Fiona Yap

Research activity per year

Personal profile


Fiona Yap ( is Honorary Professor at the Crawford School of Public Policy, the Australian National University. She is Head of School, Economics and Public Policy, University of Adelaide.

My main research interests are in public policy and political economy of East and Southeast Asia, where I focus on explaining political behaviours and outcomes across East and Southeast Asia. I am particularly interested in modeling and testing how key players, such as government and citizens, work strategically with one another to achieve large-scale policy success or political outcomes such as growth and development.


My work combines deep country knowledge of East and Southeast Asia with game-theory, experiments, statistics and mixed case-studies to develop and test predictions, in a field where work has traditionally been single country-study. This has led to visiting and distinguished positions across a number of universities, including Visiting Professor, Yonsei University (Korea), ANU-Indiana Pan Asia Institute Distinguished Scholar, University of Indiana (Indiana, US), East Asia Instiute (Korea) Fellow, Keeler IntraUniversity Professor, University of Kansas (Kansas, US), and American Young Scholars and Experts (Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs)


Outside of academia, I have worked with the World Bank as a Lead-consultant to develop a general theoretical framework for social protection in Asia and the Pacific; and also led capacity-building workshops with the Commonwealth Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.


I am currently co-editor at the European Journal of Development Research, co-editor of the Asia and the Pacific Policy Journal, editorial board member for Joural of East Asian Studies, Asian SurveyKorea Observer, and 21stCentury Political Science Review, Chief Editor of the academic blog,, advisory board member of internationally-funded Korea Institute at the Australian National University, advisory board member of the Indonesian Project, advisory board member of the National Security College, board member of the Canberra Convention Bureau, and ACT councillor for the Institute of Public Administration Australia

In each of these positions, I work towards a key goal of achieving diversity and representation, particularly from the Global South, non-western contributors, and women researchers or representatives.

Research interests

  • Political economy of democratization
  • Corruption
  • Government accountability and responsiveness
  • Strategic interaction in policy-making
  • Citizens’ responses to public policy
  • Government spending and policymaking
  • Economic growth


Researcher's projects


  • National Research Foundation (Korea), 2018-2021, US$1.8 million
  • National Research Foundation (Korea), 2015-2018, US$600,000
  • Indonesia Project Research Network Research Grant, 2015.
  • Korea Foundation (Korea) Field Research Fellowship, 2014-2015
  • Research Development Grant Award, 2012-2013, Australian National University
  • ARC Center for Excellence in Policing and Security Visiting Fellow award, 2011-2012
  • Keeler IntraUniversity Professorship, University of Kansas. 2011-2012
  • Academic Fellow, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, Washington D.C., 2011-2012 (declined).
  • Delegation of American Young Scholars and Experts to the Republic of China (Taiwan), Summer 2007
  • Institute of Policy and Social Studies Faculty award, University of Kansas, Summer 2007
  • University of Kansas Center for Teaching Excellence Teaching Innovation and Portfolio Award, University of Kansas, 2006.
  • Policy Research Institute Summer Fellow, University of Kansas, Summer 2005.
  • Kaufmann Foundation-KU Center for Entrepreneurial Research Faculty Development Award, 2005.
  • Chiang-Ching Kuo Foundation Faculty Development Award, 2004-5.
  • University of Kansas Office of International Programs International Conference Award, 2004
  • Freeman Foundation-University of Kansas CEAS Faculty Development Grant, 2003.
  • George Bush Presidential Library Foundation-Korea Program, 2002-3.
  • Chiang-Ching Kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange, 2000-2002.
  • US Dept of Education-University of Kansas CEAS Faculty Development Fund Award, 1999-2000.


  • Lead consultant, East Asia, World Bank, Social Protection Systems in Asia and the Pacific, 2018
  • Advisor, Politics and policies in South Korea. Background paper for the North Asia Division of the Trade and Market Access Division, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, Australia, 2017
  • Workshop leader and coordinator, Knowledge sector initiative (KSI Australia-Indonesia, 2015

Current student projects

  • Amy Grantham, 2019-2023. "Moon and Stars: State-led ‘Star Power’ as South Korean Diplomatic Strategy under President Moon Jae-in." Associate supervisor
  • Thu Trang Be, 2017-2021. "Essays on the political economy of small and medium-sized enterprises in Vietnam." Panel member



Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Rochester

Award Date: 1 Jan 1997

Master, University of Rochester

Award Date: 5 Mar 1994

Bachelor, Summa cum laude with honours, University of Houston

Award Date: 15 May 1991

External positions

Professor & Head of School, Economics and Public Policy

18 Apr 2022 → …

Associate Professor, University of Kansas

Aug 2005Jun 2012

Assistant Professor, University of Kansas

Aug 1998Jul 2005

Expertise Areas

  • Public Policy
  • Political Science
  • Political economy
  • Strategic bargaining
  • Comparative Government and Politics
  • Government and Politics of Asia and the Pacific


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