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Personal profile

Biography

Dr Lavina Lee is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Security Studies and Criminology at Macquarie University, Sydney and joined Macquarie University in 2007. In 2020, she was appointed to the Council of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute by the Australian Defence Minister and was previously a Director of the Institute for Regional Security.

In 2022, Dr Lee became a non-resident fellow of the Centre of Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, as well as a non-resident Senior Fellow at the US Studies Centre (USSC) in Sydney. Prior to joining Macquarie University in 2007, she was a political risk consultant with Control Risks Group. 

Dr Lee 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, research reports and commentary on maritime security and strategy in the Indo-Pacific, Indian foreign and security policy, nuclear proliferation, and the US-Australia alliance. 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. 

She has led projects for the Australian government and think-tanks on opportunities and weaknesses of the ‘Quad’, Chinese influence in South-East Asia, the role of democracy promotion in the Free and Open Indo-Pacific strategy and the role of India in the Indo-Pacific. Her work integrates academic and policy approaches, and she speaks widely to expert and lay audiences on international and security issues. 

Dr Lee has commerce and law degrees from the University of NSW, an MA in International Peace and Security from King’s College, the University of London (with distinction), and a PhD in International Relations from Sydney University. 

Research interests

  • Strategic and foreign relations in the Indo-Pacific (including the Quad)
  • Chinese influence in Southeast Asia and the Pacific
  • Australian foreign and defence policy
  • Indian foreign, security and nuclear policy
  • Democracy promotion in the Indo-Pacific
  • The nuclear non-proliferation regime and nuclear disarmament
  • The role of culture, norms and international law in international relations

Teaching

PICT8050 Strategic Thinking

PICT2012 Modern Warfare

Previous courses taught: IRPG8570 International Law and Global Governance, IRPG8310 International Security, and IRPG1080 Introduction to Global Politics

Education/Academic qualification

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

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

PhD in International Relations, University of Sydney

External positions

Senior Fellow - Non-Resident, United States Studies Centre (USYD)

15 Aug 2022 → …

Fellow - Non-Resident, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)

12 Aug 2022 → …

Director - Australian Strategic Policy Institute Council, Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI)

25 Jun 2020 → …

Director, Institute for Regional Security

2018Apr 2020

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