Foreign Policy – The Centre for Independent Studies

Foreign Policy

While accepting the importance and value of the trade relationship with  China, our new program called China and Free Societies aims to raise awareness of the challenges growing Chinese government influence poses to a free and democratic Australia.

Over the years The Centre for Independent Studies has contributed to the public debate on a range of topical foreign policy issues.  The CIS advocated pragmatic and cautious foreign policy settings to help safeguard a peaceful and prosperous Asia-Pacific.  Our research has extended from defence policy to global democratisation, but recently focused 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


Reflections on the EU Project and its Flaws: A fatal conceit about markets and the real world
Richard Alston
09 September 2021 | OP185

The European Union shows all the signs of worsening economic, social and political decline — from tepid economic growth and chronically high unemployment to social unrest and rising political extremism. This paper reflects on the idealistic roots of early European integration in the wake of…

Afghanistan on the brink of an abyss
William Maley
01 July 2021 | OP181

Australia’s recent closure of its embassy in Kabul, and the withdrawal of all US forces from Afghanistan after 20 years by 11 September 2021, casts a deep shadow over Afghanistan’s future prospects. In this paper, leading expert on Afghanistan, William Maley, examines the implications of…

Crucial Collaboration: The Case for Closer Australia-UK Defence and Security Ties in Light of a Rising China
Tom Tugendhat
23 June 2021 | PP42

China’s rise is perhaps the single most significant geopolitical question of the next decade – indeed, the next century. The sheer scale of its economy and military, combined with an increasingly authoritarian regime under Xi Jinping, means that the Indo-Pacific lies at the heart of…

Resisting China’s Economic Coercion: Why America should support Australia
Alan Dupont
08 April 2021 | PP38

China’s unprecedented trade campaign against Australia is a case study in economic coercion for geopolitical purposes. Its aim is twofold: to bend Canberra to Beijing’s will and to decouple it from the US alliance system. Australia has withstood such pressure to date, but needs American…

The Need for U.S.-Australia Leadership to Counter China across the Indo-Pacific
Erik M. Jacobs
25 March 2021 | PP36

China’s recent actions – its trade coercion against Australia, border clash with India, maritime harassment of Japan, and military expansionism in the South China Sea – have compelled the U.S. and Australia to leverage their decades-long defence alliance and intelligence ties to deepen existing relationships…

Media & Commentary

AUKUS alliance: Greatest threat to Beijing is Xi Jinping
Rowan Callick
17 September 2021 | The Australian

The formation of AUKUS underlines that the People’s Republic of China remains, as leading Chinese academic Zhu Feng says, a “lonely rising power”. China’s only formal ally is North Korea,…

How long can the CCP dominate China?
Rowan Callick
16 September 2021 | Spectator

The Chinese Communist Party is at the peak of its power as it enters its second century. But how long can it remain at its peak, at home and abroad.  It is…

The EU is in serious decline
Richard Alston
09 September 2021 | Spectator

The European Union shows all the signs of worsening economic, social and political decline, with symptoms ranging from tepid economic growth and chronically high unemployment to social unrest and rising political extremism.    The…

Afghanistan withdrawal: Redefined US role not a signal of retreat
Tom Switzer
06 September 2021 | The Australian

September 11 is not just shorthand for the terrorist attacks 20 years ago. It also takes in the US response, including a global war on terror, which led to the…

A realistic decision to quit Kabul
Tom Switzer
25 August 2021 | Financial Review

The American effort to remake Afghanistan as a viable democratic state has ended in failure. It’s tragic for those in this war-torn country who long for peace and stability. For…