A national asset: essays commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre

Author/s (editor/s):

Desmond Ball, Coral Bell, Paul Dibb, T.B. Millar, J.D.B Miller, Robert O'Neill, Hugh White

Publication year:

2006

Publication type:

Policy paper
 
Canberra Papers on Strategy and Defence No. 165
 
This volume has been produced to commemorate the SDSC's 40th anniversary. It contains contributions by the Centre's five successive Heads: Dr T.B. Millar (1966-71), Dr Robert O'Neill (1971-82), Professor Desmond Ball (1984-91), Professor Paul Dibb (1991-2003) and Professor Hugh White (since 2004). It also includes contributions by Dr Coral Bell, who was present at the creation of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London in the 1950s, came to the Department of International Relations at the Australian National University in 1977, and has been a Visiting Fellow in SDSC since 1990; and by Professor J.D.B. Miller, Head of the Department of International Relations from 1962 to 1987, who together with Sir John Crawford, then the Director of the Research School of Pacific Studies, conceived the idea of the Centre in early 1966.
 
In chapter 1, Coral Bell describes the formative years of IISS in London, explores the notion of strategic culture in Australia, and places the development of SDSC in both these international and domestic contexts. The next several chapters are essentially personal reflections. Chapter 2 by Tom Millar and chapter 3 by Bruce Miller describe the foundation of the Centre; chapter 4 by Bob O'Neill and chapter 5 by Des Ball describe its growth to international repute during the 1970s and 1980s; and chapter 6 by Paul Dibb discusses its reorientation after the end of the Cold War. These chapters are replete with stories of university politics, internal SDSC activities, cooperation among people of very different social and political values, and conflicts between others, as well as the Centre's public achievements. Finally, in chapter 7, Hugh White discusses the place of academic strategic and defence studies, and more particularly the Centre, in Australia's current circumstances, and projects the future directions for SDSC.
 
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