Dr. Benjamin Habib is a Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia. Ben is an internationally published scholar with a current research interest in intersections between grassroots sustainability and regeneration projects, environmental movements and international climate politics. Previously he as researched the political economy of North Korea’s nuclear program, East Asian security, and international politics of climate change.
Ben is a board member of OASES Graduate School in Melbourne and is an Asia Literacy Ambassador for the Asia Education Foundation. He has worked previously for Flinders University, the University of South Australia, the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship, and has spent time teaching English in Dandong, China. In June 2014, Ben completed a Permaculture Design Course (PDC) at CERES Community Environment Park in Melbourne and is now a contributing facilitator within the CERES PDC program, focusing on the application of permaculture design principles to socio-economic systems. Between 2010 and 2012, he created, edited and contributed the blog Our Voice: Politics Albury-Wodonga.
Ben completed his PhD candidature at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia in 2011, after graduating with a B. Arts (Hons) from Flinders University and a B. Arts from the University of South Australia. He has also studied at Keimyung University in Daegu, South Korea.
About the Blog:
I strongly believe that one of my roles as an academic is to add value to the community in which one lives. Blogging is an excellent vehicle for the academic to explore research ideas, solicit critical feedback and produce feeder material for academic work. It provides a forum for making peer-reviewed publications available to a wider audience beyond academia. It is a research and upskilling device that helps to inform my teaching activities, in addition to exploring topics of intellectual interest beyond my research and teaching niche.
As a teaching tool, this blog provides experiential learning opportunities for motivated students as an outlet for publication of original opinion pieces and outstanding academic course work, as well as an avenue for training in the editorial process. Aside from nurturing the professional skills of participating students, the blog aims to nurture the intellectual and cultural consciousness of local youth by encouraging them to take pride in being intelligent and making a positive contribution to public affairs.
The blog documents my community engagement activities and includes links to further information, which may be of especial value to student and non-academic readers who are less familiar with the reliable information sources that members of the academic community take for granted. An academic should encourage people outside of academe and the policy world to actively engage in the marketplace of ideas and policy debates. This is important, because a politically engaged citizenry is necessary for a robust and healthy democracy.