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National Security College presents

The new strategic landscape: Washington, Beijing, Moscow and beyond

Public seminar


15th November 2016


Victoria’s Room, The Hilton Hotel, 190 Elizabeth Street, Brisbane City


Professor Rory Medcalf, and Associate Professor Matthew Sussex, National Security College, ANU



A complex regional order marked by increased major power contestation is crystallising as a significant challenge in Australia’s strategic domain. A new US President-Elect will need to address the overlapping challenges of its relations with China, India, Japan and Russia as those nations also jockey for position in the Indo-Pacific space. This discussion examines the prospects for a more complex regional security order, and in particular Australia’s role within it. It asks how Australia might respond to a variety of new threats, from its physical sovereignty to security in cyberspace, as a result of these changes. What, for instance, should Australia’s posture be with respect to its major trading partner (China) and its major strategic ally (the US)? Is India poised to take on a more central role in regional security affairs? And will Vladimir Putin’s Russia challenge Australia’s place in a rules-based trading order as it seeks a larger role in the region?

Join us for a discussion that will address these questions. Professor Rory Medcalf and Associate Professor Matthew Sussex from the National Security College, ANU will give their analysis on the impact of the new Presidency for major power relations and the effects on Australia’s national security and strategic outlook.

Professor Rory Medcalf has been Head of the National Security College at the Australian National University since January 2015. He has more than two decades of experience across diplomacy, intelligence analysis, think tanks and journalism. He was the Director of the International Security Program at the Lowy Institute from 2007 to 2015. Prior to that, Professor Medcalf was a senior strategic analyst with the Office of National Assessments. His experience as an Australian diplomat included a posting to New Delhi, a secondment to the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, truce monitoring after the civil conflict in Bougainville and policy development on Asian security institutions. He has contributed to three landmark reports on nuclear arms control. His earlier work in journalism was commended in Australia’s leading media awards, the Walkleys. He was on the expert panel providing advice on the recently released 2016 Defence White Paper. Professor Medcalf has played a significant role in relations with India, and is founder and co-chair of the Australia India Policy Forum, an informal bilateral dialogue.

Associate Professor Matthew Sussex is the Academic Director at the National Security College. His main research specialisation is on Russian foreign and security policy, but his interests also cover: government and politics in Eurasia; strategic studies; terrorism and counter-terrorism; energy security; and Australian foreign policy. He is particularly interested in contemporary trends in violent conflict, especially in ‘hybrid’ warfare and in the evolution of propaganda.

Prior to joining NSC Dr Sussex was Director of Politics and International Relations at the University of Tasmania. He has served on the National Executive of the Australian Institute for International Affairs and has been Associate Editor of the Australian Journal of International Affairs. He is also currently a Non-resident Fellow at the Lowy Institute for International Policy. Dr Sussex’s research has previously been awarded funding by the Australian Research Council (Discovery Projects), the Australia-US Fulbright Commission and the International Studies Association, amongst others.

Dr Sussex’s recent solo or collaborative book projects include Eurasian Integration, Central Asia and the New Geopolitics of Energy (Palgrave, 2015); Power, Politics and Confrontation in Eurasia (Palgrave, 2015); Violence and the State (Manchester University Press, 2015), and Conflict in the Former USSR(Cambridge University Press, 2012).

This event will be followed by a light lunch reception.

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