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Dr Sascha Dov Bachmann, Associate Professor in International Law (BU) and War Studies (Swedish Defence University), acting Director of BU’s Centre for Conflict,Rule of Law and Society has joined forces with Professor Louis de Koker and Professor Pompeu Casanovas from La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia to convene the conference
Hybrid threats and the Asia – Pacific region: Hybrid warfare and cyber-attacks within the Australian – Pacific context
Global peace and security has seen the arrival of new security threats in the form of hybrid threats and cyber-attacks.
This symposium provides a platform for the discussion of a new form of warfare, namely ‘hybrid warfare’. Hybrid war is the use of a range of non-conventional methods (e.g. cyber warfare and lawfare) in order to disrupt, discourage and disable an adversary’s capabilities without engaging in open hostilities and may use the full range of military and non-military options for achieving its strategic objectives. Such hybrid warfare might include aspects of ‘cyber terrorism’, ‘cyber war’ and cyber-based ‘information operations’, a topic of particular interest given Russia’s ‘Ukrainian Spring’, the continuing threat posed by radical Islamist groups in Africa, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region as well geopolitical shifts.
The interdisciplinary symposium will discuss military doctrines, new and traditional approaches to war and peace and its perceptions, the use of cyber warfare, the use of mass media communication to meddle in internal state affairs, including impact on state elections and public sentiment, as well as the use of lawfare (the strategy of using – or misusing – law as a substitute for traditional military means to achieve a war-fighting objective) to achieve military goals in a non-kinetic way and the use of various means to disrupt a nation’s economy, public services and national interests.
At the heart of the symposium stand the questions of how to increase resilience and whether responses to such hybrid threats need to change in the future.
This seminal conference brings together academics and military professionals from the region and beyond to discuss new security challenges from a Asia-Pacific and especially an Australian perspective.
Deadline for submissions: 31 October 2018
Symposium Date: 25 – 26 March 2019
Place: La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia
Proposals must be sent by email to the Lead Convenor: Professor (AP) Sascha Dov Bachmann (email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Asian-Pacific Journal of Public Health published an editorial with Dr. Pramod Regmi as its first author. The editorial ‘Importance of Health and Social Care Research into Gender and Sexual Minority Populations in Nepal.’ The authors argue that despite progressive legislative developments and increased visibility of sexual and gender minority populations in the general population, mass media often report that this population face a wide range of discrimination and inequalities. LGBT (lesbian, gay, and bisexual, and transgender) populations have not been considered as priority research populations in Nepal.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
Regmi, R.R., van Teijlingen, E. Importance of Health and Social Care Research into Gender and Sexual Minority Populations in Nepal
Asia Pac J Public Health 2015 27: 806–808,
Professor Jonathan Parker, Deputy Dean (Research & Knowledge Exchange) delivered the Keynote address at the “International Social Work Conference 2012: Crafting Symbiotic Collaboration and Partnership in the Asia-Pacific Region”, held in Penang, Malaysia last week.
This international conference, jointly organised by the Institut Sosial Malaysia, the government Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development and the Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Penang, Malaysia, with the support of government Department of Social Welfare, Malaysia and the Malaysian Association of Social Workers. Professor Parker’s invitation to deliver the keynote was made in recognition of the important work that he and Dr Ashencaen Crabtree conducted in developing partnerships and collaboration in cross-cultural learning for social work students.
Professor Parker spoke about the three-year British Council funded research project promoting UK student mobility to Malaysia. It involved developing partnerships at organisational levels between UK (BU) and Malaysian universities (Uuniversiti Sains Malaysia and Universiti Malaysia Sarawak), but was only possible because of prior personal and collegiate relationships – the substrate, or foundations, of symbiotic partnership and collaboration.
The positive results of the collaboration and enhanced cross-cultural understanding were presented, including enhanced employment prospects for UK students – something found as part of a follow-up Fusion Investment Fund study last year. However, Professor Parker’s keynote also problematised the mode of learning and the collaboration and partnerships evolved to facilitate the work, drawing attention to:
- Isomorphic tendencies in social work education globally (a move towards a common state)
- Hegemonies of nation-states (in which one assumes a position of power)
- Hegemonies of social work: practice & values
- Tyrannies of received ideas
He posed the question for the conference, what future is there for international collaboration and partnerships in social work education? The importance of criticality and reflexivity in analysing collaboration types, power balances and differentials was stressed, recognising that not all relationships are top-down, bottom-up or even equal but are likely to be fuzzy and plural in meanings and directions. Accepting this allows for change and diversity as partnership relationships develop, and demands that we become more comfortable with the places and spaces we occupy as actors in mutual collaborations.
Professor Parker’s keynote was warmly welcomed and further research collaboration is planned with a wider network of Malaysian universities and potential support from the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development and Department of Social Welfare.