Ben is a Research Fellow in the Department of International Relations whose work focuses on the politics of the great powers, nuclear weapons, and International Relations theory. He has published on issues of global order, security in the Asia-Pacific region, and nuclear weapons in journals such as Review of International Studies, Third World Quarterly, Pacific Review, Cooperation and Conflict, The Nonproliferation Review, and the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. He is also a regular contributor to national and international media on issues of foreign policy, and has contributed evidence to a number of Select Committee inquiries in the UK on issues of global security. In 2018-2019, Ben took up a 10-month Stanton Nuclear Security Junior Faculty fellowship in the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University. Ben is also an advisor to the Oxford Research Group’s Sustainable Security Programme.
Before joining ANU in 2016, Ben worked in the UK at the University of Leicester, the Oxford Research Group, and Chatham House. He received his PhD in 2013 from the University of Birmingham, UK. He has previously taught courses on IR theory, rising powers, foreign policy analysis, and strategic studies.
Ben’s research interests include global order and polarity analysis; historical great power diplomacy; strategic relations in the Asia-Pacific; rising powers; nuclear arms control and disarmament; strategic conventional weapons; IR theory (especially the English School and realism).
Watch Ben discuss his work on Great Power politics.
Ben teaches the undergraduate course Nuclear Politics in Asia: Challenges and Opportunities INTR2024 (Semester 2, 2019) and the graduate course The Evolution of the International System INTR8046 (Semester 2, 2019).
Taking up a year-long research fellowship at Harvard University in August, Dr Ben Zala will be looking for cracks in US nuclear deterrence strategies.
While much of the attention on the Asian nuclear order is rightly focused on the Korean peninsula, Pyongyang’s increasingly credible nuclear weapons program is only the tip of the iceberg.
North Korea’s test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) last week has many concerned that the crisis on the Korean Peninsula is entering a new and dangerous phase.
As the world reacts to North Korea’s ICBM test, our IR academics have been adding their views to the global media coverage.
In the course of the last three weeks, we have probably witnessed the end of the defining feature of the post-Cold War era: unrivaled American power.
Dr Benjamin Zala speaks to Beverley O’Connor from the ABC about growing tensions at the G20 summit in China.