Department of Security Studies and Criminology

Sheryn Lee

Associate Lecturer in Security Studies

BA/BComm (UTS), MA (ANU), AM (UPenn)

Research interests

  • Military modernization and arms racing
  • Disruptive/emerging technologies and defense innovation
  • Taiwanese foreign and defense policy
  • Strategic studies
  • Internal security and political violence in Asia


Sheryn Lee joined the department in July 2015 and is an Associate Lecturer in Security Studies. She completed her PhD at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre (SDSC), the Australian National University in 2017. Her dissertation examined arms racing theory and the modernization of naval and associated air capabilities in the Asia-Pacific (2001-2016). She was previously a non-resident WSD-Handa Fellow at Pacific Forum, Center for Strategic and International Studies; and holds an AM in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania, where she was a Benjamin Franklin Fellow and Mumford Fellow. She was also a T.B. Millar scholar at the SDSC; and Robert O'Neill scholar at the International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS)-Asia in Singapore. She is also a regular contributor to East Asia Forum.


  • PICT901 International Security
  • PICT313 Strategies of Political Violence


Edited Books

  • Geography, Power, Strategy and Defence Policy: Essays in honour of Professor Paul Dibb (Canberra: ANU Press, May 2016). Co-edited with Desmond Ball.
  • Power and International Relations: Essays in honour of Dr. Coral Bell (Canberra: ANU Press, November 2014). Co-edited with Desmond Ball.
  • The Insurgent Intellectual: Essays in honour of Professor Desmond Ball (Singapore: ISEAS Publications, December 2012). Co-edited with Brendan Taylor and Nicholas Farrelly.

Journal Articles

  • "Correspondence: Is the Taiwan Strait Still a Flash Point?" International Security 41, no. 2 (Fall 2016): 192-197. Co-authored with Benjamin Schreer.
  • 'Practical vs. identity regionalism: Australia's APC initiative, a case study',Contemporary Politics, Vol. 20, No. 2, April 2014, pp. 1-20. Co-authored with Anthony Milner.
  • 'Burying the Hatchet: the sources and limitations of Japan-ROK security cooperation', Asian Security, Vol. 9, No. 2, Summer 2013, pp. 93-110.
  • 'The Taiwan Strait: Still Dangerous', Survival, Vol. 55, No. 3, June/July 2013, pp. 55-62. Co-authored with Benjamin Schreer.
  • 'The willing ally?: Australian strategic policy in a contested Asia', RUSI Journal, Vol. 157, No. 5, October/November 2012, pp. 78-84. Co-authored with Benjamin Schreer.
  • 'The Defining Divide: Cross-strait relations and the US, Taiwan, China strategic dynamic', Security Challenges Journal, Vol. 7, No. 1, Autumn 2011, pp. 79-89.

Book Chapters

  • "The evolution of Taiwan's foreign policy," in The Taiwan Problem: Challenges and Prospects, ed. Andrew T. H. Tan and Benjamin Schreer (Routledge, forthcoming July 2019).
  • "The Australian perception of US decline in the Asia-Pacific," in US Primacy in the Asia-Pacific: Trends and Policy Implications for the Australia-Japan Relationship, ed. Andrew O'Neil, Ian Hall and Michael Heazle (Edward Elgar, forthcoming July 2018).
  • "Introduction," in Geography, Power, Strategy and Defence Policy: Essays in honour of Professor Paul Dibb, ed. Desmond Ball and Sheryn Lee (Canberra: ANU Press, May 2016), 1-15.
  • 'China's Strategy Towards Taiwan', in Andrew T. H. Tan (ed.), Security and Conflict in East Asia, Routledge, London, May 2015, pp. 111-120.
  • 'Introduction' in Desmond Ball and Sheryn Lee (eds.), Power and International Relations: Essays in honour of Dr. Coral Bell, ANU Press, Canberra, November 2014, pp. 1-10.
  • 'China-Taiwan Relations: Challenges and Prospects', in Andrew T. H. Tan (ed.),East and Southeast Asia: International Relations and Security Perspectives,Routledge, London, March 2013, pp. 78-88.
  • 'Introducing the insurgent intellectual', in Brendan Taylor, Nicholas Farrelly and Sheryn Lee (eds.), Insurgent Intellectual: Essays in honour of Professor Desmond Ball, ISEAS Publications, Singapore, December 2012, pp.3-8.


  • 'Time to start worrying again?: Cross-strait stability after the 2016 Taiwanese elections', ASPI: Strategic Insights, Australian Strategic Policy Institute, No. 104, 9 March 2016. Co-authored with Benjamin Schreer.
  • 'Crowded waters-Naval competition in the Asia-Pacific', ASPI: Special Report, Australian Strategic Policy Institute, July 2015.

Book Reviews

  • 'The Future of United States, China and Taiwan Relations. Basingstoke GBR: Palgrave MacMillan., ISBN: 9780230112780. 266 pages. £58. Cheng-Yi Lin and Denny Roy, eds., 2011,' Asian Politics & Policy, Vol. 4, No. 2, April 2012, pp. 269-271.

Conferences and Presentations

  • "Identifying common security challenges for Asia and Europe," Joint Conference between Swedish Defense University and Department of Security Studies and Criminology at Macquarie University, Stockholm, 22-23 August 2017 (forthcoming).
  • 'Is US leadership/primacy declining in Asia?', 6th Annual Australia-Japan Dialogue, Griffith Asia Institute, Tokyo, 9 December 2016.
  • 'Beyond the arms race: Explaining the modernization of naval and associated air capabilities in the Asia-Pacific (2001-2016)', Coral Bell School of Asia-Pacific Affairs, Canberra, 1 December 2016.
  • 'The Security Dimensions of Regional Arms Acquisitions', Arms Racing Workshop, RSIS Military Transformations Programme and RSIS Maritime Security Programme, Singapore, 18 November 2016.
  • 'The Asian Arms Race', Festival of Dangerous Ideas, Sydney Opera House, Sydney, 4 September 2016. (Panel with Bates Gill and Peter Hartcher, chaired by Simon Longstaff).
  • 'An arms race with Asian characteristics?', East-West Center 13th International Graduate Student Conference, Hawaii, February 2014.

Related Websites

Sheryn Lee

Contact information:

Phone: +61 (0)2 9850 1426
Office location: 
Level 2, Building Y3A
Macquarie University NSW 2109