Centre for Strategic Studies New Zealand

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The Centre for Strategic Studies: New Zealand (CSS:NZ) is an international and military affairs research (strategic studies) centre located in Wellington, New Zealand. Formerly jointly supported by the New Zealand Ministry of Defence, New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Victoria University of Wellington, it is now a part of Victoria University's School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations.


Established in 1993 following a perceived need to examine New Zealand's international relations and situation more closely, the Centre has had four directors. Terence O'Brien, who was a former New Zealand diplomat with a career as New Zealand Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, the European Commission in Brussels, and the United Nations in New York, was appointed as Director when the Centre was first established. From 1993–2000 when O'Brien was the Director, the Centre was most active. The Centre managed to retain a reputation for independent advice not linked to the policies of major New Zealand political parties.[citation needed] The Centre put out a number of publications and thought pieces related to New Zealand security and defence issues.

David Dickens, the former Deputy Director, took over when Mr O'Brien's term finished in 2000, and this was the subject of a parliamentary enquiry concerning the decision not to renew O'Brien's contract. In addition, it was argued that Dickens consistently politically biased views meant that the Centre lost its reputation for independent thinking during the period that he was Director. Dickens lasted less than two years until he was dismissed.

Dickens was in his turn succeeded by Peter Cozens, who had been and is the Centre's Administrator dealing with Council for Security and Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific (CSCAP) matters. Cozens retired in late 2009 and Robert Ayson is the current Director of the centre since early 2010.

Current operations[edit]

After Dickens' departure until 2010, the Centre operated on a more low key basis managed by the former operations manager Peter Cozens. As the Centre is now under the wing of Victoria University's Institute of Policy Studies, itself part of the School of Government, Peter Cozens took the title of Executive Director. Apart from the director, the Centre has at various times included a Deputy Director, research fellows from the People's Republic of China and Japan, research associates and assistants, administrators, and support staff.

Robert Ayson, formerly with the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre of the Australian National University, took over as Director and concurrent Professor of Strategic Studies in early 2010.

Selected publications[edit]

  • Mary Wareham, Clearing the fields: New Zealand and anti-personnel landmines ([Wellington, NZ]: CSS, 1995)
  • Matake Kamiya, Will Japan go nuclear?: myth and reality ([Wellington, NZ]: CSS, 1995)
  • Terence O'Brien, New Zealand and ASEAN : current and future outlook ([Wellington, NZ]: CSS, 1995)
  • Peter Cozens (ed.), New Zealand's maritime environment & security (Wellington, NZ: CSS, 1996)
  • Jayne Bishop, Peter Cozens and David Dickens (eds), New Zealand strategic studies guide, 1997/98 (Wellington, NZ: CSS, 1997)
  • Tetsuya Endo, Japan and North Korea: an assessment and some policy approaches (Wellington, NZ: CSS, 1997)
  • David C. Dickens, More than bombs and border tension: India and regional security (Wellington, NZ: CSS, 1997)
  • David Dickens (ed), No better alternative: towards comprehensive and cooperative security in the Asia-Pacific (Wellington, NZ: CSS, 1997)
  • Daizo Sakurada, For mutual benefit: the Japan-US Security Treaty: from a Japanese perspective(Wellington, NZ: Institute of Policy Studies, 1997)
  • Terence O'Brien, Dimensions of Asia-Pacific security: a New Zealand perspective (Wellington, NZ: CSS, [1997])
  • Terence O'Brien, International negotiations and small powers (address) ([Wellington, NZ]: CSS, [1997])
  • Terence O'Brien, United Nations : legacy and reform (Wellington, NZ: CSS, 1997)
  • Stuart Prior, Antarctica: view from a gateway (Wellington, NZ: CSS, 1997)
  • David Dickens, Letting ordinary Kiwis in on defence (Wellington, NZ: CSS, 1999)
  • Greg Talcott, Context and risk of organised illegal immigration to New Zealand: an exploration in policy relevant research (Wellington, NZ: CSS, c2000)
  • C. Raja Mohan, Great powers and Asia's destiny: a view from Delhi (Wellington, NZ: CSS, 2011)


External links[edit]