Rory Medcalf


Research report

27 Apr 2017


Once again, Trump has broken the mould. The 100-day mark is traditionally used to assess a new administration’s progress in advancing its policy agenda. With Trump, that’s impossible. In foreign policy at least, it’s more appropriate to ask whether at the 100-day...

Policy report

28 Mar 2017

Key points

Perceptions of Australia’s vulnerability to Chinese economic pressure are exaggerated. Some individual sectors are more vulnerable than others but this does not extend to the economy as a whole.

Economic pressure that would have the biggest impact on Australia, notably...

Research report

21 Jan 2017

Explores what the Trump presidency means for Australia and the Asian region from a security perspective.

Key points:

Future US international policy has become uncertain, with the unpredictability of President Trump and deep divisions in political and public opinion. Security competitors will...

Research report

10 Aug 2016

This edited collection of papers examines the emerging concept of the Indo-Pacific, maritime tensions including in the East and South China Seas, transnational security issues, the role of Japan as a regional security partner, and prospects for partnerships involving other countries. These are drawn from...



24 May 2016

The Australian Federal election is likely to be dominated, understandably, by economic and social issues. But Australia’s security and foreign policy environment is marked by rapid change and complex uncertainty.

From terrorism to resource insecurity, from the assertive rise of China to the impact...

Research report

29 Apr 2016

Executive summary International concern over China’s assertive island - building campaign in the South China Sea overlooks a broader shift in its maritime security conduct. Chinese naval and coastguard forces are taking fewer tactical risks than a few years ago. Beijing now advocates confidence...

Research report

4 Sep 2015

This report examines the implications of sea-based nuclear weapons for strategic stability in the Indo-Pacific.

This paper is part of a wider research and outreach project on nuclear stability in a changing Indo-Pacific Asia, supported by a grant from the John D. and Catherine...

Research report

23 Jun 2015

In this Lowy Institute Report Nonresident Fellows Linda Jakobson and Rory Medcalf identify both the real differences in interests between China and other powers in the Indo-Pacific, but also the sharp divergences in perceptions regarding China’s maritime strategic objectives.

Key findings


Video lecture/presentation

15 Apr 2015

The South China Sea is a major strategic waterway for trade and energy shipments to Asia’s major economies. It has been the focus of maritime disputes which have continued for more than six decades, with competing claims from China, Vietnam, the Philippines and others. In...


16 Mar 2015

This speech argues that inclusiveness is the essential quality of a new Australian security.


The Australian National University was established with an unashamed nation-building ethos. The goal was a world-class research university in the Australian national interest with, in the wake...

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