Elizabeth Thurbon

Deputy Head of School (Research), Scientia Fellow and Associate Professor in International Relations
Scientia Fellow (Level D)

Elizabeth is Deputy Head of School (Research), Scientia Fellow and Associate Professor of International Relations / International Political Economy at the School of Social Sciences, UNSW Sydney. She has also held Visiting Fellowships at Seoul National University (Korea Foundation Fellow) and China Foreign Affairs University. Her research specialism is the political economy of techno-industrial development and change, with a particular focus on East Asia, Australia and the USA. 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, East Asia and beyond. She has written widely on these topics for academic and popular audiences. Her most recent book Developmental Mindset (2016, Cornell University Press) offers a fresh way of conceptualising developmental states and of analysing their emergence and evolution. Her 2018 article 'Power Paradox' (co-authored with Linda Weiss and published in RIPE) 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/

She is also the co-author (with Linda Weiss and John Mathews) 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 and described as 'a book all Australians should read'. She is a regular contributor to public and policy debates on Australian trade and industrial policy and was Guest Editor of a 2015 Special Issue of the Australian Journal of International Affairs dedicated to this topic. 

Elizabeth is currently a Chief Investigator on two major collaborative grants: an Australian Research Council Discovery Project examining East Asia’s Clean Energy Transition (with SY Kim, J Mathews and H Tan) and 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).

Since 2008, she 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 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.

Research Areas

Globalisation, development, developmental states, the developmental mindset, financial activism, clean energy transitions, economic statecraft, government-business relations, techno-industrial transformation, institutional/ideational change, state capacity.

Books
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Thurbon EC, 2016, Developmental Mindset: The Revival of Financial Activism in South Korea, Cornell University Press, Ithaca
2016
Weiss L; Thurbon EC; Mathews J, 2007, National Insecurity, Original, Allen and Unwin, St Leonards, NSW
2007
Weiss L; Thurbon EC; Mathews J, 2004, How to Kill a Country, 1, Allen and Unwin, St Leonards, NSW
2004
Book Chapters
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Thurbon EC, 2017, 'Lessons from South Korea: A Developmental Mindset Makes a Difference when Governing the Financial Economy', in Bohoslavsky JP; Raffer K (ed.), Sovereign Debt Crises: What Have We Learned?, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 236 - 253, http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/9781108227001
2017
Thurbon EC, 2016, 'Trade and Industry Policy: The Growing Partisan Divide', in Beeson M; Hameiri S (ed.), Navigating the New International Disorder: Australia In World Affairs 2011-2015, Oxford University Press
2016
Thurbon EC; Weiss L, 2016, 'The Developmental State in the late 20th Century', in Jhosh J; Kattel R; Reinert E (ed.), Handbook of Alternative Theories of Economic Development, Edward Elgar
2016
Weiss L; Thurbon E, 2014, 'The Business of Buying American: Public Procurement as Trade Strategy', in Ikenberry J; Trubowitz P (ed.), American Foreign Policy: Theoretical Essays, edn. 7, Oxford University Press
2014
Thurbon E, 2014, 'Australia: Public purchasing and innovation: The Australian case', in Public Procurement, Innovation and Policy: International Perspectives, pp. 35 - 63, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-40258-6_3
2014
Thurbon EC, 2013, 'Globalization and Industrial Governance: A View from Australia', in Tazreiter C; Tham SY (ed.), Globalization and Social Transformation in the Asia-Pacific, Palgrave Macmillan, Houndmills, Basingstoke, UK, pp. 78 - 93, http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/9781137298386
2013
Thurbon EC, 2012, 'From Developmentalism to Neoliberalism and Back Again? Governing the Market in Australia from the 1980s to the Present', in Chang K-S; Fine B; Weiss L (ed.), Developmental Politics in Transition : the neoliberal era and beyond, edn. 1, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, pp. 274 - 298
2012
Thurbon EC, 2012, 'Ideas and Industrial Governance: Has the Influence of Neoliberalism been Overstated?', in Neoliberalism: Beyond the Free Market, edn. 1, Edward Elgar Publishing Limited, Cheltnam, pp. 180 - 203, http://www.e-elgar.co.uk/bookentry_main.lasso?id=14794&breadcrumlink=&breadcrum=&sub_values=&site_Bus_Man=&site_dev=&site_eco=&site_env_eco=&site_inn_tech=&site_int_pol=&site_law=&site_pub_soc=
2012
Thurbon E, 2007, 'The developmental logic of financial liberalization in Taiwan', in Institutions and Market Economies: The Political Economy of Growth and Development, pp. 87 - 111, http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/9780230389946
2007
Conference Papers
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Thurbon EC, 2011, 'Same But Different: Reviving the Developmental State Model by Revisiting its Ideational Foundations', in APSA Conference 2011 Full Papers (online), Australian Political Studies Association, Canberra, presented at Australian Political Studies Association Conference 2011: Crisis, Uncertainty and Democracy, Canberra, 26 September 2011 - 28 September 2011, http://law.anu.edu.au/COAST/events/APSA/papers/21.pdf
2011
Journal articles
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Rethel L; Thurbon E, 2020, 'Introduction: Finance, Development and the State in East Asia', New Political Economy, vol. 25, pp. 315 - 319, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13563467.2018.1562435
2020
Thurbon E, 2020, 'The Future of Financial Activism in Taiwan? The Utility of a Mindset-centred Analysis of Developmental States and Their Evolution', New Political Economy, vol. 25, pp. 320 - 336, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13563467.2018.1562436
2020
Thurbon E; Weiss L, 2019, 'Economic statecraft at the frontier: Korea’s drive for intelligent robotics', Review of International Political Economy, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09692290.2019.1655084
2019
Rethel L; Thurbon E, 2019, 'Introduction: Finance, Development and the State in East Asia', New Political Economy,
2019
Thurbon E, 2019, 'The Future of Financial Activism in Taiwan? The Utility of a Mindset-centred Analysis of Developmental States and Their Evolution', New Political Economy,
2019
Weiss L; Thurbon E, 2018, 'Power paradox: how the extension of US infrastructural power abroad diminishes state capacity at home', Review of International Political Economy, vol. 25, pp. 779 - 810, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09692290.2018.1486875
2018
Thurbon EC, 2016, 'Trade Agreements and the Myth of Policy Constraint in Australia', Australian Journal of Political Science, vol. 51, pp. 636 - 651, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10361146.2016.1239569
2016
Kim SY; Thurbon E, 2015, 'Developmental Environmentalism: Explaining South Korea’s Ambitious Pursuit of Green Growth', Politics and Society, vol. 43, pp. 213 - 240, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0032329215571287
2015
Thurbon EC, 2015, 'Ten Years Since the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement: Where to for Australia's Trade Policy?', Australian Journal of International Affairs
2015
Thurbon EC, 2015, 'The Abandonment of Procurement-Linked Strategic Activism in Australia: Standing Still with Room to Move', Australian Journal of International Affairs, vol. 69, pp. 577 - 594, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10357718.2015.1048780
2015
Thurbon EC, 2014, 'The Developmental State: A Conceptual Defence', Critique Internationale, vol. 63, pp. 59 - 75, http://dx.doi.org/10.3917/crii.063.0059
2014
Weiss L; Thurbon EC, 2006, 'The Business of Buying American: Public Procurement as Trade Strategy in the USA', Review of International Political Economy, vol. 13, pp. 701 - 721, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09692290600950597
2006
Thurbon EC; Weiss L, 2006, 'Investing in Openness: The Evolution of FDI Strategyin South Korea and Taiwan', New Political Economy, vol. 11, pp. 1 - 22, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13563460500494784
2006
Weiss L; Thurbon E; Mathews J, 2006, 'Free trade in mad cows: How to kill a beef industry', Australian Journal of International Affairs, vol. 60, pp. 376 - 399, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10357710600865663
2006
Thurbon EC; Weiss L, 2006, 'From Player to Pawn: Howard`s Trade Legacy', Australian Journal of Public Affairs, vol. February, pp. Web - Web
2006
Weiss L; Thurbon EC, 2004, 'Where there`s a will there`s a way: Governing the market in times of uncertainty', Issues and Studies, vol. 401, pp. 61 - 72
2004
Thurbon EC, 2003, 'Ideational inconsistency and institutional inertia: Why financial liberalisation in South Korea went horribly wrong', New Political Economy, vol. 8, pp. 341 - 361, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1356346032000138050
2003
Thurbon , 2001, 'Two Paths to Financial Liberalisation: South Korea and Taiwan', Pacific Review, vol. 14, pp. 241 - 268, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09512740110037370
2001

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