Prof Robert Ayson
Professor of Strategic Studies
Strategic Studies (Centre for), School of History, Philosophy, Political Science & International Relations
Phone: 04 463 6445
Location: Room 205, 16 Kelburn Parade, Kelburn Campus
Teaching in 2015
STRA 531 - Strategic Studies
Robert Ayson has been Professor of Strategic Studies at Victoria University since 2010 and works in close association with the Centre for Strategic Studies. He has also held academic positions with the ANU, Massey University and the University of Waikato, and official positions with the New Zealand government. Professor Ayson completed his MA as a Freyberg Scholar to the ANU and his PhD at King's College London as a Commonwealth Scholar to the UK. He is Adjunct Professor with the ANU's Strategic and Defence Studies Centre and Honorary Professor with the New Zealand Defence Force Command and Staff College.
Professor Ayson's work focuses on questions of strategic competition and cooperation, including in relation to the management of armed conflict. This ranges from studies of leading thinkers such as Hedley Bull and Thomas Schelling to evaluating New Zealand and Australian responses to the changing Asia-Pacific balance between China and the United States. Having completed a comprehensive study of Asia's security challenges, he is now working on the role of values in international politics. He is an editor of Incline, a blog on New Zealand's place in the world.
- Asia's Security, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.
- Hedley Bull and the Accommodation of Power, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012, 256pp.
- Strategy and Security in the Asia-Pacific, [co-edited with Desmond Ball], Crows Nest NSW: Allen and Unwin, 2006, 343pp.
- Thomas Schelling and the Nuclear Age: Strategy as Social Science, London & New
York: Frank Cass, 2004, 235pp.
- 'Missile Strategy in a Post-Nuclear Age', [with Christine M. Leah] Journal of Strategic Studies, 38:1-2 (2015), pp. 74-97.
- 'Can a Sino-Japanese War be Controlled?' [with Desmond Ball], Survival, 56:6 (December 2014/January 2015), pp. 135-166.
- 'Choosing Ahead of Time? Australia, New Zealand and the US-China Contest in Asia', Contemporary Southeast Asia, 34:3 (December 2012), pp. 338-364.
- 'After a Terrorist Nuclear Attack: Envisaging Catalytic Effects', Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, 33:7 (July 2010), pp. 571-593.
- 'The "Arc of Instability" and Australia’s Strategic Policy', Australian Journal of International Affairs, 61:2 (June 2007) pp. 215-231.
- 'Regional Stability in the Asia-Pacific: Towards a Conceptual Understanding', Asian Security 1:2 (April 2005) pp. 190-213.
Selected book chapters
- 'New Zealand’s Response', in William Tow and Douglas Stuart (eds.), The New U.S. Strategy Towards Asia: Adapting to the American Pivot, London: Routledge, 2015, pp. 168-183.
- 'Formalizing the Informal?', in Jochen Prantl (ed), Effective Multilateralism: Through the Looking Glass of East Asia, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013, pp. 196-214.
- 'The Changing Character of Warfare', in Richard Devetak, Anthony Burke & Jim George (eds.), An Introduction to International Relations, 2d ed, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012, pp. 199-217.
- 'Strategic Studies', in Chris Reus-Smit and Duncan Snidal (eds), The Oxford Handbook of International Relations, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008, pp. 558-575.
- 'New Zealand Defence and Security Policy, 1990-2005', in Roderic Alley (ed), New Zealand in World Affairs IV: 1990-2005, Wellington: Victoria University Press in association with the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, 2007, pp. 131-151.
- 'Escalation in North Asia: A Strategic Challenge for Australia', [with Desmond Ball], Centre of Gravity Paper 18, Canberra: Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, ANU, November 2014.
- 'China’s Rise and New Zealand's Interests: A Policy Primer for 2030', [with Chris Elder], Discussion Paper 11, Wellington: Centre for Strategic Studies: New Zealand, August 2012.
- 'US-New Zealand Relations', Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand [with Jock Phillips], 2012.
- 'New Zealand - China Defence Ties: Cooperation...and Concerns', [with David Capie] Incline, 2 October 2015.
- 'New Zealand's Security Council Doctrine', Incline, 22 September 2015.
- 'New Zealand’s Security Council Debut: Peace in the Middle East', The Interpreter, Lowy Institute for International Policy, 20 January 2015.
- 'New Zealand’s weeks of risk aversion on ISIS', The Strategist, Australian Strategic Policy Institute, 4 November 2014.
- 'Modi and Abe Inaugurate New India-Japan Partnership', [with Manjeet Pardesi], The Interpreter, Lowy Institute for International Policy, 8 September 2014.
- 'Japan steals the show at the Shangri-La Dialogue', East Asia Forum, 13 June 2014.
- 'Too much at risk to stay quiet' (NZ and South China Sea), The Dominion Post, 30 May 2014.