Since the debut of UNSW Canberra’s Navigating Uncertainty podcast this time last year, the world remains just as uncertain.

The COVID-19 pandemic still has much of Australia in lockdown, tensions remain among the world’s superpowers and climate change is more of a threat to global security than ever before.

These crises are among the topics addressed in the second season of the podcast.

“This year’s series grapples with a rapidly evolving context of threats and uncertainty, from the COVID-19 situation, the past and future of the ANZUS alliance, the challenges of urban warfare, the Afghanistan crisis, and the human security challenges of protecting the biosphere,” UNSW Canberra Professor Anthony Burke said.

In these uncertain times, the podcast team understands the importance of reacting quickly to our changing world and has recorded an episode in response to the recent AUKUS announcement. 


In this special episode released today, UNSW Canberra Associate Professor David Lee invites Australian National University Professor Hugh White to assess the implications of AUKUS for the ‘Australian Grand Strategy’.

The episode will explore the implications of AUKUS for Australian defence policy and strategy and the long-term ramifications of the announcement for Australia’s foreign and regional relations. 

The series brings together academics and graduate students from multiple disciplines – history, strategy, politics, geography, literature, business and law – presenting new research and insights on key issues facing Australian society.

Professor Burke said the team has received strong feedback from the first season.

“Listeners value the combination of in-depth research by our experts that is relevant to today’s environment of rapid change,” he said.

Professor Burke said there were a number of episodes he is particularly looking forward to sharing.

“Ashok Sharma highlights the way that the pandemic is affecting global geopolitics, especially the key flashpoint between the US, China and India,” he said.

“Peter Jones considers a key national vulnerability exposed by the pandemic – Australia’s overreliance on imports of essential materials.

“And Michelle Lim highlights the international community’s weak response to the urgent crisis in global biodiversity destruction.”

Professor Burke said the humanities and social sciences have great value during these uncertain times; knowing the past that led us here, the cultures out of which we are trying to adapt, and the legal and political contexts we must work within are essential in addressing these challenges.

Listen to Navigating Uncertainty now.

Photo: Obtained from Wikimedia under a Creative Common license.