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.

Reports
Submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Australia’s Response to the Coup in Myanmar
The following Joint Submission to the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia was made by the Lowy Institute’s Ben Bland and Hervé Lemahieu on Australia’s response to the coup…
UK’s Indo-Pacific tilt – not just for the good times
UK’s Indo-Pacific tilt – not just for the good times
Britain’s renewed enthusiasm in Southeast Asia means, among other tasks, negotiating the idiosyncrasies of ASEAN.
Building stronger Australia-Indonesia ties
Building stronger Australia-Indonesia ties
The latest Lowy Poll shows the gaps in public understanding that bedevils the goal of closer bilateral relations.
Podcasts
Lowy Institute Conversations: Elizabeth Becker on women and war reporting in Vietnam
In this episode of Lowy Institute Conversations, Ben Bland, the Director of the Institute’s Southeast Asia Program, talks with author Elizabeth Becker to discuss the…
Indonesia raises ASEAN’s bar on Myanmar
Indonesia raises ASEAN’s bar on Myanmar
President Joko Widodo had nothing to gain domestically in calling a special summit. But in not failing, he succeeded.
Lowy Institute Conversations: Nathan Law on exile, China and the struggle for democracy in Hong Kong
Podcasts
Lowy Institute Conversations: Nathan Law on exile, China and the struggle for democracy in Hong Kong
In this episode of Lowy Institute Conversations, Director of the Southeast Asia Program Ben Bland sits down with Nathan Law to discuss exile, China’s repressive policies and the…
Commentary
Jokowi’s contradictions and the struggle to remake Indonesia
Originally published in The Jakarta Post.
Commentary
All risk, few options in Myanmar
The coup in Myanmar will weaken ASEAN just when outsiders want it to look solid in an era of big-power competition. Originally published in the Australian Financial Review.
Top