Benjamin Zala

Dr Benjamin Zala


Research activity per year

Personal profile


Ben is a Research Fellow in the Department of International Relations. His work focuses on theoretical and historical approaches to the politics of the great powers and the management of nuclear weapons.

His work has been published in journals such as Review of International Studies, Pacific Review, Cooperation and Conflict, Journal of Global Security Studies, Third World Quarterly, The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and The Nonproliferation Review. He has also published in media outlets and blogs such as The Straits Times, the Sydney Morning Herald, The Interpreter, and East Asia Forum.

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 from the University of Birmingham and is a Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy. He is on the editorial board of the journal, Global Change, Peace & Security. In 2018-2019 Ben was a Stanton Junior Faculty Nuclear Security Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs in the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.   

Research interests

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).

Researcher's projects

  • Polarity Analysis and Collective Perceptions of Power
  • Strategic Conventional Weapons and the Global Nuclear Balance
  • Diplomatic and Strategic Implications of the Rise of New Centres of Power


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

External positions

Honorary Fellow, University of Leicester

1 Nov 202031 Jul 2025

Stanton Nuclear Security Junior Faculty Fellow, Harvard University

1 Aug 201830 Jun 2019

Expertise Areas

  • Defence Studies
  • International Relations


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