Dr Greg Lopez

Research Fellow

About me

I am a research fellow with the Murdoch University Executive Education Centre. Prior to this role, I worked in various research and advocacy capacities with private consultancies, think tanks, and non-governmental organisations. I have extensive experience in the region, working on public policy issues involving economic and political reforms, and have undertaken in depth research and analysis in these areas.

I have been educated both in Malaysia and Australia and hold a PhD in economics from the Australian National University. Broadly, my research interests are in understanding the links between individuals, institutions and economic growth. More specifically, I am interested in the political economy and institutional arrangements of countries “stuck in the middle income trap” in the Indo-Pacific region and Australia’s relationship with these economies.

I am also a fellow at the Asia Research Centre and a member of the Centre for Responsible Citizenship and Sustainability, both at Murdoch University’s School of Management and Governance in Perth, Western Australia. I also hold an ongoing visiting fellowship at the Department of Political and Social Change, College of Asia and the Pacific at the Australian National University.

Teaching area

In 2016, I will direct the Capstone Consultancy Project unit in the newly developed Executive Masters in Leadership, Strategy and Innovation.

In 2016, I will also coordinate a new unit that explores how governments, firms and non-governmental organisation can navigate the political economy of international markets (focusing on Asia broadly, and Southeast Asia specifically).

Research areas

Investigating the political, social and economic challenges faced by countries in the Indo-Pacific region (with specific focus on Southeast Asia, in particular Malaysia) that are experiencing the middle-income trap.

Investigating key public policy issues impacting Western Australia and its main trade and investment partners in the Indo-Pacific region (specifically Southeast Asia, in particular Malaysia).


Current projects

Research on the political and economic reforms in Malaysia.

Developing a set of case studies on key public policy and management issues that are of interest to key stakeholders in Western Australia.


Awards and grants

2015 ASPIRE Professional Development award
The Perth Convention Bureau’s Professional Development Awards are presented to academics and professional staff from Perth universities and are designed to assist in their personal and professional development with a view of bringing events to Perth.

Events and speaking engagements

Innovation led productivity: how do we get there?
Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA Industrial Relations Conference, 22 April 2015


Professional and community service

Peer reviewer for several journals.

New Mandala‘s Malaysia and Singapore section editor from June 2009 – May 2015.


Journal Articles

Lopez, G, review of Malaysia’s Development Challenges – Graduating from the Middle, Hal Hill, Tham Siew Yean and Ragayah Haji Mat Zin (eds), Institutions and Economies, (6:2) July 2014.

Selected Blog Articles

Lopez, G. review of Sensing Singapore, Devadas Krishnadas, New Mandala, April 2014.

Lopez, G. review of Palace, Political Party and Power – A Story of the Socio-Political Development of Malay Kingship, Kobkua Suwannathat-Pian, New Mandala, September 2011.

Selected Media Articles

Lopez, G., Malaysia struggles to escape the middle-income trap, Asian Currents, June 2014.

Lopez, G., Moving away from the consociational model in Malaysia?, Aliran, January 2014.

Hoffstaedter, G. & Lopez, G., A tale of two coalitions: Malaysia heads to the polls, The Conversation, 3 May, 2013.

Hoffstaedter, G. & Lopez, G., Malaysia at (yet another) crossroads, The Drum, 1 April 2013.

Bosworth, M. & Lopez, G., Global, not Asian, focus is key to growth, Australian Financial Review, 29 November 2012.

Lopez, G. (2012) Malaysia’s next general elections shaping up to be a battle of the coalitions, Asian Currents June/July 2012.

Hill, H. & Lopez, G., ASEAN economies on the slide?, East Asia Forum, 9 May 2009

Book Chapters

Ariff, M. & Lopez, G, ‘The partial reformers: Malaysia’ in Draper, P, Alves, P & Sally, R. (eds) in The Political Economy of Trade Reform in Emerging Markets: Crisis or Opportunity, (Cheltenham, UK; Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar, 2009).

Ariff, M. & Lopez, G. ‘Outward FDI from Southeast Asia: The Malaysian Experience’ in Rajan, R.S, Kumar, R & Virgill, N. (eds) in New Dimensions of Economic Globalization: Surge of Outward Foreign Direct Investment from Asia, (Hackensack, NJ: World Scientific, 2008).

Selected Reports

Contributed background paper on Malaysia for the Centre for Development and Enterprise (2013). Rethinking South Africa’s Labour Market – Lessons from Brazil, India and Malaysia, Centre for Development and Enterprise: Johannesburg.

Bosworth, M., Trewin, R., McCarty, A., Lopez, G. & Drake-Brockman, J. (2011). Services Diagnostic and Needs Assessment Study. ASEAN-Australia Development Cooperation Programme Phase II: Jakarta.

Contributed chapter on Malaysia for Transparency International, Global Corruption Report – Corruption and the Private Sector, 2009, Transparency International: Berlin.

Lopez, G. & Laan, T. (2008). Biofuels at What Cost? Government Support for Biodiesel in Malaysia. International Institute for Sustainable Development: Geneva.

Other Media Work

I occasionally provide commentary on political and economic developments in Malaysia and Singapore. I have also collected most of the articles I’ve written for the media at Thinking Allowed and Aloud.