Prof Rouben Azizian staff profile picture

Contact details +6492136098

Prof Rouben Azizian PhD


Doctoral Supervisor
School of People, Environment and Planning

Professor Rouben Azizian joined CDSS in December 2015 after spending close to 14 years at the US Defense Department's Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (APCSS) in Honolulu where he lectured and conducted research on the Asia-Pacific Regional Security Architecture, Diplomacy and Confidence Building, Security Sector Development, as well as US, Russian, Central Asian and Oceania security issues.

Before joining APCSS, Professor Azizian taught at the Department of Political Studies at the University of Auckland in 1994 – 2001.  From 1998 – 2001 he was the President of the Auckland Branch of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs.

Prior to becoming a full-time academic he had an extensive career in the Soviet and later Russian Foreign Service, which included assignments in Nepal (1972-1978) as Attaché and Third Secretary; Sri Lanka (1980-1985) as Second and First Secretary; and New Zealand (1991-1994) as Counsellor and Deputy Chief of Mission. 

Professor Azizian has published several books as well as numerous book chapters, journal articles and working papers on Asia-Pacific security issues.

He is a member of the editorial boards of scholarly journals Asian Politics and Policy, Central Asian Studies, Asia-Pacific Journal of Marine Science and Education and Russia and Asia-Pacific.

Professor Rouben Azizian joined CDSS as its Director in December 2015. His areas of expertise are Asia-Pacific security architecture, regional geopolitics and diplomacy, security sector governance and national security strategy development.  

More about me...View less...


Contact details

  • Ph: 092136098
    Location: 2.36, AT
    Campus: Albany


  • Doctor of Philosophy - Diplomatic Academy Moscow (1987)

Research Expertise

Research Interests

International Relations

Regional Security

Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution


21st Century Citizenship

Area of Expertise

Field of research codes
Defence Studies (160604): Government and Politics of Asia and the Pacific (160606): International Relations (160607): New Zealand Government and Politics (160608): Political Science (160600): Studies In Human Society (160000)


- Asia-Pacific security architecture

-Geopolitical tensions in the Asia-Pacific

-Russian politics and foreign policy

-US role in the Asia-Pacific

-Sub-regional security in South and Central Asia, Northeast Asia and Oceania

-Security sector governance and management

Consultancy and Languages


  • Russian
    Last used: 2018
    Spoken ability: Excellent
    Written ability: Excellent
  • Armenian
    Last used: 2018
    Spoken ability: Excellent
    Written ability: Excellent
  • Sinhalese
    Last used: 1991
    Spoken ability: Needs work
    Written ability: Needs work
  • French
    Last used: 2001
    Spoken ability: Average
    Written ability: Needs work

Teaching and Supervision

Current Doctoral Supervision

Main Supervisor of:

  • Nick Dynon - Doctor of Philosophy
    Security Competition in the Southwest Pacific - Is New Zealand reading China's intentions correctly?
  • Indeewari Galagama - Doctor of Philosophy
    The Enforced Disappearances in Hindering Human Security and Truth and Reconciliation: A Case Study of Sri Lanka.
  • Jose Miguel Alonso Trabanco - Doctor of Philosophy
    The Geopolitical Dimension of Digital Currencies and their Implications for the Field of Security
  • Terry Johanson - Doctor of Philosophy
    Variance in State Military organisations and its impact on Civil-Military Relations.

Co-supervisor of:

  • Steven MacBeth - Doctor of Philosophy
    New Wars-Old Platforms;Comparing AUSCANZ Defence Innovation in the Grey Zone 2000-2022
  • John Mitchell - Doctor of Philosophy
    Application of the Coordinated Incident Management System in Aotearoa New Zealand’s Response to COVID-19: Barriers and Opportunities to Effective Response and Recovery Leadership

Completed Doctoral Supervision

Main Supervisor of:

  • 2023 - Brian Nelson - Doctor of Philosophy
    Mass Atrocities and Military Intervention: A Ripeness-based Approach to the Decision Moment

Co-supervisor of:

  • 2023 - Hafza Tahira - Doctor of Philosophy
    Democratic Transition and Civil Military Relations in Pakistan A constructivist account of military’s political legitimacy
  • 2022 - Bruce Pepperell - Doctor of Philosophy
    Leadership in extreme contexts: When survival is not enough!