The Australia-India maritime security relationship : navigating the currents of strategic culture

  • Helen Sellers

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    Strategic culture is a concept used to understand state actions in relation to protecting that state’s interests, through strategic choices that may include the way of warfighting and patterns of statecraft. The research presented in the thesis contributes to academic debate through the conceptualisation of a theoretical framework that is cognisant of the connections between strategic and security concepts, theory and practice, and historical narratives. The thesis provides a novel contribution to an understanding of strategic culture, where the framework combines literature from constructivism, securitisation, ontological security and strategic culture to unpack the discrete yet influential elements of strategic culture that are hidden within the concept. The central argument of this thesis is that strategic culture can be beneficial when considering bilateral relations, and the field of strategic theory more generally. Additionally, the development of a novel categorisations of strategic cultures facilitates an understanding of the relationship between the international impact of the changing character of strategic culture and the influences of strategic choices.
    Utilising a case study approach, this thesis explores the strategic culture of Australia and India, with a specific focus on the Australian and Indian Navies within the Indo-Pacific region. Qualitative research was conducted through email interviews, informal discussions, and documentary evidence of elites from both states. The combined primary research and documentary analysis provided evidence of an Australian and Indian shared history in the colonial period and shared geostrategic space, yet there remain major differences. The provision for both similarities and differences to be explored contributed to a deeper understanding of the role of strategic culture in strategic policy choices and international relations.
    Date of Award2021
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorDiane Stone (Supervisor), Lain Dare (Supervisor), Mark Evans (Supervisor), Anthea Mccarthy-Jones (Supervisor) & Peter Leahy (Supervisor)

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