National security in Australia: scoping the field

Research team

Research summary

The NSC’s third Occasional Paper provided new information about national security studies in an Australian context while exploring the meaning of national security and the future security environment.

This project was initiated due to a gap in the written knowledge about the evolution of the concept of national security in Australia, and because of a need to identify the elements of the emerging field of ‘National Security Studies’.

Published in April 2012, Scoping the Field encompasses five attached papers covering different fragments of the scoping task, and feature discussions around the meaning of national security, the future security environment and analysis of subject matter for consideration under the banner of ‘National Security Studies’.

Uniquely, these papers are written from an Australian perspective and therefore consider the distinct historical, socio-political and strategic conditions present in this particular world region:

  • Ross Babbage discusses ‘National Security Studies: What are the Distinguishing Features?’
  • Brendan Taylor ponders ‘The Evolution of National Security Studies’
  • Hugh White explores ‘The Idea of National Security: What Use is it to Policy Makers?’
  • Stephen Fruhling identifies ‘Ghosts of Papers Past: The Strategic Basis Papers and Australian National Strategy in the Twenty First Century’
  • Andrew O’Neil looks forward in ‘Conceptualising Future Threats to Australia’s Security’
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