Security co-operation between Australia and Japan will be the central focus of a Brisbane symposium to be hosted by the newly-established Griffith Security Studies Network.

The two-day event will bring together PhD researchers with a security focus from around Australia and will also include contributions from leading academic experts in this area.

“It is no longer enough to think of security in a traditional context,” Bryan Walker, a PhD candidate at Griffith’s School of Government and International Relations, says.

“Gone are the days of an anarchical international order where states seek to protect their own interests.”

The symposium, on October 23-24, will focus on the 2015 Defence White Paper under the title ‘Prospects and Trends for Australia-Japan Security Co-operation’.

“We plan to engage contemporary security and international relations issues through rigorous debate, networking and collaboration, hopefully breaking down some of the traditional barriers in this area,” Bryan Walker says.

The first session of the first day of the symposium will feature a panel made up of Dr Tomohiko Satake from the National Institute for Defence Studies, Professor Allan Patience from Melbourne University and Associate Professor Michael Heazle, an expert on Japanese foreign policy at Griffith’s School of Government and International Relations.

Professor Andrew O’Neil, Head of School of Government and International Relations, Griffith University; Professor Russell Trood, Director of the Griffith Asia Institute; and James Goldrick,an Adjunct Professor in the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre of The Australian National Universitywill make up the panel on day two.

“Concepts of security must now grapple with nebulous, yet critical tasks,” Bryan Walker says. “These include human and environmental security and the rise of non-state actors such as IS.

“The accepted international order is no longer the norm, and the very idea of security must be revisited as we steady ourselves for the shocks brought on by new powers that rise and come to the fore.”

PhD researchers across a range of study areas at Griffith University will take part in the symposium along with peers fromANU, University of Sydney, University of Melbourne, UNSW, Flinders University, Murdoch University, University of Tasmania and University of Queensland.