BEc. (Soc. Sci) (Hons I, Uni Medal) PhD Syd
Elizabeth is Deputy Head of School (Research) and Professor of International Political Economy in the School of Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Design and Architecture (ADA) at UNSW Sydney. She has previously held an Asia Society Australia-Korea Fellowship (2021-2022) and a UNSW Scientia Fellowship (2019-2022), as well as Visiting Fellowships at Seoul National University (as a Korea Foundation Fellow) and China Foreign Affairs University.
Elizabeth's research examines the state and its strategic role in the process of national techno-industrial development, adaptation, and transformation. Her most significant contributions to the field examine varieties of economic statecraft, the rise and transformation of East Asia's developmental states, the state's strategic role in the clean energy shift, and the political economy of international trade and investment agreements, with a particular focus on the impact of these agreements on states' policy 'room to move'. She has written widely on these topics for academic and popular audiences.
Her most recent book Developmental Environmentalism (Oxford University Press, 2023) provides the first comprehensive account of East Asia’s green energy shift, and is co-authored with SY Kim, H Tan and J Mathews. The book highlights the powerful and symbiotic role of state ambition, geo-strategic competition, and capitalist market dynamics in driving forward the region’s greening efforts. Drawing on cutting-edge Developmental State and Schumpeterian theorizing, the book shows how state actors in East Asia are engaging in a sophisticated kind of economic statecraft, strategically harnessing the capitalist market dynamics of ‘creative-destruction’ to advance their transformative green ambitions through green growth. These strategies have important implications for the future of the global green shift in an era of geostrategic rivalry.
Her previous book Developmental Mindset (Cornell University Press) offers a fresh way of conceptualising developmental states and of analysing their emergence and evolution. Her 2018 article 'Power Paradox' (with Linda Weiss) offers a new conceptualisation of US state power and was awarded the AIPEN Richard Higgott Journal Article Prize in 2019. http://ppesydney.net/the-mother-of-all-power/. Her 2019 article 'Economic Statecraft at the Frontier' (with Linda Weiss) examines the emergence of a new variety of economic statecraft in East Asia. Her 2021 article "More Creative Than Destructive?" (with SY Kim, John Mathews and Hao Tan) offers a new way of conceptualising and analysing the state's strategic role in the clean energy shift. And her 2021 Chapter 'Australia and the Rules of International Trade and Finance' outlines what it would take for Australia to promote a truly development-friendly trade and investment regime - and to become a better development partner for our regional neighbours.
Elizabeth is currently a Chief Investigator on three major collaborative grants: an Australian Research Council Discovery Project examining East Asia’s Clean Energy Transition (with SY Kim, J Mathews and H Tan), an Academy of Korean Studies Laboratory Project Grant examining Korea’s past, present and future development trajectory (with Keun Lee, DJ Kim, Js Shin J Song and C-y Wong), and a Department of Defence Strategic Policy Grant examining Weaponised Trade and its implications for Australia (with Lisa Toohey and Markus Wagner) - under the auspices of the NUW Alliance (University of Newcastle, UNSW Sydney, and the University of Wollongong).
Since 2008, Elizabeth has served as a Board Member of the Jubilee Australia Research Centre, a NGO dedicated to research-based advocacy on questions of social, economic and environmental justice in the Asia-Pacific, with a particular focus on promoting Australian government and corporate accountability: http://www.jubileeaustralia.org/.
Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. in Government (International Political Economy) from the University of Sydney. She also completed her Economics (Social Sciences) Degree at Sydney University, where she was awarded first-class Honours and the University Medal for Academic Excellence.
Developmental states, clean energy transitions, economic statecraft, government-business relations, techno-industrial transformation, institutional/ideational change, state capacity.
2018-2022: Academy of Korean Studies Laboratory Grant (with CIs Profs Keun Lee, Djun-kil Kim, Jang-sup Shin, Jaeyong Song, and Chan-yuan Wong). "Following via a Detour to Converge or Forging a New Path to Diverge? A Comparative Study of Korea’s Development Trajectory". AKS-2018-LAB-1250001
2019-2021: Australia Research Council Discovery Project (with CIs Dr Sung-Young Kim, Prof John Mathews, and A/Prof Hao Tan). "East Asia's Clean Energy Shift: Drivers, Enablers, Obstacles, Outcomes". DP190103669
2019-2022: UNSW Scientia Fellowship
2021-2022: Commonwealth Department of Defence Strategic Policy Grant (with CIs Lisa Toohey and Markus Wagner) 'Weaponised Trade and its implications for Australia'. A grant under the auspices of the NUW Alliance (University of Newcastle, UNSW Sydney, and the University of Wollongong)
Select Media Contribitions
2020: 'Why some advanced countries fail to deal with COVID-19' East Asia Forum. 7 May. (with Linda Weiss).
2020: 'Want an economic tonic Mr Morrison? Use that stimulus money to turbocharge renewables' The Conversation. April. (with H. Tan, J. Mathews and S-Y Kim)
2020: 'It might sound 'batshit insane' but Australia could soon export sunshine to Asia via a 3,800km cable.' The Conversation. 26 February. (with J. Mathews, H. Tan and S-Y Kim)
2020: 'The Mother of All Power.' Progress in Political Economy. 2 February. (with Linda Weiss)
2019: 'Grand Opportunities for Australia's Hydrogen Industry - and for a Strategic Regional Rebalancing.' East Asia Forum. 19 December. (with S-Y Kim, J. Mathews and H. Tan).
2019: 'China Succeeds in Greening not Because, but in spite of, its Authoritarian Government'. The Conversation, 28 May. (with S-Y Kim, J. Mathews and H. Tan).
2017: 'Future of the TPP' Sunday Roundtable with Tom Switzer, Radio National 27 January
2017: ‘There’s No Point in Australia’s Push to Ratify the TPP’ The Conversation. 25 January
2016: ‘Why Trump is Right, and Wrong, about Killing off the TPP’ The Conversation. 23 November. (With Linda Weiss)
2016: ‘The Growing Partisan Divide on Trade’ Australian Outlook. 19 December
2015: ‘Five things you need to know about the TPP’ The Conversation (with Tim Harcourt, Jeffrey Wilson and Belinda Townsend) 6 October.
2015: ‘How Australia’s Trade Policy Approach is Harming Australian Firms’ Democracy Renewal, 8 December.
2015: 'The Abandonment of Procurement-Linked Strategic Activism in Australia’ Australian Outlook (AIIA) 4 December.
Recent Senate Submissions / Testimony
2017: Joint Senate Select Committee Inquiry into the Commonwealth Government Procurement Framework. Reported on June 28 2017.
2016: Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee Inquiry into the Proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership. September 2016.
2016: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Review of the Australia-US FTA Implementation. May 2016.
Affiliation and Memberships