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Global Forum

Responding to new and pressing global issues
Bringing together diverse international participants the Global Forum responds rapidly, critically and reflexively to new and pressing global security issues.

Friends, Enemies and Interests: Critical Perspectives on AUKUS

Monday 27 September 2021, 12pm AEST

Through a series of curated webcasts CISS explores the national, regional and global security implications of the new strategic partnership between the US, United Kingdom and Australia (AUKUS).  Drawing on the popularised insight of Lord Palmerston -  ‘There are no permanent friends or enemies, only interests’  -  the Global Forum offers historical depth, political analysis and technological expertise to better address key questions:

  • Will AUKUS make Australia safe(r)?
  • What’s ‘special’ about the Anglophone relationship?
  • How is AUKUS likely to affect Australia’s relations with other countries in the Indo-Pacific?  Europe?
  • What is an ‘enhanced strategic partnership’? And how does it differ from an arms deal, force agreement or alliance?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines? Of new long-range air, sea and land missiles included in the agreement?
  • What are the ‘real’ costs of AUKUS?  The ‘opportunity’ costs?
  • What is in the fine print of the agreement, starting with the intent to ‘expand our edge in military capabilities and critical technologies, such as cyber, artificial intelligence, quantum technologies, and undersea domains’?
  • Is AUKUS the right/wrong solution for the right/wrong problem?

Join us Monday 27 September, 12pm AEST for the first webcast in the series.

Zoom registration is essential.


The COVID Crisis: Lessons Learned, What Next?

  • May - September 2020

In 2020, the Global Forum will explore the unprecedented challenges and changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Bringing together our research program leaders and international experts, the Global Forum will discuss the security implications of the the COVID crisis and explore how it impacts biosecurity, ecosecurity, gender, geopolitics, infosecurity and regional security.

  • Is this a ‘war’? If so, how does it compare to traditional notions of warfare? 
  • How does a pandemic strengthen or weaken security regimes?
  • Is this a ‘Chinese virus’? Are we entering a ‘new cold war’?
  • What is the appeal of conspiracy theories in times of crisis?
  • What kind of permanent security effects will COVID leave behind?
  • How does the issue of lives vs livelihood play out differently in the Global North/South?
  • What other security crises are being neglected because of COVID?

Click here to watch the full webinar series on YouTube.


Future Insecurity

  • 12 February - 14 March 2019

In 2019, the Global Forum explored the theme of 'Future Insecurity' through a series of public lectures and seminars across the months of February and March. These events were linked by a special focus on how states and new global actors, seeking asymmetrical advantages through cyber, social media and other forms of digital manipulation, are producing a new precariousness in global politics. International experts included:


Tracking Digital Espionage

Professor Ron Deibert, digital detective and founder of the Citizen Lab, reveals the hidden censorship and surveillance systems underpinning digital espionage campaigns against human rights organisations, journalists, activists, and opposition groups around the world.

The Perfect Weapon

New York Times national security correspondent David E. Sanger outlines why cyber is the perfect weapon. Cheap to acquire, easy to deny, and usable for a variety of malicious purposes, cyber is now the weapon of choice for democracies, dictators, and terrorists.


Peace and security under uncertainty

  • 27-28 April, 2017

The first CISS Global Forum was held on Thursday 27 April 2017 with an evening public forum at the University of Sydney. The event continued on Friday 28 April with a one-day workshop at the historic Quarantine Station in Sydney Harbour.

The Forum featured a diverse group of leading international security scholars, who addressed the topic from their own unique perspectives and research areas. The event was moderated by James Der Derian (Director, Centre for International Security Studies) and featured: