Universiteit Leiden

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David Binns

PhD candidate

D.E. Binns
+31 71 527 2171

David Binns doesn't have a desk at the university. Please send an email if you want to contact him. The above mentioned telephone number is the number of the secretariat.

More information about David Binns

PhD Research

Reformist political leaders in Indonesia

Since 2005 local government leaders in Indonesia have been directly elected by popular ballot.  In recent years, extensive publicity for several very prominent city mayors and bupati (regents), reputed to be fighting corruption and improving delivery of public services, has raised questions about whether their emergence signifies a new and significant trend in Indonesia's political landscape.

The thesis will assess the prevalence of this phenomenon and define the key attributes of the supposed ‘new breed’ of local government leader.  It will address questions about their electoral appeal and the methods they have used to gain office at a time when ‘money politics’ appears to be becoming a more sophisticated and pervasive electoral phenomenon.   It will also consider the evidence that these 'populist' local leaders are in fact seeking to reform governmental systems and policies, including to assist poor communities.

Supervisor: Prof. dr. David Henley.


David Binns has a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology and Philosophy) from Macquarie University in Australia and a Bachelor of Economics from Sydney University.  He has had a career in the Australian foreign service, including diplomatic postings to Hong Kong, China, Indonesia (twice), Sri Lanka (as high commissioner/ambassador) and the United States.  He has held a range of positions in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra, including as head of Indonesia and Timor-Leste branch.   In the 1990s, he was a director of the East Asia Analytical Unit in DFAT, managing research for three major published reports:  'Asia's Global Powers: China and Japan in the 21st Century' (principal author);  'Pacific Russia - Risk and Rewards'; and 'Iron and Steel in Australia and China'.

PhD candidate

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Leiden Institute for Area Studies
  • SAS Indonesie
  • No relevant ancillary activities
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