Competitive advantage in international policymaking: the value of trend and futures research
National Security College Working Paper No 3
The concept of competitive advantage has always been an indispensable aspect of relations among states in the modern international system. It has provided a frame of reference for the pursuit of national priorities in trade, investment, diplomacy, military capabilities, technology and societal goals generally. This quest for competitive advantage is rarely pursued in a one-dimensional, zero-sum or exclusive way. It invariably co-exists with an alertness to ways in which cooperation with other states, as well as competition with them, can advance a nation’s overall interests broadly conceived. These shifting patterns of cooperation and competition continue to define relations among states.
The parameters of competitive national advantage are evolving. An increasingly important benchmark relates to national capacities for discerning patterns of change and their trajectories, and for applying to strategic policymaking the strategic foresight that such capacities can provide. This entails a national capacity for assessment and analysis that is underpinned by strategic foresight as well as a positive engagement with the product on the part of ministerial decision-makers. In that context, some countries are astutely consolidating long-established futures capabilities and focusing them on their practical policymaking; others are moving quickly to acquire such capabilities and focus; while others again are much slower to do so, either unconvinced of the relevance or unwilling to marshal the necessary resources and skills. For Australian public policy, in particular, there are important implications in this evolution of the framework of competitive advantage and its consequences. In particular, there are real advantages to be gained by Australia in the application of the best-practice standards which many other countries are now using to enhance their capabilities in trend and futures research.
Benchmarks of national competitive advantage: continuities and adaptations
There are some enduring aspects of competitive advantage among nations that derive from their historical experience, their human and natural resources, their capacity for innovation and adaptation as well as their priorities and values. But these aspects in their own right do not provide any guarantees of ongoing advantage in the international environment of complexity and volatility that currently prevails and that is set to intensify. In fact, there are important ways in which particular benchmarks of national competitive advantage are being re-calibrated in the twenty first century. Those benchmarks include the capacity of nations to benefit from the new intersections of trade, investment, security and demography. They encompass the responsiveness of states to changing forms of geopolitical rivalry and new dimensions of geo-economic influence. They also relate increasingly to meeting environmental challenges and securing long-term access to resources as well as the capacity to compete on the new frontiers of the ‘great technology convergence’ being integrated through cyberspace.
These contemporary benchmarks highlight the rising importance of another national capability that is increasingly shaping the concept of competitive advantage. It relates to the capacity of states to cope productively with the increasing complexities and uncertainties of governance, to focus systematically and rigorously on their emerging and future strategic and operating environment, to shape it to the extent they can, and to have the capacity and resilience to adapt effectively to it as it evolves.
Escalating risks, diversifying short-term pressures and an accelerating pace of change make it extremely challenging for governments to plan effectively for the long-term. But a focus on longer-term futures is increasingly necessary and desirable. It is not premised on the need to ‘pick winners’ and it does not require the gift of prophecy. Nor is it an exercise in central planning. What it does entail, however, is the identification of a range of vulnerabilities, threats, risks and opportunities that could impact significantly on a nation’s interests over the medium to long-term in ways which that nation is currently not adequately equipped to address.
Trend and futures research: why it is more important than ever
Medium to longer-term perspectives in policymaking need to be underpinned by both trend and futures research. Trend research focuses on the contours and implications of prevailing patterns of change – whether it be incremental, contextual, structural or foundational change. Futures research addresses the medium to long-term trajectory of trends and their contemporary implications. Trend research is analogous to mapping while futures research provides broader monitoring and detection more akin to the capabilities of radar. Together, both provide a sense of strategic context.
Trend and futures research is not new. In fact, its interdisciplinary connections have been pursued for well over half a century and in more recent times it has been more widely facilitated and encouraged as a tool of national policymaking. It is underpinned by skills in critical strategic thinking applied in a structured and systematic way. But such research goes beyond a conventional linear strategic assessment of cause and effect since each has different thresholds of credibility, documentation, coherence and consensus. Trend and futures research pursues a broader and more lateral remit focused on a range of futures that could affect a nation’s interests and on perspectives that can inform the priorities of contemporary policymaking. It is designed to prepare a nation not only for the future it may be currently anticipating and working for but also for the quite different future it may get. And it seeks to do so by engaging with and responding productively to emerging patterns, discontinuities, uncertainties and potential sources of strategic surprise that may derive from that research.
Trend and futures research should facilitate ‘strategic foresight’ in public policymaking. Such foresight derives from analysis of the interaction of emerging forces of change over time. Its significance and relevance, including in the Australian context, has been highlighted in the past. But it is more critical today than it has ever been because the issues on which public policymaking is focused – particularly economic, societal, security and technology issues – are more complex, more transnational, more interdependent and more multidimensional than in the past. This makes them less linear and predictable, with more future scope for discontinuities and unexpected high impact events. Many of the old demarcations between foreign and domestic policy and between global and regional issues have broken down, creating new synergies as well as competing pressures. In this context of accelerating change and expanding inter-connectedness, unless nations have a clear eye to the medium and long term, they are more likely than ever to be ‘mugged by reality’ or to be paralysed by strategic shocks – and to be so sooner rather than later.
At a number of levels, the new complexities and uncertainties inherent in the current and emerging international system reinforce the importance for national competitive advantage of a sustained focus on strategic futures.
First, there is an increased contestability in international governance as many dimensions of the post-Second World War rules-based order come under increasing challenge. Those challenges reflect the shifting balance of wealth and power from the West to the East, the impact of and broadening access to new technologies, as well as the open and often violent rejection of established international norms and conventions by a range of extremist groups and rogue states. As rule-makers diversify and as systemic change accelerates, there will be an intensifying need for nations to be responsive to the potential short and longer term consequences for their own interests.
Second, the genuinely global middle class that is emerging is a powerful agent of change in terms of national perspectives and international interaction. Asia is the epicentre of this phenomenon and its consequences will deeply affect future patterns of trade and investment, security trends, political processes, the movement of people and transnational connectedness. This fundamentally changing economic and political environment will impact directly on how nations pursue their international interests, and it will accentuate the importance of their capacity for discerning and responding to the short as well as longer-term parameters of such change.
Third, the geopolitical consequences of ongoing global economic shifts, and the rising nationalisms to which they are giving rise in some countries, are creating new security, foreign policy and economic challenges. This is particularly a result of the shifting patterns of co-operation and competition among the major powers (the United States, China, Japan, India, Russia and the EU) and the aspirations of emerging powers such as Turkey, Brazil, South Korea, Indonesia and others. In different ways, this strategic evolution will impact on the competitive advantage of many nations, and it will have particular implications for Australia.
And fourth, the future forms of international governance and institutions are being re-defined in an era in which the growing limitations of traditional multilateral architectures and the rising significance of regionalism and minilateralism are becoming more apparent. The competitive advantage of nations will be affected by the extent to which they contribute to, or benefit from, the new dimensions of international governance and co-operation that are evolving.
These forces of change in the international system and in national interactions directly affect many priorities in foreign, defence and security policy making. But they also have deep and wide consequences for national policymaking in relation to economic growth, productivity, fiscal management, tax reform, legal and regulatory frameworks, workplace relations, law enforcement, climate change, education and skills planning, welfare policies as well as other priorities. For nations focused on their competitive advantage, an increasingly indispensable input to policy processes and outcomes will be the most rigorous and clear-eyed assessments that can be made of the medium to long term future contexts in which policies in these and other areas will need to be effective if national interests are to be advanced.
International approaches to futures research
The importance of the connection between critical strategic thinking on medium to long term futures and contemporary policy settings is clearly recognised by many countries. In our own region, Singapore has emerged as a leader in this field. It is investing significant public resources and facilitating broad-based private sector input into thinking systematically about the range of what it sees as the ‘plausible, possible, probable and preferred’ strategic futures over the medium to long term that Singapore could face. It is focused on relating that strategic thinking about its national challenges and opportunities in a clear-eyed way to its short to medium- term priorities in policy development. Singapore has been focused in this way over a long period of time. For well over two decades, it has applied a rigorous strategic futures focus – initially in a defence context, later broadening into wider strategic issues and now (through its Centre for Strategic Futures in the Prime Minister’s Office) traversing a wide range of whole-of-government issues.
Many other countries are also investing specifically in this intensive focus on the medium to long-term context to which their contemporary national policy priorities need to relate if their competitive national advantages are to be preserved and enhanced. They are doing so on foundations that have been laid over a long period of time. Such countries include the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, China, Japan, Sweden, Finland, France, Denmark, the Netherlands, Brazil and others. International organisations such as the EU, NATO and the OECD also have established strategic foresight programs.
Characteristics of best practice trend and futures research
The applied trend and futures research that has been co-ordinated by, or deeply engaged with, national governments over a significant period of time now provides some important indicators in terms of international best practice in relation to such research.
One indicator is an ongoing and systematic focus on what are a nation’s current or emerging strategic issues – namely those issues that are credible, that have significant consequences for the public and/or private sectors and that, if left unaddressed, could constitute a destabilising ‘strategic shock’ in the context of enhancing national interests. This focus can be broad, addressing themes of grand strategy as exemplified in the United States National Intelligence Council’s Global Trends reports and the Global Strategic Trends – Out to 2045 report produced by the Development, Concept and Doctrine Centre in the UK Ministry of Defence. There are medium to long term research-driven strategic products in other countries including France, Japan, Sweden and Canada. The focus, however, can also be more targeted and issue specific.
International best-practice trend and futures research on strategic issues combines methodological rigour with informed judgment. The analytical tools of futures research are diverse and include data searching, qualitative and quantitative modelling, cross-impact studies, causal layered assessments, morphological and precursor analyses, assumption testing, sense-making, system and influence maps, horizon scanning, backcasting and forecasting. But the purpose of all these and other tools of trend and futures research is focused on a single overarching purpose – to identify strong as well as weak signs of discontinuities and emerging trends, and to distinguish driving forces of change which are established and ongoing, which are subject to critical uncertainties, or which may lack rational explanation but are nonetheless relevant.
Best practice trend and futures research also deliberately aims to neutralise group think, status quo bias, and the underestimation of medium to long term costs and benefits relative to immediate ones. It avoids alarmism and threat inflation on the one hand, and complacency and a sense of denial on the other. It uses a range of judgments, techniques, methodologies, computational innovations and training to sift through diverse information sources, to derive findings and to stress-test established perspectives and policy settings in terms of their breaking points and tipping points. It specifically guards against dependence on any one strategic planning tool to ensure that all relevant dimensions of change are properly considered.
On the basis of its varied collection, analytical and other tools, best practice trend and futures research develops layers of scenario planning. This technique was pioneered by the Royal Dutch Shell Company in the late 1960s. Over time, the technique has been refined and adapted to specific national circumstances. Its purpose is not to arrive at a single frame of reference for the future but to identify the risks and opportunities that a nation (or any entity) may face in the context of a range of viable futures. Some countries use horizon scanning and scenario planning to produce on a regular basis scenarios that relate to their broad strategic interests as well as the specific emerging issues.
Another indicator of international best practice in relation to trend and futures research, particularly in relation to international policymaking issues, is the focus it brings to building bridges between future scenarios and contemporary implications for strategic policymaking. The focus of such research is unambiguously related to public policy decision-making but inherently resistant to predetermined positions or political pressures.
Best practice trend and futures research conducted or commissioned by national governments is also distinguished by characteristics at a practical operational level. Such research is conducted in a sustained, innovative and adequately resourced way over time rather than in a stop-start, arbitrary or sporadic way. It is committed to the development of skills, capacities and opportunities within government agencies to carry out such research. It is deeply and extensively networked drawing on expertise in business, academia, think tanks and civil society through a proactive outreach and information sharing approach. It cuts across stove-piping within government and barriers between public and private sector strategic outlooks. It benefits from international partnerships with other governments and centres of excellence in futures research. Best practice trend and futures research also highlights that one or more specific institutionalised points of focus, within government or directly commissioned by government, can effectively coordinate input across government as well as with non-government groups, and can also relate trend and futures research in a practical way to contemporary policy development priorities.
Trend and futures research: sceptical views
The value of trend and futures research is not uncontested. In particular, there is a scepticism in some quarters about the relevance of such research to the practical challenges of governance. That scepticism reflects concerns at a number of levels including that such research is highly subjective, or inadequately outcomes- focused, or inevitably open-ended or best suited to the perspectives of smaller countries. These concerns provide cautionary tales of the pitfalls that can beset poorly focused and conducted trend and futures research. However, they do not constitute substantive grounds for rejecting in principle and practice the relevanceof futures research to contemporary policymaking, or for regarding it at best as some kind of marginal, discretionary option to be pursued when circumstances suit.
Best practice trend and futures research is specifically designed to minimise the sceptics’ concerns about subjectivity. It does so by guarding against cognitive bias and dissonance through the use of a wide range of deductive and computational tools of analysis, through broad transparent contestability of the conclusions reached, and through a clear focus on identifying emerging risks, uncertainties and opportunities rather than on predicting a particular future in a definitive way. The specific strategic policy responses decided by governments in response to futures research inevitably reflect aspects of political subjectivity and priorities, although the extent of those influences will vary on different issues in different national contexts. But trend and futures research itself, when implemented in best practice form, explicitly disdains subjectivity in favour of empirically-based, methodologically rigorous but also necessarily eclectic, lateral and even marginal views of the shifting balance of continuity and change affecting national interests. In that sense, there are points of intersection between trend and futures research and the work of intelligence agencies but there are also clear aspects of differentiation.
The sceptics’ criticism that trend and futures research is inadequately outcomes- focused is more a criticism of how such research can be used (including by government) than of the utility and applications of futures research in its own right. Used to its best effect, this research and the strategic foresight based on it can lead to anticipatory action and accelerated responses in relation to both threats and opportunities. In the end, how futures research is used in practice by governments is a very different issue to the potential which best practice versions of such research provide.
The concern of sceptics about the open-endedness of trend and futures research is equally unconvincing as a rationale for disputing its relevance. The purpose of such research is not predicting a future with precision and it therefore inherently has an element of ‘open-endedness’ about it. But it is not an open-endedness in which any view of the future is as valid as any other. Futures research distils the available evidence, rigorously assesses its relevance to a nation’s interests, identifies emerging trends and discontinuities, and focuses on resulting strategic risks and opportunities. The focus is therefore on a specific range of futures rather than any unfocused ‘open-endedness’.
The contention that futures research is best suited only to smaller countries is one of the weakest rationales for scepticism about it. The notion that the more limited responsibilities and interests of smaller countries make futures research more manageable and therefore more exclusively relevant to them lacks any basis in substance or international practice. The fact is that some of the largest and most significant countries – including the United States, China, the United Kingdom, Japan and others – have long-established arrangements for undertaking and/or commissioning futures research relevant to their wide-ranging national interests and for incorporating it into their contemporary policymaking processes.
Strategic foresight: an Australian agenda
There is significant scope for enhancing the application of strategic foresight to Australian national policymaking drawing on the international best practice principles in trend and futures research. Those principles (as noted above) relate to strategic focus, empirical foundations and national government leadership and facilitation.
At one level, there is a growing awareness among some Australian agencies and departments of the utility of such research in managing strategic complexity and reducing uncertainty. In part, this awareness has been accentuated by identified shortfalls in relevant skills, capacities and emphases. For example, the 2010 report on a Blueprint for the Reform of Australian Government Administration highlighted the lack of prioritisation in relation to “emerging issues” and “forward-looking policy analysis”. Other inquiries have identified shortfalls in strategic thinking capabilities in particular departments.
In some specific policy areas (including macroeconomic management, inter- generational impacts and some aspects of innovation, technology, health care, defence and foreign policy planning), capabilities in medium to long term trend and futures analyses are a focus of explicit development and have contributed to policy development processes, although in disparate ways. White Paper processes, in particular, can utilise such capabilities for a specific policy purpose. Furthermore, particular research bodies (such as CSIRO), industry groups, learned societies (such as the Australian Academy of Science) and others directly address particular aspects of security, economic, technological and other futures facing Australia and the implications for contemporary public policy direction-setting. Cooperative initiatives between the private and public sectors in relation to horizon scanning also exist, such as the Australasian Joint Agencies Scanning Network which brings together government agencies in Australia and New Zealand with a private sector facilitating entity.
In terms of coordinated whole-of-nation processes, however, Australia’s focus on trend and futures research and its connectedness to contemporary policy decision- making currently tends to be less instinctive, intensive, sustained, resourced, broad- based, coordinated across government and engaged with non-government expertise than is the case in many comparable countries. This is not a new phenomenon but in some respects these gaps appear to have been growing.
Implications for international policymaking
Trend and futures research is inherently relevant across diverse areas of public policy from economic management and social policy to sustainable development, skills bases and technology impacts. It has a particular resonance and importance in terms of the international context to which policymaking needs to relate, and this makes trend and futures research especially relevant for Australian defence, national security and foreign policy.
A strategic overview that sets out the perspectives of the government of the day on a broad framework for its international policymaking can provide vitally important strategic guidance within government and greater engagement in the wider community. It can highlight the emerging global and regional challenges that Australian international policymaking, broadly defined, needs to address over the short to longer term. It can specify its priorities in relation to military and non-military dimensions of Australian international policymaking, the osmosis between domestic and international policy priorities, the connections between policy aspirations and practical national capabilities, the desirable balance between community safety and individual rights, as well as the limits of sovereignty in some areas and the constraints of multilateralism in others.
An international policymaking framework of this kind could take a number of forms. There have been examples in the past of major Parliamentary Statements, White Papers and official reports focusing on particular aspects of defence, foreign policy, community security and regional economic engagement issues. More recently, there has been a National Security Statement (2007) and a National Security Strategy (2013). Any future international policy framework, however, need not be tied to or constrained by these or other precedents.
A future option, for example, would be for Australia to produce its own outlook for the forces of strategic change and continuity that will shape its medium to long term international policymaking priorities (including, but certainly not limited to defence priorities). Such an outlook would yield most value if it reflected substantive input from across all relevant areas of government as well as non- government sources of expertise, and if it were underpinned by best practice trend and futures research. Such an Australian undertaking would need to encompass a broad range of influences and developments shaping Australia’s international economic, diplomatic, security, cultural and societal engagement.
The forthcoming Defence White Paper will certainly address some of these perspectives as they relate to Defence priorities, self-reliant capabilities, operational objectives, alliance cooperation and contingency planning. But crafting a framework for Australian international policymaking focused on patterns of regional and global change over the short and longer term is inevitably broader in its scope, different in aspects of its methodology and distinctive in the purposes for which it is designed.
Australian international policymaking perspectives could also be enhanced in more specific ways. One would be an identification by government of specific strategic priorities that would benefit from longer term perspectives and, in particular, from whole-of-nation trend and futures research. Resources, skills and the capacity for effective utilisation of outcomes would necessarily limit the areas of focus for such research at any one time. In that context, four areas of productive focus for trend and futures research would seem especially relevant to Australia’s contemporary national security priorities and could provide a starting point.
One such focus could be on the security and wider consequences of demographic change and urbanisation, with a particular focus on South East Asia. With the world’s population projected to increase by around two billion people over the next thirty years, the pressures on many national governments and international institutions are set to increase significantly as populations in some countries age, as others experience youth bulges, and as the movement of people across national borders intensifies. These realities will make the security outlook for South East Asia more complex and uncertain. So also will the phenomenon of increasing urbanization, which brings with it real economic and social opportunities but also imposing governance, societal and security challenges. There are direct and critically important implications for Australia in how these demographic and urbanisation challenges are met in South East Asia, and trend and futures research has the potential to provide important insight and foresight in relation to them.
A second productive focus for trend and futures research could be on the implications of new intersections of security and technology. Some important foresight work is undertaken in this area in terms of offensive and defensive consequences for Australian Defence Force planning. But there are many broader dimensions of these intersections to which trend and futures research could contribute productively. Those dimensions would include the military and non- military threats, vulnerabilities and opportunities resulting from the pace and direction of change in areas such as automation, biotechnology, nanotechnology, advanced materials technology, gene-sequencing technology, quantum computing, the ‘internet of things’, advanced robotics, next generation genomics and other developments.
A third priority could be the prospects for the Pacific Island countries including the governance, economic, demographic, societal and environmental pressures to which they are subject, and the most productive pathways for Australian policymaking to pursue in support of their stability and growth. And fourth, a trend and futures research agenda could usefully provide value- adding foresight for Australian policymaking in relation to challenges facing resilience in Australian society, particularly in the context of sectarian divisions, community tensions and destabilising international connections. That context would raise broader issues about the future role of the state in the period ahead when the pace of people movement across borders is likely to accelerate, when the remit of non-government organisations is broadening, when the influence of sub-national movements is growing and when ‘virtual connections’ through cyberspace are proliferating.
These four particular priorities focused on demography and urbanisation in South East Asia, technology change, the South Pacific and community resilience are certainly not exclusive in terms of a productive agenda for best practice futures research that is relevant to contemporary Australian defence, diplomatic and national security policymaking. But each of them focuses on strategic issues of critical importance for Australia to which trend and futures research has the potential to make an especially positive contribution. And all of them could provide a stimulus for a broader agenda in this context.
The capacity for this kind of policy focus is dependent on the extent to which trend and futures research skills within Australian Government agencies and departments are developed, expertise outside government is engaged and partnerships with international centres of excellence (within or outside government) are productively pursued.
The engagement of non-government expertise in trend and futures research by government requires mutual understanding and the avoidance of false expectations on each side. Those in government need to be open to new perspectives that challenge existing mindsets, to assess them on their merits and to recognise that the greatest value of exchanges with non-government expertise more often lies in the search for a common understanding of problems than in a single-minded search for mutually agreed short term solutions to them. On the other hand, non- government experts need to recognise that, in terms of national security policy input, the genuinely value-adding quality that they can provide in terms of historical, economic, security, societal or cultural context has a particular relevance in terms of the medium to long term perspectives that underpin the strategic orientation of policymaking. That relevance can often be obscured by a focus on more immediate high profile issues for decision-making to which non-government expertise can certainly contribute but on which its access to all relevant information is often incomplete.
In terms of international cooperation, there have been important instances in the past where co-operation between Australian agencies and centres of excellence in other countries (such as Singapore and Canada) has focused on a limited number of particular policy issues from the perspective of trend and futures research. There is a real need, however, for such cooperation to be actively reinvigorated, deepened, extended to others and sustained in a practical way, not least because of the trends now apparent in so many comparable countries.
It would be a delusion to expect too much of trend and futures research, and it would be a mistake to believe that strategic foresight derived from it can provide immunity from strategic shocks. Neither such research nor such foresight can deliver these outcomes. Trend and futures research is not an end in itself but a means to an end, and that is to provide insights into complexities and, in so doing, make policymaking more attuned to coping effectively with uncertainty. Just as it is delusional to expect too much, it would also be dangerously short-sighted, and detrimental to a nation’s competitive advantage over the short and longer term, not to facilitate and benefit from best practice trend and futures research, and the strategic foresight it affords, as so many countries are increasingly doing.
- Rebecca Wayland, ’Strategic Foresight in a Changing World’, Foresight, 17, 5 (2015), 444-459.
- Wendy L. Shultz, ‘The Cultural Contradictions of Managing Change: Using Horizon Scanning in an Evidence-Based Policy Context’, Foresight 8, 4 (2006),
- Iana Dreyer and Gerald Stang, ‘Foresight in Governments – Practices and Trends Around the World’, European Union Institute for Security Studies Yearbook of European Security 2013, 18-20.
- Wendy L. Shultz ‘The Cultural Contradictions of Managing Change’, 5 and 11.
- See A. Hines and P. Bishop (eds) Thinking About the Future: Guidelines for Strategic Foresight, Washington, Social Technologies LLC, (2006).
- Andrew Leigh, ‘Thinking Ahead : Strategic Foresight and Governance’, Australian Journal of Public Administration, 62, 2 (2003), 4.
- UNDP Global Centre for Public Service Excellence, Foresight as a Strategic Long-Term Planning Tool for Developing Countries, Singapore, (2014), 4 and 8.
- Peter Ho, Speech to the Second International Risk and Horizon Scanning Symposium, Singapore, 13 October 2008.
- UNDP Global Centre for Public Service Excellence, Foresight as a Strategic Long-Term Planning Tool, 14-16; B. Habegger ‘Strategic Foresight in Public Policy: Reviewing the Experiences of the United Kingdom, Singapore and the Netherlands’, Futures 42, 1 (2010); Tuomo Kuosa, Practising Strategic Foresight in Government: the Cases of Finland, Singapore and the European Union, Rajaratnam School of International Studies, (2011), Monograph No. 19.
- European Union Institute for Security Studies Yearbook 2013, 18-20.
- The most recent is Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds, December 2012.
- Rahul Daswani, ‘2014 Highlights’ in Centre for Strategic Futures Foresight, Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore, (2015), 8.
- David Connery, Horizon Scanning: Bringing Strategic Insight to National Security Policymaking, National Security College Working Paper No. 1, (2012), 10; the work of the Office of National Assessments in this context is addressed in Rory Medcalf, ‘Australia’s Strategic Analysis Capabilities: Reaching Critical Mass’, Security Challenges 5,1, Autumn 2009.
- See David Connery, Disturbing the Present: Practical Options to Inform National Security Planning in Australia Through Horizon Scanning, National Security College Working Paper No. 2, January 2014; Andrew O’Neil, Conceptualising Future Threats to Australia’s Security, National Security College Occasional Paper No. 3, April 2012; Ross Babbage, Strategic Decision-Making : Optimising Australian National Security Planning and Co-ordination; Kokoda Paper No. 8, (2008), 35-37.
- Advisory Group on the Reform of Australian Government Administration, Ahead of the Game : Blueprint for the Reform of Australian Government Administration, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra, (2010), 41.
- For example, see Capability review : Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Canberra, (2013).
- This idea is also addressed in Rory Medcalf. ‘Australia’s Strategic Analysis Capabilities: Reaching Critical Mass’, 63.
The National Security College is a joint initiative of the Commonwealth Government and The Australian National University. If you have any comments, please send them to the author of this paper at Michael.Lestrange@anu.edu.au