Dr David Envall


Research activity per year

Personal profile


BA (Hons) (Melb), MA (Hitotsu), PhD (Melb), SFHEA


H. D. P. (David) Envall is a Fellow / Senior Lecturer in the Department of International Relations at ANU. In addition to having worked as a copy editor and corporate editor/writer, David has formerly held appointments at Tokyo International University and La Trobe University. David has a BA (Hons) from the University of Melbourne, an MA from Hitotsubashi University, and a PhD from the University of Melbourne. His research interests include Japanese political leadership, Japan’s post-war security politics, and security in the Asia-Pacific. Find out more about David's work at hdpenvall.com.

Career highlights

Senior Fellow, Higher Education Academy, 2019-present; Honorary Associate, La Trobe University, 2015-present; Fellow, Higher Education Academy, 2016-19; Fellow, ANU Research School of Asia & the Pacific, 2011-16; Principal Investigator, MacArthur Foundation Asia Security Initiative Project (2nd round), 2014-15; ANU Research School of Asia & the Pacific Travel Grant 2014; Associate Investigator, Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security, 2009-13; Postdoctoral Fellow, ANU-MacArthur Asia Security Initiative 2009–13; ANU Research School of Asia & the Pacific Travel Grant 2011; East Asia Forum Emerging Scholar Finalist, 2010; Visiting Scholar, Waseda University, 2009; Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences Research Grant, La Trobe University, 2007 & 2009; Visiting Research Fellow, Hitotsubashi University, 2007; Director of the Japan Defense Agency Prize (First Prize) for the Fifth (2000) Japan Defense Agency and Defense Research Center Foundation Essay Competition; Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Research Scholarship, 2000-04; Lionel Phillips Japanese Scholarship, 1998; Melbourne University International Scholarship, University of Melbourne, 1997.

Available student projects

  • Japanese politics and foreign policy, US-Japan relations, Sino-Japanese relations, international relations in the Indo-Pacific, foreign policy analysis, political leadership in international relations

Research interests

Japan: political leadership, foreign policy, and post-war security politics; Asia Pacific: regional security architecture, Japan-Australia relations, Japan-India relations; Foreign Policy Analysis: domestic politics and foreign policy, political leadership and diplomacy

Current student projects


  • South Korea, Australia and middle-power security cooperation
  • North Korea, the United States and nuclear weapons


  • Japan, Australia and skilled migration


Past student projects


  • The politics of US military bases in Japan


  • Japanese security policy and nuclear weapons
  • The security dilemma and Sino-Japanese relations
  • America's strategic partners in the Indo-Pacific: India, Japan, and Australia
  • US military base politics in Okinawa
  • Australia's changing perceptions on the rise of China
  • The 'Abe Doctrine' in Japanese foreign and security policy


  • The strategic benefits of disaster diplomacy: Japan, Australia and the United States

Researcher's projects

David’s research examines Japanese foreign and security policymaking, focusing especially on the evolution of Japan’s security policy doctrines and the role of political leadership in Japanese diplomacy. He is interested in how Japanese political actors have been searching for new polices to address a more challenging Asia-Pacific security environment and is currently is pursuing several projects focusing on Japan and its engagement with the region.

Japan’s evolving security policies: An Abe Doctrine?

Is there an ‘Abe Doctrine’? And, if so, what are its central elements? This project explores the competing characterizations of Japanese security doctrine under Prime Minister Abe Shinzo. The aim is to determine where an Abe Doctrine fits within the longer-term development of Japanese security policymaking and whether it is characterized primarily by continuity or change.

Japan, ASEAN and human security

How has Japan’s approach to human security evolved over the past two decades? What has driven its policies? This project examines Japan’s application of the human security concept in the country’s engagement with Southeast Asia, especially in terms of its relationship with the Association of Southeast Asian (ASEAN) nations.

Strategic partnerships in the Asia-Pacific: Japan and Australia

The Australia-Japanese strategic partnership has become increasingly close over the past decade and is now sometimes called a ‘quasi-alliance’. The relationship, moreover, is illustrative of a wider trend towards the use of ‘strategic partnerships’ in the region. But what kind of partnership are Japan and Australia building? And what makes it ‘strategic’? This project examines how this partnership has evolved and considers the implications of the relationship for the emergence of new forms of security ‘alignment’ in the Asia-Pacific.

Expertise Areas

  • Defence Studies
  • Government and Politics of Asia and the Pacific
  • International Relations
  • Studies of Asian Society


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