poorly understood concept of executive power, which is power that derives from executive and not parliamentary authority. In an age of legality where parliamentary statutes govern action by public officials in the finest detail, it is striking that these extreme exercises of the use of force often rely upon an elusive legal basis. This book seeks to find the limits to the exercise of this extraordinary power.

War and Other Means »

Power and violence in Houaïlou (New Caledonia)

Authored by: Michel Naepels
Publication date: October 2017
War and Other Means describes and analyses the practices of war, the ‘objects of war’ and the conventions of the use of violence in Houaïlou, New Caledonia. It focuses on the colonial repression conducted in 1856 and after, the anti-sorcerer hunt in 1955, the independence mobilisation in the 1980s and the village feuds in the 2000s. Through this archaeology of violence, it reports on the practical inventiveness, intelligence and cunning of the Kanaks involved in social, often violent, conflicts. The use of archival material and recourse to the oral stories gathered from the inhabitants of Houaïlou restores the depth of these historical moments and the nested contexts of the political action that unfolded; it also questions the value and limits of fieldwork investigation. These episodes are moments of change in the social, administrative, land and political organisation of New Caledonia; they make it possible to understand, from France’s takeover to the present day, the real modalities of implementation of colonial and postcolonial governmentality. The attention given to the invention, the importation or the adaptation of repressive techniques, closely linked to the French experience in Algeria, opens up a geopolitics of colonisation. Through this detailed description of the social logics of conflict, Michel Naepels also invites us to reflect on the place of European fantasies on violence and on the representations of otherness. For the French edition, Conjurer la guerre. Violence et pouvoir à Houaïlou (Nouvelle-Calédonie), published by Éditions de l’École des hautes études en sciences sociales, please visit editions.ehess.fr/ouvrages/ouvrage/conjurer-la-guerre

Grappling with the Bomb »

Britain’s Pacific H-bomb tests

Authored by: Nic Maclellan
Publication date: September 2017
Grappling with the Bomb is a history of Britain’s 1950s program to test the hydrogen bomb, code name Operation Grapple. In 1957–58, nine atmospheric nuclear tests were held at Malden Island and Christmas Island—today, part of the Pacific nation of Kiribati. Nearly 14,000 troops travelled to the central Pacific for the UK nuclear testing program—many are still living with the health and environmental consequences. Based on archival research and interviews with nuclear survivors, Grappling with the Bomb presents i-Kiribati woman Sui Kiritome, British pacifist Harold Steele, businessman James Burns, Fijian sailor Paul Ah Poy, English volunteers Mary and Billie Burgess and many other witnesses to Britain’s nuclear folly.

Global Allies »

Comparing US Alliances in the 21st Century

Edited by: Michael Wesley
Publication date: June 2017
The global system of alliances that the United States built after the Second World War underpinned the stability and prosperity of the postwar order. But during the 20th century, the multilateral NATO alliance system in Europe and the bilateral San Francisco alliance system in Asia rarely interacted. This changed in the early 21st century, as US allies came together to fight and stabilise conflicts in the Middle East and Central Asia. This volume presents the first-ever comparative study of US alliances in Europe and Asia from the perspectives of US allies: the challenges, opportunities and shifting dynamics of these fundamental pillars of order. This volume is essential reading for those interested in contemporary and future regional and global security dynamics.

Bridging Australia and Japan: Volume 1 »

The writings of David Sissons, historian and political scientist

Publication date: December 2016
This book represents volume one of the writings of David Sissons, who for most of his career pioneered research on the history of relations between Australia and Japan. Much of what he wrote remained unpublished at the time of his death in 2006, and so the editors have included a selection of his hitherto unpublished work along with some of his published writings. Breaking Japanese Diplomatic Codes, edited by Desmond Ball and Keiko Tamura, was published in 2013 and forms a part of the series that reproduces many of Sissons’ writings. In the current volume, the topics covered are wide. They range from contacts between the two countries as far back as the early 19th century, Japanese pearl divers in northern Australia, Japanese prostitutes in Australia, the wool trade, the notorious ‘trade diversion episode’ of 1936, and a study of the Japan historian James Murdoch. Sissons was an extraordinarily meticulous researcher, leaving no stone unturned in his search for accuracy and completeness of understanding, and should be considered one of Australia’s major historians. His writings deal with not only diplomatic negotiations and decision-making, but also the lives of ordinary and often nameless people and their engagements with their host society. His warm humanity in recording ordinary people’s lives as well as his balanced examination of historical incidents and issues from both Australian and Japanese perspectives are a hallmark of his scholarship.

A National Asset »

50 Years of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre

Edited by: Desmond Ball, Andrew Carr
Publication date: August 2016
This volume commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre (SDSC). The Centre is Australia’s largest body of scholars dedicated to the analysis of the use of armed force in its political context and one of the earliest generation of post-World War II research institutions on strategic affairs. The book features chapters replete with stories of university politics, internal SDSC activities, cooperation among people with different social and political values, and conflicts between others, as well as the Centre’s public achievements. It also details the evolution of strategic studies in Australia and the contribution of academia and defence intellectuals to national defence policy.