SDSC 50th Conference Session 5: New Directions in Strategic Studies

2016 marks the 50th anniversary of SDSC’s founding and the 25th anniversary of the Cold War’s ending. To mark its 50th anniversary, and drawing inspiration from the 1980 event (‘New Directions in Strategic Thinking’), SDSC hosted this conference at ANU entitled ‘New Directions in Strategic Thinking 2.0’.

As in 1980, the conference in 2016 considers major trends which have taken place in strategic thinking since the ending of the Cold War, and where these developments might lead over the coming decade.


Professor Daniel Marston

Director of Studies, Strategic & Defence Studies Centre, The Australian National University

Professor Marston holds a Professorship in Military Studies and is also the Principal of the Military & Defence Studies Program at the Australian Command & Staff College in Canberra. He previously held the Ike Skelton Distinguished Chair of the Art of War at the US Army Command and General Staff College. He has been a Visiting Fellow with the Changing Character of War Program at the University of Oxford. Professor Marston has also been working with the US Army, US Marine Corps, and British Army in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2006. His research focuses on the topic of how armies learn and reform. His first book, Phoenix from the Ashes, is an in-depth assessment of how the British/Indian Army turned defeat into victory in the Burma campaign of the Second World War. This book won the Field Marshal Templer Medal Book Prize in 2003. The second volume, The Indian Army and the End of the Raj, was Runner Up for the Templer Medal in 2014. Professor Marston completed his doctorate in the history of war at Balliol College, Oxford University. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.


Professor Hal Brands

Henry A. Kissinger Distinguished Professor of Global Affairs, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University

Professor Brands is Henry A. Kissinger Distinguished Professor of Global Affairs at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. His most recent book is Making the Unipolar Moment: U.S. Foreign Policy and the Rise of the Post-Cold War Order (2016). His previous books include What Good is Grand Strategy? Power and Purpose in American Statecraft from Harry S. Truman to George W. Bush (2014).

Professor Sir Hew Strachan

Professor of International Relations, University of St Andrews

Sir Hew is a Life Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, where he taught from 1975 to 1992, before becoming Professor of Modern History at Glasgow University from 1992 to 2001. He was Chichele Professor of the History of War at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of All Souls College, 2002 to 2015 (where he is now an Emeritus Fellow), and Director of the Oxford Program on the Changing Character of War 2003-12. He serves on the Strategic Advisory Panel of the Chief of the Defence Staff and on the UK Defence Academy Advisory Board, as well as being a Trustee of the Imperial War Museum, a Commonwealth War Graves Commissioner, and member of the national committees for the centenary of the First World War of the UK and France. In 2010 Sir Hew chaired a task force on the implementation of the Armed Forces Covenant for the Prime Minister. In 2011 he was the inaugural Humanitas Visiting Professor in War Studies at the University of Cambridge and became a specialist adviser to the Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy. He is also Brigadier in the Queen’s Bodyguard for Scotland (Royal Company of Archers). In December 2012 Foreign Policy magazine included Sir Hew in its list of top global thinkers for the year. He was knighted in the 2013 New Year’s Honours and was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Tweeddale in 2014. His recent publications include The Politics of the British Army (1997); The First World War: To Arms (2001); The First World War: a New Illustrated History (2003); and The Direction of War (2013).

Professor Amitav Acharya

Professor of International Relations, School of International Service, American University, Washington, DC

Professor Acharya has held the UNESCO Chair in Transnational Challenges and Governance since 2011. He was Professor of International Relations at York University in Toronto and Professor of Global Governance at the University of Bristol in the UK. He has also taught at the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He was a Fellow of the Asia Center, Harvard University, and Fellow of the Center for Business and Government at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Professor Acharya was elected to the Christensen Fellowship at St Catherine’s College in Oxford in 2012, and held the Nelson Mandela Visiting Professorship in International Relations at Rhodes University, South Africa, 2012–13. Professor Acharya was elected President of the International Studies Association (ISA), the most recognised and influential global network of international studies scholars worldwide, for 2014–15. As the first ISA President from outside the West, he promoted the idea of Global International Relations, with the goal of injecting more diversity into the study of international relations and making it into a more dynamic and inclusive discipline, and overcoming its hitherto neglect of the voices and experiences of the Global South. His areas of research and writing include Southeast Asian affairs, Asian security, international relations theory, and comparative regionalism. He has published widely on Southeast Asian and Asian regionalism, and the diffusion of ideas and norms in world politics.

Professor Robert O’Neill

Emeritus Professor, Strategic & Defence Studies Centre, The Australian National University

Professor O’Neill AO FASSA was introduced to strategic studies by Captain Basil Liddell Hart and Professors Norman Gibbs and Michael Howard at Oxford, from 1961 to 1965. He then served with the Australian Army in Vietnam from 1966 to 1967, and was mentioned in dispatches for his work. Professor O’Neill taught military history at the Royal Military College Duntroon from 1967 to 1969. He then moved to the Department of International Relations at ANU and was appointed Head of the Strategic & Defence Studies Centre in 1971. He wrote The Official History of Australia’s Role in the Korean War between 1970 and 1982. He relocated to London as Director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), and then to Oxford in 1987 as the Chichele Professor of the History of War. He was also Chairman of the Imperial War Museum, Chairman of the Council of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), and a member of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Professor O’Neill returned to Australia in 2001 and was Chairman of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, 2001–05; a board member of the Lowy Institute for International Policy, 2003–12; and Planning Director of the US Studies Centre, University of Sydney, 2006–07. Professor O’Neill is also a Fellow of the Australian Institute of International Affairs.

Updated:  29 September 2023/Responsible Officer:  Bell School Marketing Team/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team