Benjamin Zala

Dr Benjamin Zala

Research Fellow, Departmental Director of HDR


BIR (Hons) (La Trobe), PhD (Birmingham)

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Room: 2.19
Building: Hedley Bull Building
Benjamin Zala

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 graduate course Global Security INTR8032 (Semester 2, 2020), and the undergraduate course Politics of Nuclear Weapons STST2124 (Semester 2, 2020).

Australia 360

Australia 360 – exploring the big issues that confront us

Young leaders and professionals gathered with leading researchers, thinkers and practitioners in the majestic Gandel Hall at the National Gallery of Australia on Wed 21 August to take a closer look

Nuclear deterrence

Nuclear Deterrence at Risk

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.

Photo by US Missile Defense Agency

Time for a shield wall?

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.

Image: Flickr North Korea Missile Test adr1682305408 Thanh

IR academics comment on North Korea's ICBM test

As the world reacts to North Korea’s ICBM test, our IR academics have been adding their views to the global media coverage.

Image: Courtesy Flickr Creative Commons Marines Memorial Day Tyler Bolken

What North Korea and Syria tell us about US primacy: It's over

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.

Benjamin Zala

China-US tensions at G20 summit

Dr Benjamin Zala speaks to Beverley O’Connor from the ABC about growing tensions at the G20 summit in China.


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