From simmering tensions in the South China Sea, to fledging democracy in Myanmar – the Asia-Pacific region is a rapidly-changing region presenting serious challenges for policymakers.

These challenges are the focus of the new issue of the Asia & the Pacific Policy Studies journal. The special issue – guest edited by Dr Nicholas Farrelly, Dr Amy King, Professor Michael Wesley and Professor Hugh White of the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs at the Australian National University – brings together world-leading academics to address international relations and public policy challenges facing the region.

Dr Farrelly, co-founder of New Mandala, said the new issue focuses on some key concerns for the region’s policymakers.

“Our special issue showcases top ANU expertise on the Solomon Islands, Myanmar, Indonesia and China. The 12 articles deal with local, regional and global perspectives on security in these four different countries.”

Authors in the new issue include Trevor Wilson, Tyrell Haberkorn, Ed Aspinall, Susan Harris-Rimmer, Greg Fealy, and many more. As always, all articles are open-access published, meaning they are permanently free to read and download.

Dr Farrelly said the articles shine a light on the challenges ahead for the region’s policymakers aiming to balance a fast-moving region with lasting peace and prosperity.

“Looking at security from the ground up, we hope these articles encourage readers to consider the ways that Australian policy interacts with the world around us. It is the integration of different levels of analysis that makes this special issue so exciting.

“We expect it will give readers some insights about Australian academic analysis of the Asia-Pacific’s biggest security challenges. There is no escaping the stark conclusion that maintaining peace in this region will not be easy.”

Asia & the Pacific Policy Studies is published three times a year by Wiley-Blackwell. The journal is based at Crawford School of Public Policy at ANU.

Full list of articles in this issue:

Beyond life support: reflections on Solomon Islands after the Regional Assistance Mission: Matthew Allen and Sinclair Dinnen

The mood in Melanesia after the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands: George Carter and Stewart Firth

Unipolar anxieties: Australia’s Melanesia policy after the Age of Intervention: Joanne Wallis and Michael Wesley

Inside Myanmar’s turbulent transformation: Nicholas Farrelly and Chit Win

Anticipating the struggle against everyday impunity in Myanmar through accounts from Bangladesh and Thailand: Nick Cheesman, Bina D’Costa and Tyrell Haberkorn

Strategic choices in Myanmar’s transition and Myanmar’s national security policies: Trevor Wilson

The new nationalism in Indonesia: Edward Aspinall

Assessing Indonesia’s normative influence: wishful thinking or hidden strength: Mathew Davies and Susan Harris-Rimmer

Indonesia’s ‘great power’ aspirations: a critical view: Greg Fealy and Hugh White

How are foreign policy decisions made in China? Linda Jakobson and Ryan Manuel

Northeast Asia’s new ‘history spiral’: Amy King and Brendan Taylor

China as a global force: Feng Zhang