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:

Featured Publication

Publications

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 Report 4

Foreign policy is typically a blandly bipartisan affair in liberal democracies like Australia and the United States. Although different slogans are employed by left and right, major political parties support broadly liberal foreign policy goals. Both sides of politics want to preserve peace and national…

What are we fighting for? Islamism and the threat to liberal values
David Kilcullen
12 November 2014

As prepared I want first to thank the Centre for Independent Studies for the opportunity to be part of this event, with its rich tradition of provocative debate. I want to thank the team for organizing this, and for your wonderful welcome. Most importantly, I…

Preserving Peace as China Rises II: Preparing for a Post-American Asian Order
Benjamin Herscovitch
01 September 2014 | FPA10

With US leadership unable to guarantee peace and security in the Indo-Pacific this century, the region will need to transition to a balance of power system divided between China, the United States, India and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). To mitigate dangerously destabilising…

Preserving Peace as China Rises I
Benjamin Herscovitch
13 March 2014 | FPA9

Inventive foreign policy that can simultaneously reassure the Indo-Pacific’s established powers and accommodate Chinese ambitions is urgently needed. This report proposes three complementary strategies to safeguard stability in the Indo-Pacific: Prolong US leadership; protect the territorial status quo; and pursue a policy of ‘strategic ambiguity’…

Accountable Authoritarianism: Why China’s Democratic Deficit Will Last
Benjamin Herscovitch
31 October 2013 | FPA8

The Chinese Communist Party’s evolving model of ‘accountable authoritarianism’ is set to prove that prosperity need not produce democracy. By pursuing a moderate reformist agenda within the framework of one-party rule, the CCP will secure its grip on government and ensure that political decisions remain…

Media & Commentary

The threat of Chinas rise
Benjamin Herscovitch
30 July 2015 | China Spectator

A tectonic shift in global power is under way, and it is provoking fear and loathing in Washington. The spectacular failure of US attempts to dissuade allies and partners from…

MH17: One year on
Anastasia Glushko
17 July 2015 | Ideas@TheCentre

This week marks a year since the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over Eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board, including 38 Australians. In a twist of…

Beijing will beat Washington in the South China Sea’s battle of wills
Benjamin Herscovitch
16 July 2015 | China Spectator

At the opening of the seventh annual United States-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue earlier this week, US Vice-President Joe Biden launched yet another diplomatic broadside against Chinese territorial aggrandisement in…

Contradictions rule in Greece
Simon Cowan
10 July 2015 | Ideas@TheCentre

Part of the difficulty in understanding where the Greek crisis will head is that so many of the actions of the key players are contradictory. The Greek people have resoundingly…

A Golden Rule for Australia’s Fiscal Spending
Patrick Carvalho
08 July 2015 | Canberra Times

Australians seeking an answer on how to reign in the fiscal deterioration of the last decade should turn their eyes to Europe. More precisely, to Switzerland. After obtaining overwhelming public…