Working paper

How does the ‘Pacific’ fit into the ‘Indo-Pacific’? The changing geopolitics of the Pacific Islands: workshop report

International relations International cooperation International security National security World politics Australia New Zealand Pacific Area Indo-Pacific Region


  • On 6 and 7 June 2019, speakers from Australia, New Zealand and across the Pacific Islands convened at a workshop at the ANU to use the question of how the Pacific fits into the Indo-Pacific as a starting point to analyse the changing geopolitics of the Pacific Islands and their implications for both the region and Australia.
  • The discussions revealed that Australians, New Zealanders and Pacific Islanders are concerned about the implications of the changing geopolitics of the region, but that they do not always share the same geopolitical perspective.
  • The workshop discussions also highlighted the priority placed on non-traditional security issues in the Pacific Islands, and particularly the nexus between security and development. This raises a risk for Australia: that, by using the Indo-Pacific framing, it could be perceived — whether rightly or wrongly — as primarily focused on traditional geostrategic concerns at the expense of non-traditional security issues.
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Working Paper 2019/1