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Prof Benjamin Isakhan

STAFF PROFILE

Position

Professor, International Politics

Faculty

Faculty of Arts and Education

Department

SHSS Arts & Education

Campus

Melbourne Burwood Campus

Biography

Benjamin Isakhan is Professor of International Politics and Founding Director of POLIS, a research network for Political Science and International Relations scholars in the Alfred Deakin Institute at Deakin University, Australia.

Ben is also Adjunct Senior Research Associate, Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa and Consulting Scholar at the Penn Cultural Heritage Centre at the University of Pennsylvania, US.

Ben has also held Visiting Research Fellowships at Stanford University, Oxford University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Exeter, University of Chicago, and Newcastle University.

Previously, Ben has held Postdoctoral Research Fellowships with the National Centre of Excellence for Islamic Studies (Griffith University), the Centre for Dialogue (La Trobe University) and the Alfred Deakin Institute (Deakin University).

Ben is the author of Democracy in Iraq: History, Politics, Discourse (Routledge, 2016 [2012]) and the editor of 6 books including, The Secret History of Democracy (Palgrave, 2011 - translated into Arabic and Japanese), The Legacy of Iraq: From the 2003 War to the Islamic State (Edinburgh University Press, 2015), and State and Society in Iraq: Citizenship under Occupation, Dictatorship and Democratization (I.B. Tauris, 2017).

Ben has also published articles in world-leading journals in the fields of Middle East studies, Political Science and Heritage Studies, such as: The International Journal of Press/Politics, The Journal of Social Archaeology, Third World Quarterly, The Middle East Journal, Terrorism and Political Violence, Politics, British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, Policy Studies, Middle East Policy, International Journal of Heritage Studies, among several others.

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' (AU$403,639, 2012-15), a grant from the Australian Department of Defence for the project 'Measuring Cultural Property Destruction in Iraq and Syria' (AU$650,444, 2015-17) and an ARC Discovery project 'After Islamic State: Local-State-Global Heritage Dynamics in Syria and Iraq' (AU$463,940; 2020-23).

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.

For more details on Ben's work and a list of publications, see his Academia site, Google Scholar and Twitter.

Read more on Benjamin's profile

Career highlights

Adjunct and Visiting Research Fellowships:

2019: Distinguished Visiting Research Fellow, Stanford Archaeology Centre, Stanford University (US).

2017 - : Consulting Scholar, Penn Cultural Heritage Centre, University of Pennsylvania (US).

2017: Visiting Research Fellow, Damage to Syrian and Iraqi Heritage Project, Penn Cultural Heritage Centre, University of Pennsylvania (US).

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 - : 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)

Awards

2020: Australia's Research Field Leader in Middle East and Islamic Studies. The Australian's 'Research 2020 Special Report'.

2020: Special Commendation: Academic Leadership in Political Science Award. The Australian Political Studies Association.

2018: Faculty Research Award – Mid-Career Researcher. Faculty wide award for best mid-career researcher. Deakin University.

2016: Highly Commended: Vice Chancellor's Awards for Research Partnerships. University wide award for the most significant partnership between Deakin researchers and external partners. Deakin University.

2016: Faculty Research Award - Industry Collaboration Research. Faculty wide award for best research partnership with external stakeholders. Deakin University.

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.

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

Projects

Throughout his career, Ben has also won various awards and national competitive grants, including receiving more that AU$2million in research funding. He has served as Chief Investigator on the following projects:

Isakhan, B. (2012-2015). Measuring the Destruction of Heritage and Spikes of Violence in Iraq. Australian Research Council. Discovery Early Career Researcher Award. Three year fully-funded fellowship. AU$403,639.

Isakhan, B. (2015-17). Measuring Cultural Property Destruction in Iraq and Syria. The Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation (AGO), Department of Defence, Australian Government. AU$677,272.

Isakhan, B. & Meskell, M. (2020-2023). After Islamic State: Local-State-Global Heritage Dynamics in Syria and Iraq. Australian Research Council. Discovery Project. Four year funded research project. AU$463,940.

Publications

No publications found

Funded Projects at Deakin

Australian Competitive Grants

Measuring the Destruction of Heritage and Spikes of Violence in Iraq

Prof Benjamin Isakhan

ARC DECRA - Discovery Early Career Researcher Award

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

After Islamic State: Local-State-Global Heritage Dynamics in Syria and Iraq

Prof Benjamin Isakhan, Prof Lynn Meskell

ARC - Discovery Projects

  • 2021: $21,542
  • 2020: $163,837

Other Public Sector Funding

Measuring Cultural Property Destruction in Iraq and Syria

Prof Benjamin Isakhan

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

Supervisions

Principal Supervisor
2020

Peter Edward Mulherin

Thesis entitled: Information and Constraint: Democracy, Media, and Political Debates on Fighting the Islamic State

Doctor of Philosophy, School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Sofya Shahab

Thesis entitled: Weaponising Affect: The turbulent displacements of heritage destruction in Iraq and Syria

Doctor of Philosophy, School of Humanities and Social Sciences

2019

Sayed Fadlullah Fadel

Thesis entitled: The Military and Egypt's Failed Democratisation: A Qualitative Content Analysis of Media Coverage

Doctor of Philosophy, School of Humanities and Social Sciences

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
2019

Tezcan Gumus

Thesis entitled: Turkey's failure to consolidate democracy and the role of political leaders

Doctor of Philosophy, School of Humanities and Social Sciences

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