Personal profile

Research interests

Comparative Judicial Politics and Constitutionalism
Governance and Public Sector Reform
Public Finance in Emerging Markets
Research Design and Methodology
Regional Expertise: Southeast Asia; sub-Saharan Africa


Björn Dressel is an Associate Professor, and Director of Research and Impact, at the Crawford School of Public Policy. His research is concerned with issues of comparative constitutionalism, judicial politics and governance and public sector reform in Asia. He received his Ph.D. in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, where he also received his M.A. in the same field. In addition, Dr. Dressel holds a law degree from the University of Trier School of Law in Germany, where he specialized in International Law, European Union Law and Constitutional Law. He is the recipient of Australian Research Council’s Discovery Early Career Research Award (2013-2019) for his work on judicial politics in Southeast Asia.

Over his academic career, Dr. Dressel has been as visiting scholar at the Asia Foundation (Manila) in the Philippines, the Centre for Excellence for International Courts (iCourts) in Denmark, the Centre for Asian and Pacific Studies (Seikei University) in Japan and the Institute for Security and International Studies (ISIS) in Thailand, the Institute of Economic Development, Growth & Equity in South Africa, and the Institute for Administration of Justice, College of Law, University of the  Philippines. He has also been a consultant for the World Bank, Brookings and Chemonics International, and a Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) Professorial Lecturer in International Development, as well as an Associate Lecturer at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.

Dr. Dressel continues to provide advisory services for international development agencies and governments in areas of public financial management, governance and rule of law reform. He also engages as an associate editor for the Asia & Pacific Policy Studies Journal.

His work is published in a range of international journals, including Governance; Administration & Society; International Political Science Review, and Pacific Review – many are available at his Academia and ResearchGate websites. He is also the editor of The Judicialization of Politics in Asia (Routledge, 2012) as well as co-editor of From Aquino II to Duterte (2010-2018). Change, Continuity – and Rupture (ISEAS 2019) and Politics and Constitutions in Southeast Asia (Routledge, 2016). You can follow him on Twitter @BjoernDressel.


ANU POGO8500 - Evidence and Analysis in Public Policy

POGO 8500 is a graduate level foundational introduction to evidence and analysis in publicpolicy. It responds to the need of public sector managers to use evidence more effectively in making decisions about, particularly, policy. It aims to enable decision makers to improve their ability to produce and/ or consume evidence in gathering, analysis, presentation, and interpretation processes. The course thus assists students to become more critical users of information and evidence, and to develop skills in commissioning research and analysis to inform decision-making.


ANU POGO9096: Research Design for Political Research

POGO 9096 is a graduate-level introduction to empirical research in public policy. Designed for PhD students who are beginning their dissertation projects, the aim of the course is to give students the tools to pose focused research questions, develop answers with theoretical frameworks, formulate and refine concepts, construct valid and reliable measures, and finally to gather data. While other methodology courses teach students how to analyse data, POGO 9096 emphasizes the process of developing research questions and gathering high quality data for answering them. Particular attention is directed to problems, and strategies related to “small-n” qualitative research, for the most part setting aside the techniques of experimental, quasi-experimental as well as correlational analysis.


Current student projects

Fakhridho Susilo, PhD Primary Supervisor, Crawford School of Public Policy (2017-)

Collete Raison, PhD Committee Chair, Crawford School of Public Policy (2019-)

Jasmin Hassen, PhD Committee Member, Crawford School of Public Policy (2019-)

Cerdikwan Cerdikwan, PhD Committee Member, Crawford School of Public Policy (2018-)

Past student projects

Stephen Norman, PhD Primary Supervisor (Political Settlements and Growth-Enhancing Institutions: A comparative historical analysis of the horticulture export sector in Kenya and Tanzania), 2020


Knowledge Sector Initiative (KSI), Indonesia (2015-2016)                 

The World Bank, PREM (East Asia and Pacific), Washington DC (2009-2012)

The World Bank, PREM (Public Sector Governance), Washington DC (2008)

Brookings Institution, Transparency and Accountability Project (TAP), Washington DC (2007)

The World Bank, Public Sector Group (East Central Asia), Washington, DC (2004)

Chemonics International Inc., Washington, DC (2001-2002)




Ph.D. (Johns Hopkins University); LLB

Education/Academic qualification

Political Science, PhD, Johns Hopkins University

Award Date: 22 May 2008

International Relations, Master, Johns Hopkins University

Award Date: 24 May 2001

Law, Bachelor, Trier University of Applied Sciences

Award Date: 1 May 1999

Expertise Areas

  • Government and Politics of Asia and the Pacific
  • Legal Institutions (incl. Courts and Justice Systems)
  • Economic Development Policy
  • Comparative Government and Politics


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