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Personal profile


Dr Lavina Lee is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Modern History, Politics and International Relations at Macquarie University, Sydney. She is the author of the book US Hegemony and International Legitimacy: Norms Power and Followership in the Wars on Iraq (Routledge, 2010), and has published numerous articles, book chapters and commentary on Indian foreign and security policy, nuclear proliferation, US foreign policy, and security relations in the Indo-Pacific.  Her current research focuses on maritime security and strategy in the Indo-Pacific region, and nuclear proliferation in East Asia. She also periodically publishes opinion pieces in The Australian, The Australian Financial Review, The Hindustan Times, and the New Straits Times, as well as with specialist policy outlets such as The Lowy Interpreter and ASPI Strategist. Dr Lee has commerce and law degrees from the University of NSW, an MA in International Peace and Security from King’s College, University of London, and a PhD in International Relations from Sydney University. Prior to joining Macquarie University, Dr Lee was a political risk consultant with Control Risks Group. 

Research interests

• The nuclear non-proliferation regime and nuclear disarmament

• Indian foreign, security and nuclear policy

• Strategic and foreign relations in the Indo-Pacific

• The role of culture and norms in international relations

• Legitimacy and US hegemony

• International law on the use of force

• International security


IRPG831 International Security

IRPG857 International Law and Institutions

POL108 Introduction to Global Politics

IRPG838 Master of International Relations Internship

Education/Academic qualification

PhD in International Relations, University of Sydney


Master of Arts in International Peace and Security, King's College London


Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Laws, The University of New South Wales


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Projects 2009 2016

Research Outputs 2008 2019

Democracy promotion: ANZUS and the Free and Open Indo-Pacific strategy

Lee, L., Jul 2019, Sydney, Australia: United States Studies Centre. 21 p.

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned reportResearch

Open Access
Southeast Asia
good governance

Global alies: comparing US alliances in the 21st century

Lee, L., 2018, In : RUSI Journal. 163, 2, p. 107-108 2 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article/Exhibition reviewResearch

Abe's democratic security diamond and new quadrilateral initiative: an Australian perspective

Lee, L., 2016, In : Journal of East Asian affairs. 30, 2, p. 1-41 41 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Indian Ocean

Japan-India cooperation and abe’s democratic security diamond: Possibilities, limitations and the view from Southeast Asia

Lee, L. & Lee, J., 1 Aug 2016, In : Contemporary Southeast Asia. 38, 2, p. 284-308 25 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Southeast Asia
Indian Ocean

Ethics and morality in international relations

Lee, L., 2015, Encounters with world affairs: an introduction to international relations. Kavalski, E. (ed.). Farnham, UK: Ashgate Publishing, p. 63-84 22 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearch