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)

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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 is also a student of politics and public adminitsration 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

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

‘From Ceasefire to Dialogue: The Problem of “All-Inclusiveness in Myanmar’s Stalled Peace Process’ (with Lwin Cho Latt, Marlar Aung and Khin Sanda Myint) In Justine Chambers, Gerard McCarthy, Nicholas Farrelly and Chit Win (eds) Myanmar Transformed. Singapore: ISEAS Press 2018.

‘The Politics of Tibetan Identity in the People’s Republic of China.’ In Weiping Wu and Mark Frazier (eds) The Sage Handbook of Contemporary China. London: Sage Publications 2018.

‘Increasing Women’s Parliamentary Representation in Asia and the Pacific: The Indonesian Experience.’ Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies 4 (1) January 2017. 38-49.

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. He is also developing a Policy Field School that will bring together graduate students from China and Australia to research regional policy and development challenges in China.

In 2019 Ben is convenor of the in-country study program “The Political Economy of Myanmar” at the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs.

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:  26 January 2020/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team