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The Australian National University


Conference: 'Policy Alternatives for Integrating Bilateral and Multilateral Regional Security Approaches in the Asia Pacific'

12 November 2010

The ANU-MacArthur Asia Security Initiative (ANU-MASI) Partnership Conference convened at The Australian National University in Canberra on 1-6 November 2010. This was the second of a series of meetings where prominent scholars from around the Asia-Pacific region gathered together and interacted with policy-makers and decision-makers about security challenges in the region.

The Conference comprised three components that were unique in terms of current research being conducted in Australian international security:

The first component, a case study teaching module, was led by Professor Steven Lamy of the University of Southern California who taught a 'case' involving East Asian crisis scenarios.

Admiral Chris Barrie (ret.) led the second component, a simulation exercise which featured scenarios oriented on policy formulation and crisis management.

Both Professor Lamy and Admiral Barrie incorporated techniques that they have applied with great success at Pew Diplomatic Investigations case study sessions at Harvard University and elsewhere (in Professor Lamy's case) and at the National Defense University (in Admiral Barrie's case).This was the first time that such a combined exercise was undertaken in Australia and involved as many appropriate representatives of the Canberra policy community as possible.

Admiral Chris Barrie (ret.) leads the simulation exercise

At the end of the exercise, the third component of the Conference was conducted, which involved a net assessment of the Asia Pacific's security environment in the next 25 years. The assessment was led by Professor Hugh White with assistance from Dr Muthiah Alagappa (Senior Distinguished Fellow from the East-West Center, Washington, DC), Professor Robert Ross (a China studies expert at Boston University and at Harvard University), Professor Lamy and Admiral Barrie.

The Conference concluded with a dinner-reception that featured Ambassador Richard Woolcott as keynote speaker. Around 70 participants attended the workshop and included academic scholars, policy-and decision-makers, members of think tanks, and postgraduate students.

The Conference was part of a project entitled 'Policy Alternatives for Integrating Bilateral and Multilateral Regional Security Approaches in the Asia Pacific', which is being conducted by the ANU's Department of International Relations and the ARC Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security (CEPS) with the support of the Commonwealth through the Australia-Korea Foundation (AKF) of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Mid-Project review conducted in Singapore

30 July 2010

Project managers and Focus Group leaders met in Singapore on 21 July 2010 for the Mid-Project Review of the ANU-MacArthur Asia Security Initiative (ANU-MASI) conducted by Ambassador Barry Desker, Dean of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

The aim of the Review was to examine the first 18 months of the ANU-MASI Project, as well as assess its structure and processes in order to provide recommendations for pushing the activities and outputs of the Project forward.

Intended to feed into the design of the November 2010 Project Conference and, particularly, into the operations of the Net Assessment sessions also scheduled for November, the Review highlighted the work that had been achieved in the Project's first year. In particular, it noted as important achievements the hosting of visiting fellows, the establishment of the Asian Security Seminar series, and also the delivery of early publication outcomes, including the acceptance of articles in various journals.

The development of the case study and Simulation components were underscored in view of their 'applications both to the academic and policy communities' and their 'innovation compared to other work'. The participation of younger scholars in the Project, alongside more established and internationally regarded senior academics, was also deemed to be an impressive part of the project considering that 'capacity building is a key aspect of the deliverables under the project'.


Release of Focus Groups 3 and 4 Inaugural Progress Reports

9 June 2010

Following the release in April of the Interim Progress Reports for ANU-MacArthur ASI (ANU-MASI) Focus Groups 1 and 2, the Inaugural Reports for ANU-MASI Focus Groups 3 and 4 are now also available. Focus Groups 3 held its inaugural meeting in Manila, Philippines, on 11 March, while Focus Group 4 held its meeting together with Focus Group 2 in Canberra, Australia, on 4 March.

These Groups examined the intersection of economics and security in the Asia-Pacific and issues of arms control and nuclear non-proliferation respectively and were led by Professor John Ravenhill and Professor Rob Ayson.

For more information on the conference, read here.

Download the Focus Group 3 Inaugural Progress Report » (PDF 680K)

Download the Focus Group 4 Inaugural Progress Report » (PDF 2.6M)

Asian Security Seminar series planned to be conducted in ‘virtual security classroom’ mode

21 May 2010

The Asian Security Seminar series is currently being run under the auspices of the ANU's Department of International Relations and the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre in conjunction with the ANU-MacArthur Asia Security Initiative (ANU-MASI) project supported by the MacArthur Foundation. The ANU-MASI Project is now set to incorporate a technology-driven 'virtual security classroom.' This innovative mode of delivery completed its test run on 13 May, connecting two panels of lecturers and students from three international universities – The Australian National University, the University of Tokyo and Keio University. The Australian students and panellists were based at the Hedley Bull Centre during the session.

The incorporation of the Asian Security Seminar series into this new mode of delivery was announced by Professor William Tow who leads the Security Program of the ANU's Department of International Relations. Special thanks were given by Professor Tow to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's Australia-Japan Foundation and to the Australian Research Council's Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security (ARC CEPS) who primarily supported the virtual security classroom project.

According to Professor Tow, the plan would be 'to incorporate the virtual security classroom mode into our Asian security-related postgraduate teaching program at the ANU'. A key priority was to widen the reach of the Asian Security Seminar series. 'With the initial success of this test run', said Professor Tow, 'we intend to dovetail this current project with the ANU-MASI Project in terms of complementing our postgraduate students' personal interaction with Asian security experts via the seminar series using this particular tool for teaching Asian security'. The virtual classroom has only been possible thanks to the support of Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs' Australia-Japan Foundation and the ARCCEPS.

Read details of the test run for the virtual security classroom, held on 13 May 2010 »

Read Professor William Tow's blog: 'North Korea's test of resolve' »


Release of Focus Groups 1 and 2 Inaugural Progress Reports

14 April 2010

The ANU-MacArthur Asia Security Initiative (ANU-MASI) Project's four Focus Groups began convening to set out their respective research agendas throughout early to mid-March. The product of these research meetings is now accessible online at the Project's website. Focus Group 1 is undertaking the task of exploring bilateral and multilateral security nexus in the Asia-Pacific, while Focus Group 2 is examining alliances and broader regional security initiatives.

These Inaugural Reports outline the presentations and debates that took place at the meetings, as well as the research and publishing agendas outlined. In particular, the two Focus Groups reviewed the various options for research output, notably those of a special journal edition and an edited volume.

For more information on the conference, read here.

Download the Focus Group 1 Inaugural Report » (PDF 3.0M)

Download the Focus Group 2 Inaugural Report » (PDF 1.6M)


ANU-MASI ASI Focus Group meetings held around the Asia-Pacific region

20 March 2010

Focus Group 4 discusses arms control in the Asia-Pacific

Throughout early to mid-March the ANU-MacArthur Asia Security Initiative (ANU-MASI) Project's four Focus Groups began convening to set out their respective research agendas.

Meeting in Canberra on 4 March were Focus Groups 2 and 4, led by Professor William Tow and Professor Rob Ayson. Focus Group 2 concentrated on alliances, while Focus Group 4 considered arms control issues in the region.

Focus Groups 1 and 3 held their inaugural meetings on 11 March. Focus Group 1, led by Dr Brendan Taylor, met in Tokyo to examine the nexus between bilateral and multilateral security arrangements in the Asia-Pacific region, and Focus Group 3, led by Professor John Ravenhill, met in Manila to discuss the economics-security nexus in the region.

Members of the Focus Groups presented and discussed the initial outlines for their research papers, deliberating particularly on the definitional and conceptual problems of various areas of study.

Concurrent to the Tokyo Focus Group 1 meeting, Dr David Envall, the Project's postdoctoral fellow, and Professor Tow conducted a series of fieldwork interviews with academic, policy-making and government specialists on Japanese security policy.

Another highlight of the Tokyo meeting was the opportunity for Focus Group members to give presentations for defence experts in Tokyo. Professor Tow, Dr Taylor, Dr Evelyn Goh (Royal Halloway, University of London) and Dr Envall gave a special panel presentation at the National Institute for Defense Studies (NIDS) on 12 March.

Overall, the Focus Group meetings gave the Project's participants an excellent opportunity to lay the groundwork for the second round of Focus Group meetings that would form part of the ANU-MASI Conference set for November 2010.


Inaugural Focus Group meetings for the ANU-MASI ASI Project will convene throughout March 2010

23 February 2010

The inaugural Focus Group meetings of the ANU-MacArthur Asia Security Initiative (ANU-MASI) Partnership will convene in Canberra on 4 March 2010, and in Tokyo and Manila on 11 March 2010. Professor William Tow and Dr Robert Ayson will lead the meetings in Canberra on 4 March. Dr Brendan Taylor will lead the meeting in Tokyo and Professor John Ravenhill will lead the Manila meeting. Ms Sheila Flores, Ms Chizuko Horiuchi, Dr David Envall and several workshop rapporteurs will provide assistance.

Asian Security Seminar given by Professor Renato De Castro: Extending the war on terror in Southeast Asia

19 February 2010

On Friday, 5 March 2010, Professor Renato C De Castro of De La Salle University, Philippines, spoke on the Bush Administration's extension of the War on Terror in Southeast Asia and this counter-terrorism operation's main target – the Abu Sayyaf Group.

Read more about this event »

Asian Security Seminar: Shaping up: Order, change and discontent in Asia's security future

8 February 2010

This seminar, based on a forthcoming publication from the Lowy Institute's MacArthur Foundation Asia Security Project, explored a number of alternative Asian security futures, and the strategic dynamics that will shape that future in the portentous decades ahead.

The seminar, which was held on Friday 5 February 2010 at The Australian National University, formed part of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre and the Department of International Relations Asian Security Seminar Series. It was hosted with the support of the MacArthur Foundation and the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security.

Read more about the seminar and speakers

Listen to a podcast of this seminar (27.23 MB 01:35:46)

Symposium on an Asia Pacific Community

12 January 2010

On Thursday 10 December 2009, Professor Andrew MacIntyre, Dean, ANU College of Asia and the Pacific, and Professor Hugh White, Head, Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the ANU, gave presentations at a well-attended Asia Security Initiative ⁄ Department of International Relations symposium held at the ANU. The symposium focused on key outcomes of the 2009 Asia Pacific Community Conference hosted in Sydney on 3–5 December 2009 by the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), at which almost 200 officials, academics and commentators from around the Asia Pacific region gathered to discuss Prime Minister Rudd's idea of an Asia Pacific Community. A lively question and answer session followed Professor MacIntyre's and Professor White's presentations at the symposium.

Read more about the 2009 Asia Pacific Community Conference »

Updated:  12 December 2011/Responsible Officer:  Project Coordinator /Page Contact:  Project Officer