Research Themes

Military History

The military history research program leads the discipline nationally, with a significant and growing international presence in the study of armed conflict and society in historical perspective. Individual researchers specialise in both the broader impact of war and armed conflict upon society and the technical dimensions of war expressed in strategy and policy, doctrine, administration, logistics, tactical systems and modern staff structures, and on land, sea and air. We also have specific expertise in German, US, Australian, French, Ottoman and Turkish, British and Empire/Commonwealth military history, the two world wars, and in the fields of naval and maritime history. The Academy Library contains the best and most extensive collections of military history in the Southern Hemisphere.

Australian Literature

Our researchers initiated, and remain a vital part of, the Australian literature e-resource AustLit, the premier bibliographic tool in Australian literary studies, and the Academy Library holds an unrivalled manuscript collection relating to contemporary Australian writers. The Australian Scholarly Editions Centre has been hosted by the School since 1993, publishing authoritative editions of major Australian texts. Our researchers have expertise in most of nineteenth and twentieth-century Australian literature, employing interdisciplinary cultural history and theory, including book history, textual studies and international comparative frames. We offer outstanding resources for higher degree research in these fields.

International and Non-traditional Security

Our researchers in this area concentrate on long-standing and emerging challenges in national, regional and global security, with a particular focus on: Australian defence and security policy; the Asia-Pacific region; nuclear weapons; human security; and global security governance. We pursue a range of interests: managing strategic stability and preventing conflict; relations with a rising China; military diplomacy; nuclear arms control and disarmament; security ethics; and the politics of security. Our researchers are also leaders in applying non-traditional approaches such as human security, resilience and cosmopolitanism to new security challenges: climate change; natural disasters; systemic insecurity; ethnic conflict; terrorism; and post-modern conflicts. The Academy Library’s unrivalled collections in defence and security studies make this an ideal venue for this type of research.

International Ethics

International Ethics brings together Political Theory, International Relations and Moral Philosophy to address ethical questions in world politics.

Asia-Pacific Studies

The School supports interdisciplinary approaches to understanding Australia’s neighbouring region, one of the most dynamic but also most volatile in the world. Our researchers use the methods of social anthropology, political science and history to explore the changes underway in the region. Current research topics include social development, policy and security studies, and civil society. The Academy Library and Asian language collection at the nearby National Library of Australia offer outstanding research resources. We have hosted the Asia Pacific Seminar Series for more than a decade to share current research with our local, national and international colleagues, and we have a small but vibrant group of research students working on topics with a focus on Southeast and East Asia.