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A/Prof. Benjamin Isakhan

STAFF PROFILE

Position

Associate Professor of Politics and Policy

Faculty

Faculty of Arts and Education

Department

SHSS Arts & Ed

Campus

Melbourne Burwood Campus

Biography

Benjamin Isakhan is Associate Professor of Politics and Policy Studies at Deakin University, Australia. He is the Founding Director of POLIS, a research network for Political Science and International Relations scholars at Deakin.

Ben is also Adjunct Senior Research Associate, Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa and an Associate of the Sydney Democracy Network at the University of Sydney, Australia.

Ben is the author Democracy in Iraq: History, Politics, Discourse (Routledge, 2016 [2012]) and the editor of 6 books including, most recently, State and Society in Iraq: Citizenship under Occupation, Dictatorship and Democratization (I.B. Tauris, 2017).

Ben has also published many articles in esteemed international journals and given keynote lectures and invited presentations across Iraq, Iraqi-Kurdistan, Lebanon, the UAE, Qatar, Oman, Turkey, Jordan, Tunisia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, Italy, South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia.

Ben has also won various awards and grants, including an Australian Research Council (DECRA) grant for the project 'Measuring the Destruction of Heritage and Spikes of Violence in Iraq' (AUD$403,639, 2012-15) and a grant from the Australian Department of Defence for the project 'Measuring Cultural Property Destruction in Iraq and Syria' (AUD$650,444, 2015-17).

In 2016 Ben received a Highly Commended in the Vice Chancellor's Award for Research Partnerships and received the Faculty Research Award for Industry Collaboration Research. In 2012 Ben was awarded the Vice Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Contribution to Research: Early Career Researcher and in 2009 Ben won the La Trobe University Postdoctoral Research Proposal Award.

Ben has taught undergraduate and postgraduate courses on the Politics, International Relations and History of the Middle East, as well as more broadly in the field of Political Science. He supervises several PhD students, is a member of various professional and academic associations, and is regulalrly interviewed in the media.

Read more on Benjamin's profile

Career highlights

Adjunct and Visiting Research Fellowships:

2016: Visiting Research Scholar, Endangered Archaeology in the Middle East and North Africa project, Universitu of Oxford (UK).

2015 - : Associate, Sydney Democracy Network, University of Sydney, Australia.

2014 - 2017: Adjunct Senior Research Associate, Department of Politics and International Relations, Faculty of Humanities, University of Johannesburg, South Africa.

2014 - 2015: Honorary Research Fellow, Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter (UK).

2013: Visiting Research Fellow, International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies, Newcastle University (UK).

2012: Visiting Research Fellow, Centre for Middle Eastern Studies and the Oriental Institute, University of Chicago (US).

Research interests

  • Middle East Politics and History
  • Heritage Destruction across the Middle East
  • The History of Democracy
  • Iraqi Politics and History
  • Political Science
  • Heritage Studies

Affiliations

Middle East Studies Association (US)
The American Academic Research Institute in Iraq (US and Iraq)
The International Association of Contemporary Iraqi Studies (UK)
The Middle East Institute (US)
The British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (UK)
Australasian Political Science Association (APSA)

Professional activities

Editorial Committee

Journal of Democratic Theory (international peer-reviewed journal)

Awards

Isakhan, B. (2016). Highly Commended: Vice Chancellor's Arads for Research Partnerships. University wide award for the most significant partnershipo between Deakin researchers and external partners. Deakin University.

Isakhan, B. (2016). Faculty Research Award - Industry Collaboration Research. Faculty wide award for best research partnership with external stakeholders. Deakin University.

Isakhan, B. (2012). Vice-Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Contribution to Research: Early Career Researcher. University wide award competition for best ECR contribution to research. Deakin University.

Isakhan, B. (2009). La Trobe University Postdoctoral Research Proposal Award. Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (for Australian Postdoctoral Fellowship submission). La Trobe University.

Projects

Heritage Destruction in Iraq and Syria

Associate Professor Isakhan is the Chief Investigator on a major project documenting Heritage Destruction in Iraq and Syria. This two part project sets out to measure and interpret the heritage destruction which has occurred in Iraq and Syria, following the Iraq War of 2003 and particualrly since the rise of the 'Isalmic State' from 2014.

Publications

Filter by

2017

Layers of religious and political iconoclasm under the Islamic State: symbolic sectarianism and pre-monotheistic iconoclasm

B Isakhan, J Gonzalez Zarandona

(2017), pp. 1-16, International journal of heritage studies, Abingdon, Eng., C1

journal
2016

Heritage under fire: lessons from Iraq for cultural property protection

B Isakhan

(2016), pp. 268-279, A Companion to Heritage Studies, London, Eng., B1

chapter

The failures of neo-liberal state building in Iraq: assessing Australia's post-conflict reconstruction and development Initiatives

A Hassin, B Isakhan

(2016), Vol. 62, pp. 88-100, Australian journal of politics and history, Chichester, Eng., C1

journal

Democracy in Iraq: history, politics, discourse

B Isakhan

(2016), Abingdon, Eng., A1

book

Eurocentrism and the history of democracy

B Isakhan

(2016), Vol. 51, pp. 56-70, Politische vierteljahresschrift, Berlin, Germany, C1

journal
2015

Creating the Iraq cultural property destruction database: calculating a heritage destruction index

B Isakhan

(2015), Vol. 21, pp. 1-21, International journal of heritage studies, Abingdon, England, C1

journal

Succeeding and seceding in Iraq: the case for a Shiite State

B Isakhan

(2015), pp. 139-152, Territorial separatism in global politics: causes, outcomes and resolution, London, Eng., B1

chapter

The complex and contested history of democracy

B Isakhan

(2015), pp. 1-26, The Edinburgh companion to the history of democracy: from pre-history to future possibilities, Edinburgh, Scotland, B1

chapter

Introduction: The Iraq Legacies: Intervention, Occupation, Withdrawal and Beyond

B Isakhan

(2015), pp. 1-18, The Legacy of Iraq: From the 2003 War to the ?Islamic State?, Edinburgh, Scotland, B1

chapter

The De-Baathification of post-2003 Iraq: purging the past for political power

B Isakhan

(2015), pp. 21-35, The legacy of Iraq: From the 2003 War to the ?Islamic State?, Edinburgh, Scotland, B1

chapter

Shattering the Shia: a Maliki political strategy in post-Saddam Iraq

B Isakhan

(2015), pp. 67-81, The legacy of Iraq: from the 2003 War to the ?Islamic State?, Edinburgh, Scotland, B1

chapter

Conclusion: The Iraq legacies and the roots of the 'Islamic State'

B Isakhan

(2015), pp. 223-235, The legacy of Iraq: from the 2003 War to the ?Islamic State?, Edinburgh, Scotland, B1

chapter

Democracy: critiquing a Eurocentric history

B Isakhan

(2015), pp. 1-14, APSA 2015 : Proceedings of the 2015 Australian Political Studies Association Conference, Canberra, A.C.T., E1

conference
2014

Protests and public power in post-Saddam Iraq: the case of the Iraqi federation of oil union

B Isakhan

(2014), pp. 117-128, Informal power in the greater Middle East: hidden geographies, Abingdon, England, B1

chapter

Introduction: Crisis and democracy in the twenty-first century

B Isakhan, S Slaughter

(2014), pp. 1-22, Democracy and crisis: democratizing governance in the twenty-first century, London, England, B1

chapter

Democratising governance after the Arab Revolutions: the people, the Muslim Brotherhood and the governance networks of Egypt

B Isakhan

(2014), pp. 149-165, Democracy and crisis: democratizing governance in the twenty-first century, London, England, B1

chapter

The future of democratic governance

B Isakhan, S Slaughter

(2014), pp. 253-263, Democracy and crisis: democratizing governance in the twenty-first century, London, England, B1

chapter

The politics of Australia's withdrawal from Iraq

B Isakhan

(2014), Vol. 49, pp. 647-661, Australian journal of political science, Melbourne, Vic., C1

journal
2013

Heritage destruction and spikes in violence: the case of Iraq

B Isakhan

(2013), pp. 219-247, Cultural heritage in the crosshairs: protecting cultural property during conflict, Leiden, The Netherlands, B1

chapter

Despots or democrats?: Sistani, Sadr and Shia politics in post-Saddam Iraq

B Isakhan

(2013), pp. 171-192, Islam, Islamist movements and democracy in the Middle East: challenges, opportunities and responses, Delhi, India, B1

chapter

Islam and democracy in Australia

B Isakhan

(2013), pp. 45-53, Education integration challenges: the case of Australian muslims, Melbourne, Vic., B1

chapter
2012

What is so 'primitive' about 'primitive democracy'? Comparing the ancient Middle East and classical Athens

B Isakhan

(2012), pp. 19-34, The secret history of democracy, London, Eng., B1-1

chapter

The streets of Iraq: protests and democracy after Saddam

B Isakhan

(2012), pp. 191-203, The secret history of democracy, London, Eng., B1-1

chapter

Conclusion : democratising the history of democracy

B Isakhan, S Stockwell

(2012), pp. 219-224, The secret history of democracy, London, Eng., B1-1

chapter

Conclusion : the promises and challenges of the Arab revolutions

S Akbarzadeh, F Mansouri, B Isakhan

(2012), pp. 153-159, The Arab revolutions in context : civil society and democracy in a changing Middle East, Melbourne, Vic., B1

chapter

Introduction : people power and the Arab revolutions : towards a new conceptual framework of democracy in the Middle East

B Isakhan, F Mansouri, S Akbarzadeh

(2012), pp. 1-20, The Arab revolutions in context : civil society and democracy in a changing Middle East, Melbourne, Vic., B1

chapter

Democracy in Iraq : history, politics, discourse

B Isakhan

(2012), Burlington, Vt., A1

book

Introduction : The complex and contested history of democracy

B Isakhan

(2012), pp. 1-26, The Edinburgh companion to the history of democracy, Edinburgh, Scotland, B1

chapter

The Assyrians

B Isakhan

(2012), pp. 40-49, The Edinburgh companion to the history of democracy, Edinburgh, Scotland, B1

chapter

Iraq

B Isakhan

(2012), pp. 407-417, The Edinburgh companion to the history of democracy, Edinburgh, Scotland, B1

chapter

Oil unions and democracy in post-Saddam Iraq

B Isakhan

(2012), pp. 718-735, APSA 2012 : The Refereed Proceedings of the 2012 Australian Political Studies Association Conference, Hobart, Tas., E1

conference

Occupation and democracy in re-colonial Iraq

B Isakhan

(2012), pp. 119-143, DEMOCRACY IN IRAQ: HISTORY, POLITICS, DISCOURCE, Farnham, England, B1-1

chapter

Prelude: In the Beginning

B Isakhan

(2012), pp. IX-X, DEMOCRACY IN IRAQ: HISTORY, POLITICS, DISCOURCE, Farnham, Eng, B1-1

chapter

Oppression and resistance in post-colonial Iraq

B Isakhan

(2012), pp. 97-118, DEMOCRACY IN IRAQ: HISTORY, POLITICS, DISCOURCE, Farnham, England, B1-1

chapter

Islam and democracy in Iraq

B Isakhan

(2012), pp. 57-80, DEMOCRACY IN IRAQ: HISTORY, POLITICS, DISCOURCE, Farnham, England, B1-1

chapter

Introduction : Democracy in Iraq

B Isakhan

(2012), pp. 1-13, DEMOCRACY IN IRAQ: HISTORY, POLITICS, DISCOURCE, Farnham, England, B1-1

chapter

Discourses of democracy

B Isakhan

(2012), pp. 15-36, DEMOCRACY IN IRAQ: HISTORY, POLITICS, DISCOURCE, Farnham, England, B1-1

chapter

Democracy in ancient Iraq

Benjamin Isakhan

(2012), pp. 37-56, DEMOCRACY IN IRAQ: HISTORY, POLITICS, DISCOURCE, London, Eng., B1

chapter

Conclusion : Democracy in Iraq

B Isakhan

(2012), pp. 145-152, DEMOCRACY IN IRAQ: HISTORY, POLITICS, DISCOURCE, Farnham, England, B1-1

chapter

Discourses of democracy in colonial Iraq

B Isakhan

(2012), pp. 81-95, DEMOCRACY IN IRAQ: HISTORY, POLITICS, DISCOURCE, Farnham, England, B1-1

chapter

Introduction : democracy and history

B Isakhan, S Stockwell

(2012), pp. 1-16, The secret history of democracy, London, Eng., B1

chapter
2011

Introduction : democracy and history

B Isakhan, S Stockwell

(2011), pp. 1-16, The secret history of democracy, Houndmills, England, B1-1

chapter

Towards understanding what Australia's Muslims really think

H Rane, M Nathie, B Isakhan, M Abdalla

(2011), Vol. 47, pp. 123-143, Journal of sociology, London, England, C1-1

journal

Targeting the symbolic dimension of Baathist Iraq : cultural destruction, historical memory, and national identity

B Isakhan

(2011), Vol. 4, pp. 257-281, Middle East journal of culture and communication, Leiden, The Netherlands, C1

journal
2010

Orientalism and the Australian news media : origins and questions

B Isakhan

(2010), pp. 3-25, Islam and the Australian news media, Melbourne, Vic., B1-1

chapter

Despots or democrats? : Sistani, Sadr and Shia politics in post-Saddam Iraq

B Isakhan

(2010), APSA 2010 : Proceedings of the Australian Political Studies Association Annual Conference : Connected globe : conflicting worlds, Melbourne, Vic., E1-1

conference
2009

The streets of Iraq : protests, the public sphere and democracy

B Isakhan

(2009), pp. 1-18, APSA 2009 : Proceedings of the Australian Political Studies Association annual conference 2009, Brisbane, Qld., E1-1

conference

The early Australian press and the Middle Eastern 'other'

B Isakhan

(2009), pp. 730-746, ANZCA 2009 : Proceedings of the 2009 Australian and New Zealand Communication Association Conference : Communication, creativity and global citizenship, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, E1-1

conference

Targeting the cultural history of Iraq : implications for national identity and democracy

B Isakhan

(2009), ISCH 2009 : Cultures of violence and conflict : Proceedings of the 2009 International Society for Cultural History Conference, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Qld., E1-1

conference

Manufacturing consent in Iraq : interference in the post-Saddam media sector

B Isakhan

(2009), Vol. 3, pp. 7-25, International journal of contemporary Iraqi studies, Bristol, England, C1-1

journal
2008

Democracy building in post-Saddam Iraq : 'historical memory' and 'primitive democracy'

B Isakhan

(2008), pp. 1-18, OCIS 2008 : Proceedings of the Oceanic Conference on International Studies, Brisbane, Qld., E1-1

conference

Mediated hegemony : interference in the post-Saddam Iraqi media sector

B Isakhan

(2008), pp. 1-19, APSA 2008 : Australian Political Studies Association Annual Conference, Brisbane, Qld., E1-1

conference

Oriental despotism and the democratisation of Iraq in The Australian

B Isakhan

(2008), Vol. 16, pp. 1-17, Transformations, Bundaberg, QLD., C1-1

journal

The Post-Saddam Iraqi Media: Reporting the Democratic Developments of 2005

B Isakhan

(2008), Vol. 7, Global Media Journal, C1-1

journal

The post-Saddam Iraqi media : the public sphere and democratisation

B Isakhan

(2008), pp. 1-14, Asian Media Information and Communication (AMIC) Conference, Brisbane, QLD, E1-1

conference
2007

The role of the press in Iraq's long struggle for democratic reform

B Isakhan

(2007), pp. 1-33, OURMedia - NUESTROSMedios VI 2007 : Sustainable futures, roles and challenges for community, alternative and citizens's media in the 21st century : Proceedings of the 2007 International Conference, University of Western Sydney, New South Wales, Sydney, N.S.W., E1-1

conference

Engaging 'primitive democracy' : mideast roots of collective governance

B Isakhan

(2007), Vol. 14, pp. 97-117, Middle East policy, Washington, D.C., C1-1

journal

Media discourse and Iraq's democratisation : reporting the 2005 constitution in the Australian and Middle Eastern print media

B Isakhan

(2007), Vol. 29, pp. 97-114, Australian journalism review, Kelvin Grove, Qld., C1-1

journal
2006

creativity.com : Aladdin's cave or pandora's box?

B Isakhan, J Nelson, P West

(2006), Vol. 9, pp. 1-1, M/C : a journal of media and culture, Brisbane, Qld., C1-1

journal

Constitution making in post-Saddam Iraq : Reporting the Drafting and Ratification of the Iraqi Constitution in the Australian and Middle Eastern print media

B Isakhan

(2006), pp. 1-31, JEA 2006 : Proceedings of the 2006 Journalism Education Association conference, Auckland, New Zealand, E1-1

conference

Re-thinking Middle Eastern democracy : lessons from ancient Mesopotamia

B Isakhan

(2006), pp. 1-16, APSA 2006 : Proceedings of the 2006 Australasian Political Studies Association conference, Newcastle, New South Wales, E1-1

conference

Iraq's December 2005 election : reporting democratisation in the Australian and Middle Eastern print media

B Isakhan

(2006), pp. 1-14, ANZCA 2006 : Empowerment, creativity and innovation : Challenging media and communication in the 21st century, Adelaide, S. Aust., E1-1

conference

Engaging Mesopotamia's 'primitive democracy' : re-thinking the democratisation of the Middle East

B Isakhan

(2006), pp. 1-21, WOCMES-2 2006 : Proceedings of the Second World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies conference, Amman, Jordan, Amman, Jordan, E1-1

conference

Read all about it : the free press, the public sphere and democracy in Iraq

B Isakhan

(2006), Vol. 8, pp. 119-153, Bulletin of the Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies, Amman, Jordan, C1-1

journal
2005

From despotism to democracy : reporting Iraq's January 2005 election in the Australian and Middle Eastern print media

B Isakhan

(2005), pp. 1-22, JEA 2005 : Proceedings of the 2005 Journalism Education Association conference, Gold Coast, Queensland, E1-1

conference

Reporting Iraq's cosmopolitan society in the Australian print media : The case of the Assyrian church bombings

B Isakhan

(2005), pp. 1-16, Sites of Cosmopolitanism Conference, Brisbane, July 6-8 2005, Griffith University : conference papers, Brisbane, Queensland, E1-1

conference

Re-ordering Iraq : minorities and the media in times of disorder

B Isakhan

(2005), Vol. 7, pp. 1-1, M/C : a journal of media and culture, Brisbane, Qld., C1-1

journal

Funded Projects at Deakin

Australian Competitive Grants

Measuring the Destruction of Heritage and Spikes of Violence in Iraq

A/Prof Benjamin Isakhan

ARC DECRA - Discovery Early Career Researcher Award

  • 2014: $138,953
  • 2013: $138,147
  • 2012: $126,539

Other Public Sector Funding

Measuring Cultural Property Destruction in Iraq and Syria

A/Prof Benjamin Isakhan

  • 2017: $345,454
  • 2016: $231,818
  • 2015: $100,000

Supervisions

Principal Supervisor
2017

Diane Christine Siebrandt

Thesis entitled: Military Occupation of Heritage Sites: Orientalism, Archaeology and the Iraq War

Doctor of Philosophy, School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Associate Supervisor
2016

Elizabeth Effeney

Thesis entitled: Democratically Grounded Cosmopolitanism: Iraqi Refugees in Australia Since 2003

Doctor of Philosophy, School of Humanities and Social Sciences

2015

Ahmed Hassin

Thesis entitled: Roles of Civil Society in Nation-Building and Post-conflict Reconstruction in Iraq

Doctor of Philosophy, School of Humanities and Social Sciences