About CISS

Today’s complex security issues clearly exceed discrete levels of analysis, bounded disciplines of study and fixed notions of power. International security is constituted through rational calculations, emotional considerations as well as representational practices of what and who counts as opportunity or threat, friend or foe, population at risk or risky population. Security issues, now more than ever, require a combination of traditional and innovative approaches. It is not just what but how security issues are studied that makes CISS distinctive.

— James Der Derian, Director of the Centre for International Security Studies and Michael Hintze Chair of International Security

The Centre for International Security Studies (CISS) was established at the University of Sydney in 2006, along with the Michael Hintze Chair of International Security, to produce innovative research and education programs on the enduring and emerging security challenges facing Australia, the Indo-Pacific and the world. Our research informs and solicits active engagement with the policy community as well as the public seeking expert knowledge on the most pressing global issues.

Unlike an academic discipline or most security studies centres, CISS is event-oriented. A global event can be nuclear, chemical or biological; kinetic, seismic or climatic; epidemiological or celestial; individual or collective; as parochial as a sinkhole or as exotic as a black hole. The global event can create great hopes and expectations but also great precariousness and insecurity. At CISS we focus on how the event is framed, interpreted, and constituted by officials and the media but also through our own theories and models. We seek to apply new thinking in the natural, social and human sciences to better understand the enhanced role of the global event in peace and security.

For more information, visit CISS’ website sydney.edu.au/arts/ciss