Associate Professor Elizabeth Thurbon

Associate Professor Elizabeth Thurbon

Published 07 Sep 2016

Elizabeth is Associate Professor in International Relations and Convenor of the Governance and Global Change cluster in the School of Social Sciences, UNSW Australia. Her research specialisation is the (international) political economy of techno-industrial development and change, with a particular focus on East Asia and Australia. Her most significant contributions to the field examine the rise and transformation of Northeast Asia’s developmental states, and the relationship between international trade and financial integration and the pursuit of transformative economic and social goals in Australia and the region. She has written widely on these topics for academic and popular audiences. Her most recent book Developmental Mindset: Revival of Financial Activism in South Korea (Cornell University Press) examines the ways in which developmental ways of thinking have informed a strategic approach to financial policy in South Korea from the 1960s to the present. She is also the co-author of two popular books on Australian political economy: National Insecurity (2007, Allen & Unwin) and How to Kill a Country (2004, Allen & Unwin), the latter short-listed for the Queensland Premier’s Literary Award for Advancing Public Debate.


Elizabeth is a regular contributor to public debates on Australian trade policy. In 2014 she hosted an Academy of the Social Sciences Australia-funded Workshop to mark Ten Years Since the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement, and curated a series of 13 articles on the same for The Conversation entitled The Free Trade Scorecard: She is Guest Editor of the 2015 Special Issue of the Australian Journal of International Affairs entitled: “10 Years after the Australia-US FTA: Where to for Australia’s Trade Policyt?”  In 2016, her chapter on “The Growing Partisan Divide in Australian Trade and Industry Policy” will appear in the 12th edition of the definitive Australia in World Affairs series, edited by Mark Beeson and Shahar Hameiri (Oxford University Press:


Elizabeth is the founder and Convenor of the UNSW Globalisation & Governance Research Network. She is also an Academic Advisor to Jubilee Australia, an NGO dedicated to research-based advocacy on questions of social, economic and environmental justice in the Asia-Pacific, with a particular focus on Australian government and corporate accountability:


She 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.