Ben Hillman's picture

Ben Hillman

Director, Policy and Governance Program


PhD in Politics and International Relations (ANU) BA Hons. Asian and International Studies (Griffith) BA Political Science and Asian Studies (Murdoch)

Contact details

Ben Hillman is a political scientist, public policy researcher and advisor. His research examines policies and mechanisms for promoting political inclusion and safeguarding minority rights. Ben also researches politics and public administration in the People’s Republic of China.

Ben has spent more than 10 years living and working in China and Indonesia and is author or editor of five books on public policy and governance in those countries (see publications tab for more info). He also has experience working in Japan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Lebanon, Nicaragua and Ukraine. Ben has worked as an advisor to the United Nations and to national governments on governance reform, political inclusion, and conflict.

Ben is Director of the Policy and Governance Program at Crawford, Convenor of the Indigenous Policy Specialisation in the Master of Public Policy, Convenor of Public Policy and Professional Internships, Convenor of the Policy Field School China, and Editor at East Asia Forum.

Recent publications

‘Law, Order and Social Control in Xi’s China.’ Issues and Studies (forthcoming 2020)

‘Tibetans in China: From Conflict to Protest.’ In Michael Weiner (ed.) Race and Ethnicty in Asia. London: Routledge (forthcoming 2021)

‘Quotas and Ballots: The Impact of Positive Action Policies on Women’s Representation in Indonesia.’ Asia and Pacific Policy Studies 7 (2) 158-170. March 2020.

‘Xi Jinping’s War on Black and Evil’ in Jane Golley, Linda Jaivin and Ben Hillman eds. Chinese Dreams: China Story Yearbook 2019. Canberra: ANU Press 2020.

‘Ethnic Conflict and Ethnic Protest in Tibet’ in Michael Weiner (ed.) Race and Ethnicty in Asia. London: Routledge. Forthcoming 2020.

‘Dreaming the Tibetan City’ (with James Leibold and Gerald Roche) in Jane Golley, Linda Jaivin and Ben Hillman eds. Chinese Dreams: China Story Yearbook 2019 Canberra: ANU Press 2020.

Chinese Dreams: China Story Yearbook 2019 (with Jane Golley, Linda Jaivin and Sharon Strange eds.) Canberra: ANU Press 2020.

‘The State Advances, The Private Sector Retreats’ in Jane Golley, Linda Jaivin and Paul Farrelly (eds.) Power: China Story Yearbook Canberra: ANU Press 2019.

Current projects

  • Bureaucratic Reform in the People’s Republic of China
  • Urbanization Policy and Ethnic Governance in China
  • Political parties and women’s representation in Indonesia

Other professional activities and associations

  • Editor, East Asia Forum
  • Assessor, Australian Research Council
  • Assessor, Indonesia Science Fund
  • Executive Committee Member, Australian Centre on China in the World
  • Editorial Board Member, The China Journal
  • Academic Referee, American Journal of Political Science, Review of International Political Economy, Policy and Society, *The China Journal, China Quarterly, Asian Studies Review, East Asian History, Journal of Asian Studies, Harvard University Press, University of Washington Press
  • Member, American Political Science Association
  • Member, International Political Science Association

Research interests

  • Chinese politics and public policy
  • Policies and mechanisms for political inclusion
  • Informal institutions in politics and public policy making
  • Ethnic politics and ethnic conflict
  • Governing diversity in multi-ethnic states
  • Political change in Asia
  • Democracy and democratisation


Ben is convenor of Crawford’s Public Policy and Professional Internship and the Applied Policy Project, which brings groups of students together to work on real-world problems for public sector organizations.

Ben is convenor of Policy Field School (China), conducted annually in partnership each year with Yunnan University. During the field school graduate students from ANU and YNU conduct joint researcg on regional policy and development challenges.

He supervises PhD students working on Chinese politics and public policy, ethnic policies, the governance of diversity, political institutions, political economy, patronage and corruption, and minority rights.

Updated:  23 January 2021/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team