Indo-Pacific Futures – The grey zone, hybrid war, and minilateralism


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In this episode of the National Security Podcast, we bring you the first of a special three-part series looking at key trends influencing the future strategic landscape of the Indo-Pacific. This episode unpacks two competing trends that are shaping the regional order: the rise of grey zone and hybrid threats, and the emergence of ‘minilateralism’.

Grey zone and hybrid threats have been rising in prominence as tools used by authoritarian states as they attempt to reshape the regional order. But what are they, who are they being used against, and how they are likely to evolve in coming years? And with minilateralism emerging as a preferred format for states to meet the challenges of great power competition, how might diplomacy evolve to match the shifting security landscape of the coming decade? In this episode of the National Security Podcast, we ask how these trends intersect and whether minilateralism is an effective tool to deal with grey zone and hybrid threats.

Professor Sascha Bachmann is a Professor in Law at Canberra Law School and co-convener of the National Security Hub at the University of Canberra. He is also a Research Fellow at the Security Institute for Governance and Leadership in Africa at Stellenbosch University.

Elisabeth Braw is a Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute where she focuses on defense against emerging national security challenges, such as hybrid and grey zone threats.

Professor Akiko Fukushima is a Senior Fellow at the Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research. She has previously held roles as Director of Policy Studies at the National Institute for Research Advancement and as Senior Fellow at the Japan Foundation.

Dr Frank Hoffman is a Distinguished Research Fellow at the National Defense University's Center for Strategic Research.

Professor Takashi Shiraishi is Chancellor of the Prefectural University of Kumamoto and Professor Emeritus at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.

Abhijit Singh is a Senior Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi, where he heads the Maritime Policy Initiative.

Dr Sarah Teo is a Research Fellow and Coordinator of the Regional Security Architecture Programme at the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University.

Aarshi Tirkey is a Junior Fellow at Observer Research Foundation, working in its Strategic Studies Programme. Her research focuses on international law, especially its relevance and application to Indian foreign policy.

Professor Jingdong Yuan is an Associate Professor at the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney. He specialises in Asia-Pacific security, Chinese defence and foreign policy, and global and regional arms control and non-proliferation issues.

Chris Farnham is the Senior Outreach and Policy Officer at the ANU National Security College.

This mini-series forms part of the Indo-Pacific Futures Project underway at ANU National Security College. This project, which explores the future strategic landscape of the Indo-Pacific region, offers a range of analysis and ideas, all of which is available on the Futures Hub website. In the rest of this series, experts from across the national security community will interrogate the future of the Indo-Pacific strategic landscape, evaluate the influence of critical technology on the region, and examine the rise of geoeconomics as a feature of great power competition.

The Indo-Pacific Futures Project receives support from the Japanese Embassy in Australia. ANU National Security College is independent in its...

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