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Dr Elizabeth Buchanan



Lecturer, Strategic Studies


Faculty of Arts and Education


SHSS Arts & Education


Canberra - Centre for Defence


Doctor of Philosophy, Australian National University, 2018


Dr Elizabeth Buchanan is an Australian polar geopolitics expert. Her research interests include Arctic and Antarctic geopolitics, energy security, Russian grand strategy, and strategic studies. Dr Buchanan is Lecturer of Strategic Studies with Deakin University for the Defence and Strategic Studies Course (DSSC) at the Australian War College. Elizabeth is a Non-Resident Fellow at the Modern War Institute at West Point Military Academy. In this role she contributes to the U.S-Australian military dialogue focusing on polar geopolitics. She is the inaugural Co-Director of the Modern War Institute’s Polar Security Research Initiative - Project 6633.

Dr. Buchanan holds a Ph.D. in Russian Arctic strategy from the Australian National University. Elizabeth was the Visiting Maritime Fellow at the NATO Defense College in Rome focusing on Arctic geopolitics. Dr Buchanan is a polar contributor for Janes Intelligence Review on security affairs.  She has published widely on polar geopolitics most recently with the NATO Defence College, International Affairs, The National Interest, War on the Rocks, Foreign Policy and Foreign Affairs.

Dr Buchanan has been a Visiting Scholar with The Brookings Institution and has work experience in the global oil sector. Dr Buchanan has published two books: Russian Energy Strategy in Asia (ANU Press, 2021) and Russian Arctic Strategy under Putin (The Brookings Institution Press, 2022).

Dr Buchanan is leading a research grant with the Australian Army Research Centre on Hybrid Warfare. Recently, Elizabeth was awarded an EU Parliament Commission grant to explore EU strategy in the Arctic and Antarctic regions. Dr Buchanan is research lead for a US State Department/US Embassy Australia Antarctic security project. Elizabeth is the 2021-2022 Australian Parliament Fellow examining Antarctic geopolitics.

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Biography summary

Elizabeth is Lecturer of Strategic Studies with Deakin University for the Defence and Strategic Studies Course (DSSC) at the Australian War College (Australian Defence’s Senior Officer Course) and a Fellow of the Modern War Institute at West Point. 

Career highlights

Selected to Chair and moderate a public lecture and discussion with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in 2019. This was the Secretary General's sole public engagement during the 2019 Australian trip. 

First book published by The Brookings Institution Press - a leading policy think tank in Washington.

Visiting Maritime Fellowship held post-PhD at the NATO Defense College, Rome. 

Research interests

Russian Polar Strategy

Russian foreign energy policy


Fellow, Modern War Institute, West Point Military Academy 

Adjunct Fellow, Griffith Asia Institute, Griffith University 

Project Member, Arctic Hybrid Threats, European Centre for Countering Hybrid Threats

Visiting Fellow, Centre for European Studies, The Australian National University

Women in International Security (WIIS)

The Institute for Regional Security, Australia 

Teaching interests

Russian Foreign Policy

Energy Security

International Relations 

International Theory (Neoclassical Realism)

Arctic and Antarctic politics

Units taught

DSSC Strategic Competition

Knowledge areas

Russian Arctic & Antarctic Strategy

Polar Geopolitics 

Russian foreign energy strategy

Strategic Studies

Neoclassical Realism


Polar (Arctic and Antarctic) geopolitics; Russian foreign energy strategy.
  • Security

Media appearances

ABC Radio - Light Night Live

The Australian

Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) War in 2035 Conference

ABC Radio - The Signal

Center for International Maritime Security (CIMSEC) - Podcast Series


EU Polar Strategy - 

Comparative study of Russian Arctic and Antarctic strategies under Vladimir Putin

Russian Arctic Strategy - European Centre for Countering Hybrid Threats Project

Australian Antarctic Strategy 

US-Australia Alliance in Antarctica

Russia's Asia-Pacific enregy strategy: implications for Australia