Samuel Bashfield's picture

Samuel Bashfield

PhD Candidate & Research Officer

Contact details


Samuel Bashfield is a PhD candidate and research officer at the ANU National Security College. His research interests include (modern and Cold War-era) Indo-Pacific security, defence and foreign policy, Indo-Pacific security architecture, maritime security, nuclear issues, strategic implications of the rise of China, the rules-based order and technology governance. Sam’s PhD examines the British Indian Ocean Territory’s Cold War history, focussing on Anglo-US military, diplomatic and political cooperation.

Sam teaches international relations at both the ANU National Security College and the University of Melbourne’s School of Social and Political Sciences.

Sam completed his Master of National Security Policy degree in July 2020 and received an ANU Professional Staff Scholarship and the National Security College Award. He was most recently Course Coordinator in the NSC Professional Studies team, and Project Officer in the Strategic Partnerships and International Office at the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific. Prior to joining the ANU, Sam interned at the Jakarta Globe newspaper in Indonesia, worked at the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre at the University of Sydney, and at Australia’s Attorney General’s Department. He completed his honours degree in Indonesian Studies at Monash University and undertook an ACICIS flexible immersion program at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta. During his studies, Sam was awarded an Anne Wallace Memorial Travel Grant, as well as a Victorian Government Hamer Scholarship.

Recent publications

Journal articles

  • Biting the ‘cherry of detachment’: Agaléga’s Cold War Decolonisation, The International History Review, (published but yet to be assigned an issue).

  • The Rules-Based Order, International Law and the British Indian Ocean Territory: Do As I Say, Not as I Do, German Law Journal, 23:5, 713-737.

  • Mauritian Sovereignty over the Chagos Archipelago? Strategic Implications for Diego Garcia from a UK-US Perspective, 2020, Journal of the Indian Ocean Region, 16:2, 166-181.

Book chapters

  • Diego Garcia: Geopolitical Significance and Australia’s Interests, in (ed) David Brewster, The Indian Ocean’s Strategic Future: Cooperation and Contest in a Multipolar Region, forthcoming.

Journal commentary

  • Conference Report: Pathfinder Indian Ocean Security Conference, 4 March 2022, 2022, Seychelles Research Journal, 4:2.

  • Military Security Obstacles to Decolonizing the Chagos: A Reply to Harris, 2021, Journal of the Indian Ocean Region, 17:2, 230-234.

  • Australia and the Quad: From hesitancy to embracement, 2021, Journal of Indian Ocean Studies, 29:2, 155-164.

  • Book Review: Do Morals Matter? Presidents and Foreign Policy from FDR to Trump, 2020, Security Challenges, 16:4.

Conference papers

  • Intertwining Diego Garcia and British Nuclear Weapon Acquisitions, 1955-1982, Britain and the World Conference, 2022.

  • Maritime Domain Awareness in the Indian Ocean Region: Cooperation for a Free and Open Indo-Pacific, Pathfinder Indian Ocean Security Conference Phase II, 2022.

  • Trust, Mistrust and the Chagos Archipelago Sovereignty Dispute, Pathfinder Indian Ocean Security Conference Phase I, 2020.


  • Book Review: Battle for Chagos, The Interpreter, 10 November 2022.

  • Australia must do more to secure the cables that connect the Indo-Pacific, The Strategist, 2 August 2022.

  • The British Indian Ocean Territory and the rules-based order, The Interpreter, 1 July 2022.

  • Options for safeguarding undersea critical infrastructure: Australia and Indo-Pacific submarine cables, ANU National Security College, Policy Options Paper Series, 14 June 2022.

  • The BIOT: A judicial vacuum now consuming Tamil refugees, Al Jazeera Opinion, 1 June 2022.

  • The curious case of Blenheim Reef, The Interpreter, 14 February 2022.

  • Mauritius sets sail to Chagos, The Interpreter, 9 February 2022.

  • Digital age is vulnerable to risks and threats from what lies under the surface, The Australian, 19 October 2021.

  • Why is India building a military base on Agaléga island? Al Jazeera Opinion, 5 August 2021.

  • Building a new maritime surveillance network across the Indian Ocean, The Strategist, 4 August 2021.

  • Protecting children online: What do Australia’s Cocos Islands have to do with child exploitation? Policy Forum, 8 June 2021.

  • Agalega: A glimpse of India’s remote island military base, The Interpreter, 2 March 2021.

  • The Diego Garcia dispute hits cyberspace, The Interpreter, 21 January 2021.

  • Mauritius, Diego Garcia and the Small Matter of Nukes, The Interpreter, 26 May 2020.

  • Diego Garcia: The Costs of Defending an Indian Ocean Outpost, The Interpreter, 5 December 2019.

  • Australia’s Cocos Islands Cannot Replace America’s Troubled Diego Garcia, The Diplomat, 16 April 2019.

  • Australia’s Liberal Party Releases National Security Plan Ahead of May Elections, The Diplomat, 21 February 2019.

  • Australia Needs a New National Security Strategy, The Diplomat, 1 February 2019.

PhD programme

Doctor of Philosophy, National Security College

Supervisor(s) and panel members

Scholarships and fellowships

ANU University Research Scholarship

Personal links

Mailing address

Crawford School of Public Policy
ANU College of Asia & the Pacific
J.G. Crawford Building No. 132
Lennox Crossing
The Australian National University
Canberra ACT 2601 Australia

Updated:  22 March 2023/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team