What's so special about Asian security? Dealing with economics and institutions

Alice D. Ba, Elizabeth Thurbon, and Natasha Hamilton-Hart

When: Monday 2 November 2020, 10:30am - 12:00pm AEDT 

Where: Zoom Webinar

Are the security landscape and dynamics in Asia significantly different compared to those in other world regions? Is there anything ‘special’ about Asian security that necessitates alterations or additions to the theories, concepts or methods of standard international relations or security studies research? This interactive webinar explores two potentially potent themes that could make Asia’s security order and practices distinctive: the centrality of economics in regional security imperatives and concepts; and the rise of multilateral institutions as a core pillar of regional security in the past three decades.

Alice D. Ba is Professor of Political Science & International Relations at the University of Delaware and a research associate of the ASEAN Studies Center at American University in Washington, DC. Her primary research interests consider the interactions between ASEAN, Southeast Asian actors, and larger actors in regional integration and cooperative regime building. She most recently published on multilateralism’s contributions to system change in East Asia (International Politics 2020) and the role of strategic narratives in the construction of China’s Belt and Road in Southeast Asia (Asian Perspective 2019).

Elizabeth Thurbon is Deputy Head of School (Research) and Scientia Associate Professor of International Relations / International Political Economy at the School of Social Sciences, UNSW Sydney. Her research specialism is the political economy of techno-industrial transformation and economic statecraft. Her key research contributions examine the rise and transformation of Northeast Asia’s developmental states, and the strategic pursuit of transformative economic and social goals in Australia, East Asia and beyond. Elizabeth currently holds major collaborative grants on East Asia’s Clean Energy Shift (ARC Discovery) and Korea’s development trajectory (Academy of Korean Studies).

Natasha Hamilton-Hart is Professor in the Department of Management and International Business and Director of the New Zealand Asia Institute at the University of Auckland. Her research has investigated the dynamics of economic integration in East Asia, informal institutions, and the international relations of Southeast Asia, particularly regional perceptions of the United States and China. Current work includes a study of supply chain shifts in response to the U.S.-China ‘tech war’ and shifting state-business relationships.


This webinar is the first of the new Women in Asia-Pacific Security Research Seminar Series 2020-1, jointly supported by the Graduate Research & Development Network for Asian Security (GRADNAS) and the ANU Gender Institute. This seminar series showcases the cutting-edge academic research of women in the fields of Asia-Pacific security broadly defined, and serves as an international platform for strengthening academic exchange, feedback, and mentorship.



The speakers recommend...


Ba, Alice D. 2016. ‘The institutionalization of Southeast Asia: ASEAN and ASEAN centrality.’ In Institutionalizing East Asia: Mapping and Reconfiguring Regional Cooperation, edited by Alice D. Ba, Cheng-Chwee Kuik, and Sueo Sudo, 35-58, Routledge.

Ba, Alice D. 2018. 'Governing the Safety and Security of the Malacca Strait: The Nippon Foundation Between States and Industry.' Journal of Contemporary Asia 48(2): 252-277https://doi.org/10.1080/00472336.2017.1407956

Ba, Alice D. 2020. 'Multilateralism and East Asian Transitions:  The English School, Diplomacy, and A Networking Regional Order.' International Politics 57(2): 259-277 https://doi.org/10.1057/s41311-019-00202-x

Foot, Rosemary and Evelyn Goh. 2019. ‘The International Relations of East Asia: A New Research Prospectus.’ International Studies Review 21(3): 1-26 https://doi.org/10.1093/isr/viy015.


Goh, Evelyn. 2019. ‘Conceptualizing the Economic-Security-Identity Nexus in East Asia’s Regional Order.’ In Japan and Asia’s Contested Order: The Interplay of Security, Economics, and Identity, edited by Yul Sohn and T.J. Pempel, 17-37. Springer. 

Goh, Evelyn. 2019. ‘Contesting Hegemonic Order: China in East Asia.’ Security Studies 28(3): 614-644 https://doi.org/10.1080/09636412.2019.1604989.

Hamilton-Hart, Natasha and Henry W.C. Yeung. 2020. 'Institutions under pressure: East Asian states, global markets and national firms.' Review of  International Political Economy https://doi.org/10.1080/09692290.2019.1702571.

Kim, Sung-Young and Elizabeth Thurbon. 2015. ‘Developmental environmentalism: Explaining South Korea’s ambitious pursuit of green growth.’ Politics & Society 43(2): 213-240 https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0032329215571287

Thurbon, Elizabeth and Linda Weiss. 2020. ‘Developmental State or Economic Statecraft? Where, Why and How the Difference Matters.’ New Political Economy: 1-18 https://doi.org/10.1080/13563467.2020.1766431


Thurbon, Elizabeth, Sung-Young Kim, John Mathews and Hao Tan. 2020. ‘Submission to the Australian Government’s Technology Roadmap Consultation Process.’ https://www.dev-env.org/latest-research


Weiss, Linda and Elizabeth Thurbon. 2018. ‘Power paradox: how the extension of US infrastructural power abroad diminishes state capacity at home.’ Review of International Political Economy 25: 779-810. https://doi.org/10.1080/09692290.2018.1486875