Dr Benjamin

Dr Benjamin Habib

Lecturer in International Relations

College of Arts, Social Sciences and Commerce

Humanities and Social Sciences

Social Sciences Building Room 321, Melbourne (Bundoora)


PhD (Flinders), 2011; BA (Hons), Flinders; BA International Studies, University of South Australia, 2003.



Area of study

Asian Studies
International Relations
Sustainability and development

Brief profile

Dr. Benjamin Habib is a Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia. Ben is an internationally published scholar with research and teaching interests including the political economy of North Korea’s nuclear program, East Asian security, international politics of climate change. He also teaches on global environmental politics, Australian politics and contemporary China.

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.

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.

Research interests

Government and Politics of Asia and the Pacific

- East Asian security

- North Korea

- Nuclear weapons proliferation.

International Relations

- International relations aspects of climate change

Teaching units

  • POL3IPC – International Politics of Climate Change.
  • POL2CPA - Contemporary Politics of Northeast Asia.
  • POL2GEP - Global Environmental Politics.
  • POL5CJI - International Security in the Asia-Pacific.

Recent publications

Journal Articles

Habib, B. (forthcoming) ‘Balance of Incentives: Why North Korea Interacts with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change’. Pacific Affairs.

Habib, B. (2013) ‘DPRK Meets UNFCCC: An Introduction to North Korea’s Interactions with the International Climate Change Regime‘. International Review of Korean Studies, 10(1): 65-90.

Habib, B. (2013) ‘Strategic Player, Economic Outlier: Regional Integration and North Korea’s Place in Northeast Asia‘. Griffith Asia Quarterly, 1(2/3): 1-23.

Habib, B. (2011) ‘North Korea’s Parallel Economies: Systemic Disaggregation Following the Soviet Collapse’, Communist and Post-Communist Studies, 44(2): 149-159.

Habib, B. (2011) ‘North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons Program and the Maintenance of the Songun System’, The Pacific Review, 24(1): 43-64.

Habib, B. (2010) ‘Climate Change and Regime Perpetuation in the DPRK‘, Asian Survey 50(2): 378-401.

Habib, B. (2010) ‘Rogue Proliferator? North Korea’s Nuclear Fuel Cycle & its Relationship to Regime Perpetuation‘, Energy Policy (38) 6, 2826-2834.

Habib, Ben and O’Neil, Andrew (2009) ‘North Korea’s emergence as a nuclear weapons state and the end of the disarmament paradigm‘, Global Change, Peace & Security 21(3): 377-387.

Habib, B. (2009) ‘The Implications of Climate Vulnerability for Regime Stability in North Korea‘, The International Journal of Climate Change 1(1): 83-104.

Habib, B. (2008) ‘Another Perfect Storm? Predictors of Radical Change in North Korea‘, Security Challenges 4(1): 21-42.


Entries in Referenced Works

Habib, Benjamin. (2014). ‘North Korean Economic Development and the Urban Landscape of Rason’. in Green, C. (ed). Tumen Triangle Documentation Project: Sourcing the Chinese-North Korean Border. Sino:NK, pp. 25-28.

Habib, B. (2012). ‘International Atomic Energy Agency’, in Ritzer, G. (ed). Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Globalization. Wiley-Blackwell.


Conference Papers and Presentations

Tuck, L & Habib, B. (2014). ‘Climate Change and Relative Gains in the Wikileaks Archive‘. 6th Oceanic Conference on International Studies. 9-11 July 2014. Melbourne University, Melbourne.

Habib, B. (2013). ‘Why Does North Korea Engage with the International Climate Change Regime?‘. ANU Korea Update. 11 October 2013. Australian National University, Canberra.

Habib, B. (2013). ‘Socio-economic and Political Change in the DPRK‘. Centre for United States and Pacific Studies (CUSAPS) Conference. 6 September 2013. Flinders University, Adelaide.

Habib, B. (2013). ‘A Curious Case: North Korea and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’. Korean Studies Association of Australasia. 8th Biennial Conference. 27-28 June 2013. Australian National University, Canberra.

Habib, B. (2012). ”A “Strong and Prosperous Country”? Field Report from North Korea’. Australian Political Studies Association Conference. 24-26 September 2012. University of Tasmania, Hobart.

Habib, B. (2011). ‘Climate Change and International Relations Theory: Northeast Asia as a Case Study‘. World International Studies Committee—Third Global International Studies Conference. University of Porto, Portugal, 17-20 August 2011.

Habib, B. (2010) ‘State Failure in North Korea: The Role of Carrying Capacity and Organisational Complexity‘. Australian Political Studies Association Annual Conference: Connected Globe, Conflicting Worlds, 27-29 September 2010. University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia.

Habib, B. (2010) ‘The Six Party Talks and Institutional Security in Northeast Asia: A Grim Forecast‘.  Asian Studies Association of Australia, 18th Biennial Conference, 5-8 July 2010. University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia.

Habib, B. (2009) ‘North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons Program: The Futility of Denuclearisation Negotiations‘. Australasian Political Studies Association Conference, 28-30 September 2009. Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia.

Habib, B (2009) ‘Climate Change and Security: A Coherent Framework for Analysis‘ (pp.1-19). Australasian Political Studies Association Conference, 28-30 September. Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia.

Habib, B (2008) ‘Climate Change and the Terminal Decay of the North Korean Regime‘, Oceanic Conference on International Studies, 1-4 July 2008, Brisbane, Australia.

Habib, B (2008) ‘The Implications of Climate Vulnerability for Regime Stability in North Korea’, International Conference on Climate Change: Impacts and Responses, 9-11 January 2009, Pune, India.

Habib, B (2008) ‘The Perceptions of climate change and peak oil among Flinders University students and their receptiveness to individualist lifestyle changes and mitigation strategies‘, 3rd Annual Solar Cities Congress (pp. 1-10), Adelaide, Australia.

Habib, B (2008) ‘Climate Change: Strategic Implications and Alternative Futures’, Australia’s Strategic Futures Conference, 1 October 2008, Adelaide, Australia.

Habib, B. (2007) ‘Another Perfect Storm – Key Predictors of Rapid Change in North Korea‘, Australasian Political Studies Association Conference (pp. 1-27), Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.

Habib, B (2007) ‘Breaking the Ritual: Getting Students to Participate in Discussion-based Tutorials in the Social Sciences‘, 30th HERDSA Annual Conference (pp. 1-10), Adelaide, Australia.

Habib, B. (2006) ‘Can North Korea be Disarmed Peacefully?’ Flinders International Asia-Pacific Institute—DPRK Workshop, 6 December 2006, Adelaide, Australia.


Book Reviews

Habib, B. (2011) ‘Antonio Marquina (ed.), Global Warming and Climate Change: Prospects and Policies in Asia and Europe. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010, pp. 368, ISBN: 978 0 230 23771 1, in Australian Journal of International Affairs 65(2) 256-257.



Habib, B. & D. Casey. (2010). ‘Step 2010 Projects 1 & 2: Integrated Proposal for the B. Arts (International Studies) Program‘. Adelaide: University of South Australia.

Habib, B. (2006). ‘Flinders Foundation of University Teaching – Personal Learning Portfolio‘. Adelaide: Flinders University.


Other Print Media

Habib, B. (2014). ‘South Korea and Brazil: intangible legacies of hosting the World Cup’. The Conversation. 9 June 2014.

Habib, B. (2014). ‘North Korea: an unlikely champion in the fight against climate change‘. The Guardian. 20 May 2014.

Habib, B. (2014). ‘Behind North Korea’s surprising compliance on climate change‘. The Conversation UK. 16 May 2014.

Habib, B. (2014). ‘Human rights in North Korea: the implications of the Kirby report’. The Conversation. 19 February 2014.

Habib, B. (2013). “Game of Thrones in Pyongyang: the execution of Jang Song Taek.” The Conversation. 13 December 2013.

Habib, B. (2013). “North Korea’s surprising status in the international climate change regime.” East Asia Forum. 9 November 2013.

Habib, B. (2013). “North Korea’s ‘rational’ belligerence.” Asian Currents. June 2013 (90). pp. 18-21.

Habib, B. (2013). “Escalation Gambit: North Korea’s Perilous Play for Security and Prosperity.” e-International Relations. 10 April 2013.

Habib, B. (2013). “Rhetorical storm: North Korean threats turn up the heat.” The Conversation. 27 March 2013.

Habib, B. (2013). “Upping the ante: North Korea’s third nuclear test.” The Conversation. 13 February 2013.

Habib, B. (2013). “A North Korean tale: Google, God and the Governor.” The Conversation. 10 January 2013.

Habib, B. (2012). “N. Korea shouts ‘look at me’ with rocket.” CNN.com. 12 December 2012.

Habib, B. (2012). “Pay attention to me! The politics of North Korea’s next rocket launch.” The Conversation. 8 December 2012.

Habib, B. (2012). “North Korea, Climate Change and the Global Atmospheric Commons.” Sino:NK. 8 September 2012.

Habib, B. (2012). “Living Lightly: Watch for Windows of Opportunity.” Border Mail, 30 June 2012, p. 43.

Habib, B. (2012). “North Korea’s missile test a failure, but rogue state has nothing to fear.” The Conversation. 19 April 2012.

Habib, B. (2012). “Learning from North Korea’s missile tests: deterrence, legitimacy and survival.” The Conversation. 12 April 2012.

Habib, B. (2012). “Living Lightly: It’s all about taking sensible approach.” Border Mail. 7 April 2012, p. 66.

Habib, B. (2012). “Regional Responses to the DRPK’s Satellite Launch.” e-International Relations, 7 April 2012.

Habib, B. (2012). “Keeping wolves away.” Border Mail, 3 March 2012, p. 2.

Habib, B. (2011). “The North Korea Story: Confucius, Communism and the Bomb.” Teaching History. 45(4). pp. 11-15.

Habib, B. (2012). “Poisoned Chalice of the Big Issues.” Border Mail, 24 February 2012, p. 3.

Habib, B. (2011). North Korea’s basketcase economy is built on drugs, weapons and fakes. The Conversation. 21 December 2011.

Habib, B. (2011). A nation teeters on precipice. The Age. 20 December 2011, p. 11.

Habib, B. (2011). Living Lightly: Unwrap real meaning of the season. Border Mail. 17 December 2011, p. 56.

Habib, B. (2011). Letter to the Editor: Explaining the carbon tax levy. Border Mail. 15 August 2011.

Habib, B. (2011). Letter to the Editor: Small price now or pay big later. Border Mail. 01 August 2011, p. 13.

Habib, B. (2011). Collapse of six-party talks: Northeast Asia’s shaky stand on North Korean nuclear threat. Asian Currents 77(June), pp. 1-3.

Habib, B. (2011). Letter to the Editor: Young crowd set shining example. Border Mail. 4 May 2011, p. 23.

Habib, B. (2011). Living Lightly: Get your teeth into a green menu. Border Mail. 23 April 2011, p.66.

Habib, B. (2011). Letter to the Editor: Climate debate over years ago. Border Mail. 21 April 2011, p. 21.

Habib, B. (2010). Policy Forum 10-058: Climate Change and Regime Longevity in the DPRK. NAPSNet Policy Forum. Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainability. 07 December 2010.

Habib, B. (2010) Upping the ante: nuclear North Korea’s muscular new stance. On Line Opinion, 30 November 2010.

Habib, B. (2010) Living Lightly: A step forward will reduce footprint. Border Mail, 25 September 2010, p. 70.

Habib, B. (2010) Voluntary vote a big mistake. Border Mail, 27 August 2010, p. 10.

Habib, B. (2009) Letters: Undeniable truths about climate change. The Guardian, 5 December 2009.

Habib, B. (2009) The limits of growth. On Line Opinion, 14 December 2009.

Habib, B. (2009) Opinion: Copenhagen and the Politics of Climate Mitigation. Independent Weekly, 13/11/2009.

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