Asia-Pacific Development & Security

Research Themes

Gender, Religion, and Development explores how socio-cultural norms interact with the perceptions of equitable and just development in the Asia Pacific Region. How gender equality can be achieved is an important research issue. 

Infrastructure Development and Its Local Impact explores the development and human security impacts deriving from China’s Belt and Road Initiative, IT and Ecommerce development in Southeast Asia. 

Human Security and Development examines how significant social changes such as urbanisation, climate change and natural disasters have affected community resilience, food security, refugees, governance and social policy. A notable research project, Rural Livelihoods and Social Businesses for Sustainable Development, seeks to examine emergent diverse forms of rural livelihoods. Its goal is to identify appropriate policies and emergent business partnerships to support equitable development and sustainable development. Researchers Associate Professor Minako Sakai, Ajie Saksono (UNSW PhD student), and Hadi Noori (UNSW PhD student) are working in collaboration with Dr Falik Isbah at Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia. 

Military Politics, Democracy and Human Rights examines political development processes with particular attention to the drivers and obstacles to change and the role of the international community in facilitating or inhibiting progress. The Rohingya Crisis is one of the key projects within this research theme. Mass atrocity crimes committed by the Myanmar army against Muslim Rohingya have caused one of the greatest human rights and refugee crises in the Asia-Pacific in decades. Dr Morten Pedersen is examining the dynamics of this conflict and evaluating domestic and international policy responses. He warns the international preoccupation with retributive justice is unlikely to provide meaningful solutions and could be detrimental to the welfare of the victims.  

China and the Asia-Pacific Security explores external and internal drivers of China’s foreign and security policies, Chinese military modernisation, China’s relationship with countries in South East Asia and the Pacific Islands Region and the implications for Australia’s strategic interests. A key project, China and Space Warfare, studies China’s position as a rapidly emerging major space power. Notably, the Chinese military has long been a key player in the country’s expanding space program. Associate Professor Jian Zhang examines Chinese perceptions of space warfare and implications for the future of space security.