Russia: Resurgent or Wrecker?

National Security College | Professional course
Russia: Resurgent or Wrecker?


How important is Russia to Australian security policy? Is it a legitimate major power that deserves to be taken seriously? Is it a threat, an irritant, or even a potential future partner on security challenges? This course explores Russia’s resurgent role in global politics and security as well as its worldview.

#132 Crawford Building, Lennox Crossing, ANU

Note 2019 dates to be confirmed. A fee of $1,300 (GST ex) applies to this course for Commonwealth participating agencies and NSC Partners. The open rate is $1,600 (GST ex).

Course overview

This course explores the significance of Russia’s resurgence as a global power and player, and the potential implications for Australia’s security interests. You will consider how seriously we should take Russia as a legitimate power – and whether we should think of it as a threat, irritant or potentially valuable political partner on selected issues.

The course charts the emergence of Russia’s muscular foreign and security policy agenda, with a particular focus on conventional conflicts, hybrid operations and information war. You will also explore critical internal factors including the state of the Russian economy, its political dynamics, defence priorities and aspirations, internal security challenges and strategic objectives.

Scope and content

Participants at this course will discuss the following issues:
• Russia’s resurgence in world affairs: context and drivers
• Russia and information warfare: from Kompromat to hybrid operations
• Russian politics, society and economy
• Russian security objectives, capabilities and influence
• Russia as a ‘Euro-Pacific’ power: myth or reality?
• Russia’s objectives and activities in Australia’s immediate region
• Implications for Australia’s security interests

Who should attend? This course is invaluable for staff grappling with the question of what Russia seeks today, and what it means for Australia in the future. It is designed for those seeking a deeper understanding of Russia, the implications of its role as a significant geopolitical actor for Australian public policy and future Australian national security interests in particular.

Course details

• One day residential, fully-catered course.
• An ANU parking permit will be supplied.
• Course Timings: 9:00am - 5:00pm
#### Registration

Please click here to register or contact us at for further information.

Course convenor

Ms Sandra Bourke

Sandra Bourke joined the National Security College in February 2018, on secondment from the Home Affairs portfolio, as a Manager in the Executive and Professional Development team. Her career focus has been on intelligence, criminology and defence, in particular delivering and managing technology as an enabling capability for national security. Sandra’s career commenced in 1990 as a serving AFP Detective before moving into intelligence management positions at the former National Crime Authority and at the NSW Police. Between 1996 and 1998, Sandra also taught criminology at the University of Western Sydney (undergrad). In 2004, Sandra established the first NSW Police Project Management Office. A highlight project was the establishment of the State Crime Command. This role led to broader PM experience in the private sector with a focus on technology. This included operational management at the Centre for Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism at Macquarie University. In 2011, Sandra took up the position of Director, Air Force Improvement at Headquarters Air Command. In 2015, Sandra was transferred to Canberra under the Defence Executive Development program. She recently returned to the criminal justice sector, focusing on ICT capabilities for national security. Sandra’s academic qualifications include a Bachelor of Arts (Education and Government) from the University of Sydney and a Master of Social Science (Criminology) from Charles Sturt University. Sandra is currently completing in a Master of National Security Policy (Advanced) at the ANU NSC.

Course presenter(s)

Associate Professor Matthew Sussex, Academic Director, NSC

Associate Professor Matthew Sussex is the Academic Director at the National Security College. His main research specialisation is on Russian foreign and security policy, but his interests also cover: government and politics in Eurasia; strategic studies; terrorism and counter-terrorism; energy security; and Australian foreign policy. He is particularly interested in contemporary trends in violent conflict, especially in ‘hybrid’ warfare and in the evolution of propaganda. Prior to joining NSC Dr Sussex was Director of Politics and International Relations at the University of Tasmania. He has served on the National Executive of the Australian Institute for International Affairs and has been Associate Editor of the Australian Journal of International Affairs. He is also currently a Non-resident Fellow at the Lowy Institute for International Policy. Dr Sussex’s research has previously been awarded funding by the Australian Research Council (Discovery Projects), the Australia-US Fulbright Commission and the International Studies Association, amongst others. Dr Sussex’s recent solo or collaborative book projects include Eurasian Integration, Central Asia and the New Geopolitics of Energy (Palgrave, 2015); Power, Politics and Confrontation in Eurasia (Palgrave, 2015); Violence and the State (Manchester University Press, 2015), and Conflict in the Former USSR (Cambridge University Press, 2012).

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