What’s So Special about Asian Security? Dealing with Non-state Actors and Non-traditional Security

Event details


Date & time

Thursday 29 April 2021


Online Zoom event


Various speakers


Bell School Marketing Team

Are the security landscape and dynamics in Asia significantly different compared to those in other world regions? Is there anything ‘special’ about Asian security that necessitates alterations or additions to the theories, concepts or methods of standard international relations or security studies research? This Roundtable explores two potent themes that could make Asia’s security order and practices distinctive: the plurality of actors – including many types of non-state and trans-state actors – and the wide range of so-called ‘non-traditional’ security challenges that preoccupy regional policy-makers.


Helen Nesadurai is Professor of International Political Economy at Monash University Malaysia, where she was Head of the School of Arts and Social Sciences in 2018-2020. She is known for her research on regional integration, governance, and institutional architectures in East Asia, and especially for her work on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Her more recent work explores transnational governance as a new mode of authority in world politics, including the case of private standards for sustainable palm oil. Funded by a Monash-Warwick Alliance grant, co-led an international research project on the drivers of transnational governance initiated by non-state actors across five political-economic sectors in Southeast Asia. Helen has served as co-Chief Editor of the journal Contemporary Politics. Originally trained in biochemistry, she holds an MSc in Economics for Development from the University of Oxford and a PhD in Politics and International Studies from the University of Warwick. She spent 15 years in policy research with the Malaysian think-tank, the Institute of Strategic and International Studies, before moving to academia.

Lorraine Elliott is Professor Emerita in International Relations at the Coral Bell School, ANU. Her research focuses on global governance and human security, transnational environmental crime, regional environmental governance in Southeast Asia, environmental security, climate security and human security. She chaired the international Board of the Academic Council on the UN System in 2015-18; is Lead Faculty with the international Earth System Governance research network and a member of the ESG Scientific Steering Committee; a member of the network of experts for the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime; and a member of the international Advisory Committee for the intergovernmental Platform on Disaster Displacement. She has held visiting appointments at the University of Oxford, the University of Nottingham, the Free University of Amsterdam and LSE among others and has held grants awarded by the Australian Research Council, the Japan Foundation, and the Riksbankens Jubileumsfond.

Pichamon Yeophantong is an ARC DECRA Fellow and Senior Lecturer in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, UNSW Canberra. A political scientist and China specialist, her research focuses on Chinese foreign policy and the political economy of sustainable development in the Asia-Pacific. In addition to her ARC-funded project on how to better regulate Chinese resource and infrastructure investment overseas, Pichamon leads three other projects that seek to enhance the resilience of women leaders and environmental defenders in Southeast Asia. In 2018, she was awarded the CHASS Australia ‘Future Leader’ Prize by the Council for the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, and was named a ‘human rights fighter’ and finalist for the 2020 Advance Awards. Previously, she was Global Leaders Fellow at University College, Oxford and the Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance, Princeton. Pichamon holds a PhD and MA in Politics and International Relations at the ANU, where she was an inaugural China Institute Scholar and Hedley Bull Scholar.

This webinar will be recorded and is the fourth of the Women in Asia-Pacific Security Research Seminar Series 2020-21, jointly supported by the Graduate Research & Development Network for Asian Security (GRADNAS) and the ANU Gender Institute. This seminar series showcases the cutting-edge academic research of women in the fields of Asia-Pacific security broadly-defined, and serves as an international platform for strengthening academic exchange, feedback, and mentorship. For more information, contact the Series Convenor, Professor Evelyn Goh evelyn.goh@anu.edu.au.

Updated:  27 November 2022/Responsible Officer:  Bell School Marketing Team/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team