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Benjamin Herscovitch

Research Fellow, Foreign Policy Program

herscovitch-benjaminBefore joining CIS, Benjamin was a Desk Officer at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, where he served on the Pakistan desk and worked on the department’s public diplomacy programs. He has a PhD from The University of Sydney, where his academic research focused on liberalism and federalism.

Benjamin, who is now based in Beijing, is conducting research on China-Australia relations, international development, Asia literacy, social mobility and multiculturalism. 

 

Click here to see the events Ben has spoken at recently.

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Publications by Author

  1. Preserving Peace as China Rises II: Preparing for a Post-American Asian Order

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 01 Sep 2014 | Foreign Policy Analysis

    With US leadership unable to guarantee peace and security in the Indo-Pacific this century, the region will need to transition... Read More...

  2. Budget 2014-15: Fiscal responsibility or savage cuts?

    Alexander Philipatos, Benjamin Herscovitch, Helen Andrews, Jennifer Buckingham, Matthew Taylor, Robert Carling, Simon Cowan, Stephen Kirchner, Steven Schwartz, Trisha Jha | 16 May 2014 | Special Publications

    The CIS analyses the Abbott government’s crucial first budget, including significant changes in the key policy areas of... Read More...

  3. Preserving Peace as China Rises I

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 13 Mar 2014 | Foreign Policy Analysis

    Inventive foreign policy that can simultaneously reassure the Indo-Pacific’s established powers and accommodate Chinese... Read More...

  4. Submission to the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 06 Feb 2014 | Submissions

    Submission to the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee

  5. REVIEW ESSAY: The Iron Hand in China’s Velvet Glove

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 29 Nov 2013 | POLICY Magazine

    Party Time: Who Runs China and How By Rowan Callick

  6. Accountable Authoritarianism: Why China’s Democratic Deficit Will Last

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 31 Oct 2013 | Foreign Policy Analysis

    The Chinese Communist Party’s evolving model of ‘accountable authoritarianism’ is set to prove that prosperity need... Read More...

  7. Submission to the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 01 Aug 2013 | Submissions

    Submission to the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committe.

  8. A Fair Go: Fact or Fiction?

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 09 May 2013 | Policy Monographs

    The Australian ideal of a fair go is fact rather than fiction. By offering all individuals the opportunity to capitalise... Read More...

  9. REVIEW ESSAY: A Little Knowledge Makes a Poor China Choice

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 25 Feb 2013 | POLICY Magazine

    The China Choice: Why America Should Share PowerBy High White

  10. Australia and the Asian Ascendancy: Why Upskilling is Not Necessary to Reap the Rewards

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 19 Feb 2013 | Issue Analysis

    Government programs to upskill the Australian workforce for the Asian Century are a solution to a non-problem. With more... Read More...

  11. After the Riot: the Meaning for Multicultural Australia

    Benjamin Herscovitch, Jeremy Sammut, Peter Kurti | 11 Oct 2012 | Issue Analysis

    The riot on 15 September in the Sydney CBD by Muslim protestors has raised questions about the health of Australian multiculturalism.... Read More...

  12. BOOK REVIEW: The World America Made

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 22 Sep 2012 | POLICY Magazine

    The World America MadeBy Robert KaganReviewed by Benjamin Herscovitch

  13. Australia's Asia Literacy Non-Problem

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 05 Sep 2012 | Issue Analysis

    New large-scale Asia literacy programs are not necessary for Australia to prosper in the Asian Century. There are approximately... Read More...

  14. FEATURE: Liberal Values and the End of History

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 07 Feb 2012 | POLICY Magazine

    The Arab Spring’s call for the institutionalisation of liberal values is reason to pause and reconsider Francis Fukuyama’s... Read More...

  15. FEATURE: Democratic Accountability and the Australian Federal System of Government

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 22 Mar 2010 | POLICY Magazine

    With better design, federalism can still bring government closer to voters.

Opinion & Commentary by Author

  1. How to counterbalance China's swelling military power

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 09 Sep 2014 | Business Spectator

    At the peak of American power in the immediate post-Cold War period, then-US President George H.W. Bush declared the birth... Read More

  2. Hard-headed realism needed in the South China Sea

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 13 Aug 2014 | Business Spectator

    Hopes of resolving the South China Sea’s bitter territorial disputes have once again proven illusory.

  3. Beijing sinks South China Sea code of conduct

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 21 Jul 2014 | China Spectator

    In the South China Sea, Beijing still refuses to accept the rules of conduct, preferring to bully its way to control of disputed... Read More

  4. Beijing’s real international ambitions

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 11 Jun 2014 | China Spectator

    Beijing will continue to violently revolt against Asia’s territorial status quo.

  5. China's Leninist impulses hold the country back

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 03 Jun 2014 | ABC The Drum

    Each year the CCP summarily incarcerates and places under house arrest activists, journalists and academics it worries will... Read More

  6. The real threat to China’s security is internal

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 12 May 2014 | China Spectator

    The CCP is failing to rise to the challenge of maintaining social stability and internal order among diverse ethnic minority... Read More

  7. China's rise is waking up the neighbours

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 03 Apr 2014 | China Spectator

    Worryingly for Beijing, key Asian powers are banding together in a bid to contain China’s territorial and strategic ambitions.

  8. US military might ensures Beijing's bark is worse than its bite

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 17 Mar 2014 | On Line Opinion

    Washington should continue to use its security presence in the Western Pacific to caution against and undercut Chinese attempts... Read More

  9. Washington should not give ground in Asia

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 13 Mar 2014 | China Spectator

    Will a weary Washington soon be forced to concede regional leadership to a bullish Beijing?

  10. Australia's overseas aid should focus on domestic reforms

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 27 Nov 2013 | ON LINE Opinion

    Thestrategic goals guiding Australia's aid program are admirable but exclude the most powerful tool for fuelling economic... Read More

  11. China’s adaptive authoritarianism is here to stay

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 18 Nov 2013 | ON LINE Opinion

    Capitalist liberal democracy’s twentieth century victories against expansionist fascism and communism were hard-won and... Read More

  12. Beijing's reforms entrench a democratic deficit

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 08 Nov 2013 | Business Spectator

    China’s enduring authoritarianism seems out of place at a time of explosive protest movements in Turkey, Brazil, Egypt... Read More

  13. Banking on China’s democratic deficit

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 05 Nov 2013 | The Strategist

    The scale of China’s challenges is staggering but the CCP is well placed to tackle mounting institutional, social, political... Read More

  14. Age of prosperity no longer a path to democracy

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 31 Oct 2013 | The Drum

    Increasing prosperity will encourage minor democratic reforms, but it will only push nations a few steps down the long and... Read More

  15. Ending racism does not require respect

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 29 Oct 2013 | Open Forum

    Creating a tolerant Australia only demands benign indifference to diversity.

  16. A round of drinks speaks all languages in Asia literacy debate

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 03 Oct 2013 | ON LINE Opinion

    Both sides of politics clearly need an Asia literacy reality check.

  17. Nothing to fear from China's foreign policy

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 08 Jul 2013 | The Canberra Times

    Chinese President Xi Jinping knows Asian stability will only help his ambitions.

  18. The fair go is fact, not political platitude

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 16 May 2013 | ON LINE Opinion

    Australia's social escalator moves so quickly that the poorest Australians can find fortune in just a few years. With the... Read More

  19. Sorry, Mr Swan, the Australian fair go is still going strong

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 09 May 2013 | The Drum

    In the lead up to what is likely to be a budget bloodbath on 14 May, Treasurer Wayne Swan has come out swinging. Instead... Read More

  20. Without a no-fly zone, Syria will burn

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 06 May 2013 | ON LINE Opinion

    As news emerges that a fourth Australian has been killed in Syria, concerns are also mounting that the war-torn country is... Read More

  21. Despite white paper worries, Asia-savvy Australia is set for success

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 29 Apr 2013 | Australia China Quarterly

    Programs to upskill Australians to work in Asia’s new tiger economies are actually just white elephants.

  22. The magic pudding state

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 23 Apr 2013 | The Drum

    Australians want government to spend more money on us, but we do not want to hand any more of our cash over to the tax office.

  23. Don't let Iraq syndrome prolong the slaughter in Syria

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 27 Mar 2013 | The Drum

    The memory of the the rash military adventurism in Iraq is still fresh, but that must not prevent us from using force to... Read More

  24. Abundant Asian Century opportunities for an already Asia-savvy Australia

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 25 Feb 2013 | ON LINE Opinion

    Tapping into the Asian Century bonanza does not mean that Australia requires costly education and training programs.

  25. No need for Asian Century panic

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 21 Feb 2013 | The Drum

    Why the anxiety over readying Australia for the Asian Century?

  26. The case for complacency about Australia’s engagement with Asia

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 12 Feb 2013 | ON LINE Opinion

    Calls for Australia to embrace Asia are unfounded; our Asian embrace is already extensive and only getting deeper.

  27. We are many: the futile fight over Australian identity

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 24 Jan 2013 | The Drum

    Stop squabbling about what it means to be Australian. Our shared commitment to liberal democracy and individual freedom means... Read More

  28. Masses rapt in hippy values

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 22 Dec 2012 | The Canberra Times

    Christmas in Australia is drifting from tradition.

  29. Business didn’t wait for White Paper

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 09 Nov 2012 | The National Business Review

    We can expect meagre policy returns from the Asian Century White Paper.

  30. A cultural revolution to celebrate

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 27 Oct 2012 | The Spectator

    In a very real sense, Australia is already Asian.

  31. Worthy goal or costly mistake? Solving the UNSC equation

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 26 Sep 2012 | The Drum

    The reflected glory of the UNSC's multilateral diplomacy can't compete with the power of regional relationships when it comes... Read More

  32. We need more US influence in Asia, not less

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 25 Sep 2012 | Australian Financial Review

    We should not encourage a premature changing of the guards in Asia.

  33. English is the language of the Asian century

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 13 Sep 2012 | The Drum

    English is an Asian language in its own right, so we shouldn't be worried about how we communicate in the Asian century.

  34. Plenty of Australians speak Asian languages

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 07 Sep 2012 | The Canberra Times

    Multiculturalism means Australia is becoming increasingly Asia literate.

  35. Region needs US to counter rising Chinese power

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 24 Jul 2012 | The Canberra Times

    Containment versus accommodation is an exciting prism through which to view the rise of China.

  36. Why democracy is a victim of its own success

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 28 Jun 2012 | The Canberra Times

    Is Gen Y blase towards elected government because democracy has prevailed over its ideological adversaries?

  37. Sorry, Malcolm, Australia needs the US in the Asian century

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 13 Jun 2012 | The Age

    Now is the time for our friendship with America to prosper and thrive.

  38. No easy solutions in Syria

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 28 May 2012 | The Drum

    There are no easy options in the Syria situation.

  39. Reduced defence spending may well be sound public policy

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 21 May 2012 | The Canberra Times

    Australia is under US protection and the world is a more peaceful place now.

  40. War-war when jaw-jaw fails?

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 18 May 2012 | ON LINE Opinion

    Despite a United Nations and Arab League-sponsored ceasefire agreement and the deployment of growing numbers of UN observers,... Read More

  41. Liberal democracies do it their own way

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 27 Feb 2012 | The Newcastle Herald

    Arab Springs don’t bring Western clones

Ideas@TheCentre by Author

  1. Widening war in Iraq and Syria is a necessary path to peace

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 12 Sep 2014 | Ideas@The Centre

    US President Barack Obama was pilloried two weeks ago for admitting that his administration lacked a strategy to combat Islamic... Read More

  2. Counterbalancing China in a post-American Asian order

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 05 Sep 2014 | Ideas@The Centre

    Since World War II, the United States has been Asia's benevolent hegemon. Capitals across the region-from Seoul to Canberra-have... Read More

  3. The tragedy of 1914 and the precarious peace of 2014

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 08 Aug 2014 | Ideas@The Centre

    The similarities between Europe’s disastrous great power politics of 1914 and Asia’s geostrategic rivalries of 2014 are... Read More

  4. Mentioning the war doesn't discredit government's deft diplomacy

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 18 Jul 2014 | Ideas@The Centre

    Canberra’s affection for Tokyo puts Australia at odds with China, yet a disconnect between Beijing and Canberra is sometimes... Read More

  5. Iraq's disastrous descent demands decisiveness

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 20 Jun 2014 | Ideas@The Centre

    One ineffective pre-emptive intervention in Iraq in 2003 is not a good argument against a cautious and reactive intervention... Read More

  6. Obama’s foreign policy fantasies

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 06 Jun 2014 | Ideas@The Centre

    Obama’s West Point address highlighted the disconnect between his foreign policy fantasies and the hard facts of Russian... Read More

  7. More aid bang with fewer taxpayers' bucks?

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 16 May 2014 | Ideas@The Centre

    The aid community has savaged the government’s decision to cap Australia’s overseas development assistance, but their... Read More

  8. Hayek offers communist China path to prosperity

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 24 Apr 2014 | Ideas@The Centre

    In September last year, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang warned that 'China's reforms have entered a deep-water zone, or the most... Read More

  9. Abbott's diplomacy will pay dividends

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 04 Apr 2014 | Ideas@The Centre

    The Australian government’s prioritisation of economic diplomacy is perfectly suited to deepening relations with China.

  10. US power the best bulwark against China's assertiveness

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 14 Mar 2014 | Ideas@The Centre

    Is China set to ride roughshod over the territorial claims of its maritime and continental neighbours?

  11. Government not to blame for Canberra's China challenge

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 28 Feb 2014 | Ideas@The Centre

    With capitals across Asia finding relations with an emboldened Beijing increasingly fraught, Canberra’s foreign policy... Read More

  12. Government wise to stand firm on China

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 24 Jan 2014 | Ideas@The Centre

    In the face of bullish Chinese foreign policy and diplomatic posturing from Beijing, the government is wise to stand firm.

  13. US military mettle welcomed in Asia

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 29 Nov 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    China’s Air Defense Identification Zone over the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands has sparked a testy diplomatic row.

  14. China's communist party liberalises to defer democracy

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 15 Nov 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    The CCP has taken another step towards greater prosperity and expanded personal freedoms in its pledge to pursue reform.

  15. The end of the end of history?

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 01 Nov 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    Savvy authoritarian regimes around the world are plotting paths to relative peace and prosperity while denying their citizens’... Read More

  16. Obama's Asian about-face masks foreign policy failure

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 11 Oct 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    America’s rivals and enemies are asserting clear positions on Syria while the US remains flat-footed, putting their power... Read More

  17. China's Icarus sheds light on the limits of the law

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 27 Sep 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    In China, the CCP rules by means of the law rather than being constrained by the rule of law.

  18. Coalition education policy takes an epicurean turn

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 13 Sep 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    Australian taxpayers are the often unacknowledged patrons of ARC research and should receive value for their money.

  19. Endangered democracy and interest group politics

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 30 Aug 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    Each side of politics in Australia struggles to fashion a distinct brand, and political campaigns risk becoming extended... Read More

  20. Tepid foreign policy debate sets the right tone

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 23 Aug 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    The foreign policy differences between the two major parties are more about rhetorical style than policy substance.

  21. Australians want opportunity, not equality

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 19 Jul 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    Concerns about rising income inequality in Australia such as those from Andrew Leigh MP’s latest book Battlers and Billionaires... Read More

  22. Authoritarian China’s successes vindicate liberalism

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 05 Jul 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    Liberal reforms are still needed in China to unlock the entrepreneurial talents and ambition of the world’s largest nation.

  23. The Snowden scandal is a hollow victory for Beijing

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 21 Jun 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    The moral malaise at the heart of Washington’s intelligence apparatus seems mild when compared to Beijing’s use of surveillance.

  24. The classical liberal view from Beijing

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 31 May 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    With global leadership slipping away from the United States, will China seek to shape the world in the image of its brand... Read More

  25. Fair go fear-mongering flies in the face of facts

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 10 May 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    Swan’s fair go fear-mongering is unfounded. Australians from even the poorest and least educated families are entering... Read More

  26. Mature Chinese foreign policy makes Cold War mentality obsolete

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 19 Apr 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    Careful Chinese foreign policy will always seek to improve relations with Australia.

  27. The phantom coup and poll-driven politics

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 28 Mar 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    Pointing the finger at the apparent shortcomings of Australia’s political culture is a convenient explanation for the recent... Read More

  28. Placating China does us all a disservice

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 15 Mar 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    Australia and its Asian partners should consistently and carefully explain the rationale for a continuation of the US security... Read More

  29. We should avoid an unwarranted Asian Century cultural cringe

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 22 Feb 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    Australians apparently lack the sensitivity and understanding to effectively compete in Asian markets.

  30. Language policy gone loco

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 01 Feb 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    A target of 40 per cent of Year 12 students studying LOTE is loco.

  31. Election 2013 will take us back to 64 BCE

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 18 Jan 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    We can expect to see fast and furious pledges of support for all manner of interest groups and causes during this year’s... Read More

  32. The morality of US military might

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 14 Dec 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    Arguments for a US drawdown in the Asia-Pacific betray a lack of appreciation of the moral dimension of the US military presence... Read More

  33. And the winner is ... Robamamney!

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 09 Nov 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    Romney might have lost the race to the White House, but much of his foreign policy platform will live on in the Obama presidency.

  34. Half-baked language policy is al dente

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 02 Nov 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    White Paper is a triumph for commonsense as a false victory for the Asia literacy lobby.

  35. A multicultural success story

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 28 Sep 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    Australia’s culturally diverse society remains open and healthy.

  36. Importing Australia’s Asia literacy

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 07 Sep 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    Extra spending to improve Asia literacy is unnecessary because Australia is already well-positioned to prosper as power moves... Read More

  37. Unempirical Asian languages alarmism

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 16 Aug 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    Asian languages alarmism should not scare us into expanding current language education programs.

  38. The Asian languages non-problem

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 06 Jul 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    Is Australia prepared for a world in which the greatest economic and military power speaks Mandarin instead of English?

  39. Australia’s Asian embrace

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 15 Jun 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    As profound as the changes heralded by the dawn of the Asian Century might be, it does not require a great nation-building... Read More

  40. Defence-lite is sound policy

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 18 May 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    Notwithstanding chatter about a US-China confrontation, Australia remains safe under America’s security embrace.

  41. Tiger mothers and the social escalator

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 13 Apr 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    Academic achievement relies more on the values and aspirations of fellow students, parents and teachers – not so much on... Read More

  42. 'Of its essence a great mistake'

    Benjamin Herscovitch | 23 Mar 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    Canberra fails as a capital city.