- BSocSc(Hons) Waikato
- MA ANU
- PhD London
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 research and teaching focuses on strategic competition and cooperation, especially in relation to the management of armed conflict. He has a particular interest in connecting leading strategic ideas to Asia-Pacific security challenges. This ranges from his work on theorists such as Hedley Bull and Thomas Schelling to his studies of New Zealand and Australian responses to China's rise and America's response.
- 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.
- ‘Asia’s Diplomacy of Violence: China-US Coercion and Regional Order’, [with Manjeet Pardesi] Survival, 59:2, (April-May 2017), pp. 85-124.
- ‘Discovering Australia’s Defence Strategy’, Security Challenges, 12:1, (2016), pp. 41-52.
- '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
- ‘Hedley Bull’, in Hidemi Suganami, Richard Ned Lebow, and Peer Schouten (eds.), The Return of the Theorists, Dialogues with Great Thinkers in International Relations, London: Palgrave Macmillan 2016, pp. 344-351.
- '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.
- 'The Economics-Security Nexus Under Trump and Xi: Policy Implications for Asia-Pacific Countries', Centre of Gravity series paper #35, ANU Strategic and Defence Studies Centre.
- ‘Future Proofing Australia-New Zealand Defence Relations’, Analysis Paper, Lowy Institute for International Policy, December 2016.
- '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.
- ‘Trump’s Home-Brewed Foreign Policy’, Incline, 21 March 2017.
- ‘Why we’re poorer without Thomas Schelling’, The Interpreter, Lowy Institute for International Policy, 21 December 2016.
- 'Trump's Challenge to NZ Foreign Policy', The Dominion Post, 23 November 2016.
- ‘A New Zealand Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing’, The Strategist, Australian Strategic Policy Institute, 16 June 2016.
- '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 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.
- 'Too much at risk to stay quiet' (NZ and South China Sea), The Dominion Post, 30 May 2014.