Hugh White

Emeritus Prof Hugh White

Emeritus Professor


BA(Hons) (Melbourne), BPhil(Oxon)

Contact details
+61 2 6125 1562
Building: Hedley Bull Building
Hugh White

Hugh White AO is Professor of Strategic Studies at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre of the Australian National University. He has worked on Australian and regional strategic, defence and foreign policy issues since 1980.

He has been an intelligence analyst, journalist, ministerial adviser, departmental official, think tanker and academic. In the 1990s he served as International Relations Adviser to Prime Minister Bob Hawke and as Deputy Secretary of Defence for Strategy and Intelligence. He was the principal author of Australia’s 2000 Defence White Paper.

His recent publications include Power Shift: Australia’s Future between Washington and Beijing published by Black Inc in September 2010, and The China Choice: Why America should share power, published in Australia by Black Inc in 2012, and by OUP in 2013. The China Choice has also been published in Chinese and Japanese.

In the 1970s Hugh White studied philosophy at Melbourne and Oxford Universities. He was awarded an AO in the Queen’s Birthday honours in 2014.

Career highlights

1985-1991 Senior Adviser to Defence Minister and Prime Minister; 1995-2000 Deputy Secretary for Strategy, Department of Defence; 2001-2004 Director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute

Professor Hugh White

Don’t Panic: Australia without America

America has already lost the contest for primacy in Asia.

A member of the Chinese military marches before the welcoming ceremony for President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing. AP

Foreign policy: why we should expect more of ourselves

We are starting to turn the “soft bigotry of low expectations” against our own government, and therefore against ourselves.

Nikki Haley, United States ambassador to the United Nations, confers with an aide during an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council at United Nations headquarters, July 5, 2017 in New York City. Getty Images.

Empty US threats over North Korea are serving Beijing’s interests

When North Korea tested a ballistic missile back in February, the Trump administration threatened military action. They did the same thing when Pyongyang tested again on 4 July.


Shangri-La Dialogue should address Asia's new strategic order

Each year, the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore provides a platform for Washington to affirm America’s strategic commitment to Asia, promote its policies to strengthen United States regional

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis reviews Japanese troops with Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada in Tokyo, 4 Feb, 2017. (Photo:US Dept of Defense)

China v US: Who needs allies?

People often argue that America’s alliances in Asia are a decisive advantage in its contest with China for regional strategic primacy.

Picture credits: Bryan Dorrough

Trump is not serious about dealing with North Korea

Call me an optimist, but I think war on the Korean Peninsula is very unlikely. That’s the good news.

The Foreign Minister seems blithely confident about America's willingness to lead in Asia

Bishop's doctrine of denial is no foreign policy future

Julie Bishop is anxious about Asia. She worries about intensifying economic competition as too many workers in rising economies chase too few consumers elsewhere.

Trump Pushes Australia Toward China

The phone call last week between Mr.

The bully or the deal maker- which Donald Trump will Australia get?

Leading strategist Professor Hugh White, a former deputy head of the Defence department, says he is unsurprised the government and many commentators have eagerly seized on Trump’s words since


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