Working on security challenges facing our region

Our research program on Asia’s security brings together a team working across the full spectrum of security challenges facing our region, from strategic competition between the major powers to maritime security, from gender and inclusion to the protection of human rights and the provision of post-conflict justice.

The program has received generous funding from the Australian Research Council and from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s country-specific and regional Councils and Institutes, among other bodies.

Our researchers are heavily engaged in policy-relevant debate in various contexts, including Griffith Asia Institute’s conferences and dialogues.

Research highlights

Preventing mass sexual and gender-based violence in Asia Pacific

Sara Davies and Jacqui True (Monash University)

Funded by the Australian Research Council, this project is concerned with understanding the relationship between endemic violence against women withwidespread and systematic sexual and gender-based violence. By documenting all reports of violence against women and girls in three countries, Philippines, Myanmar and Sri Lanka, and systematic fieldwork, the project aims to understand the relationship between political violence, violence against women and spikes in sexual violence atrocities against these populations.

Towards inclusive peace

Monitoring gender provisions of peace agreements

Sara Davies, Jacqui True and Katrina Lee-Koo (Monash University) and Nicole George (University of Queensland). Partner investigators: Amy Haddad and Sharon McIvor.

This ARC Linkage Project investigates how peace agreements can advance women’s rights and participation in post-conflict and political transitions in partnership with DFAT. It examines the relationship between women’s presence in the processes of peacemaking, the inclusion of women’s rights and gender provisions in peace agreements, and the outcomes for women’s participation in post-conflict governance of countries with successful peace agreements.

Contested multilateralism 2.0 and Asia Pacific security

Kai He

This project, supported by an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship, examines how major powers employ multilateral diplomacy to pursue their realist interests in the Asia Pacific.

How China sees the world

Huiyun Feng and Kai He

This project explores China’s international relations and its impacts on Asian security. Feng’s current research also examines the cultural impact on state’s foreign policy behaviour. In published and ongoing research, Feng and He integrate operational code analysis of political psychology and prospect theory from behavioural economics to introduce a new model of China’s crisis behavior. The project aims shed light on our understanding of the behavioral patterns of China’s foreign policy in the 21st century.

Extended nuclear deterrence and the restraint of non-nuclear allies

Andrew O’Neil and Stephan Frühling (ANU)

Extended nuclear deterrence is central to the security commitments offered by the US to its European and Asian allies, but little is known about why non-nuclear allies ask for nuclear assurances and how they influence the assurances they receive. Using the lenses of intra-alliance bargaining, the composition of assurances, and domestic and international interactions, this ARC-funded project investigates why non-nuclear allies often seek modest extended nuclear deterrence guarantees when they could push for more ambitious commitments.

Accountability for past human rights violations in South Asia

Renee Jeffery and Ian Hall

This Australian Research Council-funded project aims to explain South Asian responses to local and international demands for accountability for past gross human rights violations. Global accountability norms hold that the perpetrators of such violations should be held to account for their actions. Yet in South Asia,where up to 3 million lives have been lost in political violence since 1970, state responses are variable and often inconsistent with these norms. This project aims to provide a theoretically informed empirical explanation for these responses.

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