Benjamin Day

Dr Benjamin Day

Associate Lecturer


BEcon/BA (UQ), MIS (UQ), PhD (ANU)

Contact details
+61 2 6125 9033
Room: 2.23
Building: Hedley Bull Building
Dr Benjamin Day

Ben is Associate Lecturer in the Department of International Relations.

Ben’s research interests encompass foreign policy analysis and international development. His doctoral dissertation, ‘Explaining Aid Spending since the Global Financial Crisis: A Comparative Analysis of Aid Policy Decision-Making’, examined aid policy change from a decision-making perspective by recreating a series of recent aid policy decision-making episodes in order to uncover the factors that are most salient for political decision-makers. The project sought to understand why Australia, the Netherlands, and the UK made divergent decisions about aid spending in the aftermath of the global financial crisis. In particular, this research sought to explain why Australia and the Netherlands reneged on their aid spending promises while the UK decided to keep its promise to meet the internationally agreed 0.7% target, becoming the first G7 country to do so.

Prior to commencing his doctoral research at ANU, Ben spent a decade working in the international development sector. He has consulted for a variety of development agencies and organisations (including the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Asian Development Bank) in the fields of program design, health systems strengthening, strategic planning, health policy development, monitoring and evaluation, human resource development, research and organisational development. Between 2007 and 2010, Ben worked in Australian government-funded roles in the PNG National Department of Health supporting health sector reform.

Beyond foreign policy analysis and international development, Ben’s other research interests include qualitative research methodology, foreign policy decision-making, and the role of policy entrepreneurs in global politics.

Ben is also a research associate at the ANU’s Development Policy centre and contributes to the Development Policy Centre’s blog.


Ben teaches the graduate courses Writing International Relations INTR8065/ INTR8069 (Semester 1, 2019) and Foreign Policy Analysis INTR8068 (Semester 2, 2019).

Ben Day heads to King's College as an Australian National Fellow

The Menzies Australia Institute welcomes fellows, Professor Neil Gunningham, Dr Ben Day and Dr Michael Cohen from Australian National University (ANU).

Paying attention to aid

“The Australian National University recognises the start date of my doctoral studies as 28 March 2013.

Image courtesy of Flickr, creative commons, Trust for Africas Orphans

Ideas for Australia: Sold short – Australia’s aid cuts have foreign policy consequences

Given the government’s framing of Australia’s aid program as an investment, it is fair to evaluate its aid spending decisions on those terms.

Image courtesy of Flickr, creative commons, CARE Australia/Laura Hill

The Sustainable Development Goals: Team bumblebee or team chimera?

The sun is setting rapidly on the MDG era. Only months away, at the end of September, world leaders will assemble at the United Nations in New York to agree on a shiny new set of goals to guide global development efforts to 2030.

Image: Singapore-GP-Image-by-chensiyuan

The Singapore Grand Prix and soft power

Formula One is about serious speed, cutting-edge engineering and transformative technology. But mostly it’s about money. Like no other sport, Formula One (F1) follows the money. That’s why the F1 merry-go-round stops in Singapore this weekend.

Image courtesy of Flickr, creative commons, Eva Rinaldi

Lost in transmission: The Australia Network, soft power and diplomacy

What should be the role of the Australia Network? Should it exist at all? Just how important is it? Is it the right way for us to spread our message? And could the funds be spent better?

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