Foreign Policy


The Centre for Independent Studies contributes to public debate on a range of topical foreign policy issues.

With the US strategic ‘pivot’ to Asia and China’s economic and military resurgence, Australia’s regional foreign policy is increasingly contentious. The CIS will continue to advocate pragmatic and cautious foreign policy settings to help safeguard a peaceful and prosperous Asia-Pacific.

CIS foreign policy research has extended from defence policy to global democratisation, but now focuses on China-Australia relations, the US security presence in Asia, Chinese foreign policy, and foreign aid.

For further information on our foreign policy areas, proceed to:


  1. The Fog of Foreign Policy: Why only ‘least bad’ options are available in Syria, Iraq and other global hotspots

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 18 May 2015 | Research Reports

    This research outlines that the success of foreign policy initiatives depends on immensely complex and constantly evolving... Read More...

  2. What are We Fighting For? Islamism and the Threat to Liberal Ideas

    David Kilcullen | 10 Feb 2015 | Occasional Papers

    This volume brings together two presentations and the introductions from an event hosted by the Centre for Independent Studies... Read More...

  3. What are we fighting for? Islamism and the threat to liberal values

    David Kilcullen | 12 Nov 2014 | Speeches

    Dr David Kilcullen's address for the 2014 John Bonython Lecture

  4. Preserving Peace as China Rises II: Preparing for a Post-American Asian Order

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 01 Sep 2014 | Foreign Policy Analysis

    With US leadership unable to guarantee peace and security in the Indo-Pacific this century, the region will need to transition... Read More...

  5. FEATURE: The East is Authoritarian: Why China Will Not Democratise

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 30 Apr 2014 | POLICY Magazine

    The Chinese Communist Party may carve out an enduring place for its own brand of accountable authoritarianism.

View All

Opinion & Commentary

  1. Beijing will beat Washington in the South China Sea’s battle of wills

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 26 Jun 2015 | China Spectator

    At the opening of the seventh annual United States-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue earlier this week, US Vice-President ... Read More

  2. Islamic relations: The victim mentality will not help Muslim cause

    Peter Kurti | 15 Jun 2015 | Daily Telegraph

    What is required on the part of Muslim and non-Muslim Australians alike is a new attitude to combatting the problem of Muslim ... Read More

  3. Australia should stay out of the South China Sea

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 04 Jun 2015 | China Spectator

    Canberra looks set to wade into the South China Sea’s turbulent waters.  ... Read More

  4. Australia should intervene in Syria to defeat Islamic State

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 27 May 2015 | The Australian

    Despite a rich civilizational inheritance stretching back millennia, the Syrian city of Palmyra is fast becoming a byword ... Read More

  5. The United States should not seek strategic primacy in Asia

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 13 May 2015 | China Spectator

    The strategic sands in Asia are steadily shifting in China’s favour.  ... Read More

View All


  1. No political solution possible in Syria

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 08 May 2015

    The grim reality is that Syria’s vicious civil war requires a military solution....

  2. Socialism with Singaporean characteristics

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 02 Apr 2015

    The legacy of recently deceased Singaporean strongman Lee Kuan Yew offers one of the most reliable guides to China’s future....

  3. Fight against Islamic State demands a Syrian solution

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 27 Feb 2015

    Speaking in federal parliament on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop lamented the sexual slavery and abuse facing the ...

  4. Disaster management, not demand management

    Simon Cowan | 30 Jan 2015

    The global financial crisis re-ignited a division in economics between those who believe governments should boost demand ...

  5. Beware the ideology of Islamism

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 30 Jan 2015

    The latest spate of radical Islamist terrorist attacks on schools, cafes, offices and other 'soft targets' has again ignited ...

View All