Ben Bland

Director, Southeast Asia Program
Areas of expertise

Southeast Asian politics and foreign policy; South China Sea; regional economic trends; China-ASEAN relations; Indonesia; Malaysia; Vietnam; Hong Kong

Ben Bland
Biography
Publications
News and media

Ben Bland is a former Director of the Southeast Asia Program at the Lowy Institute. He is the author of Man of Contradictions: Joko Widodo and the Struggle to Remake Indonesia (Penguin Random House, 2020), the first English language political biography of Indonesia’s president, and Generation HK: Seeking Identity in China’s Shadow (Penguin Random House, 2017).

At the Lowy Institute, he also wrote analysis papers examining the state of Indonesian democracy and the potential for the Australia-India-Indonesia trilateral relationship, among other research projects.

Ben regularly writes opinion pieces for and provides expert comment to a wide range of international media organisations, including Bloomberg, Foreign Policy, the New York TimesNikkei Asia and Reuters.

Before joining the Lowy Institute, Ben was an award-winning foreign correspondent for the Financial Times, with postings in Jakarta, Hanoi and Hong Kong and experience reporting across China and Southeast Asia over the previous decade. He has an MA in Southeast Asian Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London and an undergraduate degree in History from the University of Cambridge.

Ben’s position was supported by the Lowy Institute’s Engaging Asia Project, which was established with the financial support of the Australian Government.

Does Southeast Asia need a new development model?
Interactives
Does Southeast Asia need a new development model?
A Lowy Institute debate, with contributions from leading Southeast Asian experts.
Indonesia Poll 2021 - Charting their own course
Polling
Indonesia Poll 2021 - Charting their own course
The Indonesia Poll 2021 — Charting their own course, conducted a decade after the Lowy Institute’s last poll in the country, is based on fieldwork carried out in December…
Myanmar question is forcing ASEAN to remake itself
Commentary
Myanmar question is forcing ASEAN to remake itself
Many fear that overt displays of disharmony will do long-term damage. Originally published in Nikkei Asia.
Reports
Put Southeast Asia at the centre of the UK’s Indo-Pacific Tilt
Written evidence by Ben Bland, Director of the Southeast Asia Program at the Lowy Institute, was submitted to the United Kingdom Parliament's Foreign Affairs…
Commentary
More future than past in UK connection
The comfort blanket of shared history obscures the fact that Britain and Australia have many complementary assets to offer in their relations with the rest of the Indo-Pacific…
From Brentford to the world: The Interpreter’s 2021 favourites
From Brentford to the world: The Interpreter’s 2021 favourites
Watching his hometown team take on the English Premier League after a seven-decade hiatus was worth the wait.
ASEAN muddles through on Myanmar
ASEAN muddles through on Myanmar
An interesting regional precedent is set by the decision to stop the junta leader attending upcoming summit meetings.
Beyond Fortress Australia
Interactives
Beyond Fortress Australia
The reality of living in a pandemic has dawned on Australia. Covid cases at the time of writing are high and still climbing. The virus is here to stay. Equally clear is that ring…
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