Call for Papers – Game of Dominoes: Australia’s Security and the Cold War 1947-1991

Call for Papers now closed

This conference will examine the Cold War period (1947-1991), its impact on Australia’s defence and security posture and Australia’s contribution to the Western alliance during this time.

Australia’s involvement in Asia in particular, arising from its part in the ANZUS treaty of 1951 and in SEATO from 1954 will be examined – its role in the Malayan Emergency, the Korean War, konfrontasi and the Vietnam War all within the context of potential nuclear war. Australia’s Army, Navy, and Air Force were all engaged in this struggle, partly against the Soviet Union but mostly against revolutionary movements in Asia supported by Communist China. Australia’s counter-intelligence operations within Australia will also be examined.

What was Australia’s security position in 1947 and how did this lead to ANZUS? How did domestic politics play out in the larger anti-communist context? What drove the establishment of SEATO? Why did Australia join the UN forces in Korea? What was the Far Eastern Strategic Reserve? What were the priorities for a non-nuclear army training under a nuclear threat? How did Australia’s signals intelligence contribute? How successful was ASIO in combatting the NKVD/KGB in Australia? Why did Menzies establish ASIS in 1952? How did Army, Air Force and Navy respond to the new paradigms? Was Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War important and what were the outcomes? Was the Peace Movement a communist front? How did the Soviet-CCP split affect Australia’s security? Did nuclear tests in Australia strengthen Australian defence? Did the fall of the Berlin Wall change Australia’s security posture? Has the Cold War really ended?

Conference Chair: Professor Craig Stockings, UNSW and Official Historian, of Australian Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Australian Peacekeeping Operations in East Timor.

Keynote Day 1: Professor Peter Edwards, AM
Official Historian and general editor: The Official History of Australia’s Involvement in Southeast Asian Conflicts 1948–1975

Call for Papers now closed

If you are interested or your current research is on the subject or relevant to the Australia in the Cold War within a Defence or security context, we invite proposals for papers relating to current research in this broad area for the conference in 2024, in the following streams:

① The Post-War Chill ② Asian Dominoes? ③ Forewarned is Forearmed ④ Skulduggery ⑤ Air, Sea and Land

Thirty-minute paper proposals are invited for those working in the areas related to Australia and the Cold War. In addition to established academics and practitioners, the organisers are keen to receive proposals from post-graduate students, early career scholars and independent professionals and researchers.

Please send your abstract or panel proposals to Dr Andrew Kilsby (Conference Convenor) at and including the following information:

1. Paper title
2. Nominated stream
3. Name and affiliation
4. Contact details (email and mobile phone)
5. Abstract of 150-200 words
6. Biography of 50-80 words highlighting research interests/publications (up to four titles and year only).

Note: Accepted abstracts and biographies will be made public on this site. Please do not add any information to the abstract that you do not wish to be made public at a future date.

Note: Only complete proposals submitted through the conference email will be considered for inclusion in the conference program. Presenters are invited to submit written articles based on their presentation for publication on the MMHV website.

Key dates:

• Deadline for proposals: 15 November 2023
• Notification: By 15 December 2023
• Program finalised: 1 February 2024
• Conference: 13-14 April 2024

Please address all queries, and to submit proposals, to

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