Friday 13 Dec 2019 | 14:27 | SYDNEY
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About the project

The International Security Program looks at strategic dynamics and security risks globally, with an emphasis on Australia's region of Indo-Pacific Asia. Its research spans strategic competition and the risks of conflict in Asia, security implications of the rise of China and India, maritime security, nuclear arms control, Australian defence policy and the changing character of conflict. The Program draws on a network of experts in Australia, Asia and globally, and is supported by diverse funding sources including grants from the MacArthur Foundation and the Nuclear Threat Initiative. It convenes international policy dialogues such as the 2017 Australia-ROK Emerging Leaders International Security Forum and has a record of producing leading-edge, influential reports.

Latest publications

Quick comment: Beijing's 'passive assertiveness' in the South China Sea

The Lowy Institute has published a major new report on China's behaviour in the South China Sea. 'Shifting Waters: China's New Passive Assertiveness Asian Maritime Security' finds that China has changed its tactics in recent times: there are fewer confrontations at sea with the constabulary and naval forces of other claimants, and more 'passive assertiveness' such as island-building.

Co-author Ashley Townshend says this is partly a good-news story, because it reduces the chances of violent conflict. But in this interview recorded yesterday, Ashley also says that although the tactics have changed, China's strategic goals have not:

Shifting waters: China’s new passive assertiveness in Asian maritime security

In this Report, Ashley Townshend and Lowy Institute Nonresident Fellow Professor Rory Medcalf examine China’s evolving maritime security conduct. They argue that China’s less confrontational but more strategically assertive behaviour has paradoxical implications for regional security, lowering the risks of unintended clashes but making it harder to prevent China from consolidating a new maritime status quo.

This Report is part of a wider research and outreach project on maritime security in Indo-Pacific Asia, supported by a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Photo: Getty Images/DigitalGlobe

Russia’s Asian rebalance

In this Lowy Institute Analysis, Dr Matthew Sussex surveys the security, energy, and regional engagement implications of Russia’s pivot to Asia and argues that despite numerous challenges confronting Putin, Moscow’s rebalance should be taken seriously.

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