Naval power

In the new multipolar structure, naval power is re-emerging as an important element in geopolitical rivalries, especially in the relationship between existing and potential maritime powers such as the US, Russia, China and India. 

Both China and India have stated their intention to build strong ocean-going fleets. The series of workshops under the caption International Order at Sea (2011–13) has put the Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies on the map as a focal point in intern​ational research on maritime security.



Research projects


Force Balancing and Non-Traditional Naval Operations in Asia
This project is focusing on the navies of Japan, China, South Korea and Singapore and is examining how these navies define, prepare and approach non-traditional mission sets. The study is examining multi-functionality and amphibious forces and aims to understand to what extent the navies in questions are preparing for operations such as HADR and PKO in comparison with more traditional war-fighting operations. Related to this is also a smaller project on Naval Operations and UN PKO. This will be part of an edited volume proposed for 2015.
Contact: Ian Bowers


China as a maritime power: The role of a state owned tanker fleet
This project examines three drivers behind China’s maritime power ambitions: 1) developing a maritime economy; 2) building a strong navy; and 3) enhancing China’s energy security. We argue that the build-up of a state owned tanker fleet is linked to all of the three core dimensions of China’s maritime power aspirations.

Contact: Øystein Tunsjø and Annie Ye Ren



International Order at Sea
International Order at Sea is a Workshop Series chaired by the Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies (IFS) in partnership with the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), New Delhi;China Foundation for International and Strategic Studies (CFISS) and China Institute for Marine Affairs (CIMA), Beijing; and the Center for Naval Analyses (CNA) in the United States. The workshop series examines seapower and the future of the global commons.

Link to the workshop series' publications' page

Contact: Jo Inge Bekkevold

Published 28 July 2014 10:14.. Last updated 27 April 2015 12:43.