Benedict Moleta

Mr Benedict Moleta

MA Research (Sydney), BA (UWA)

Benedict is a PhD student in the Department of International Relations (started 2024). 

The work of Coral Bell provides the starting point for Benedict’s research. Questions and cases motivating Benedict's interest include the following:

What are the prospects for credible independence in Australian foreign policy, moving into the second quarter of the twenty-first century?

What sources of efficacy might be cultivated, in order to develop an international outlook that is allied but less dependent?

In her 1984 study of Australia’s condition as a “dependent ally,” Coral Bell found the “habit of dependence” to have a “phoenix-like capacity to regenerate from its own ashes.” In the age of AUKUS, how should we assess the fortitude of this phoenix?

When Australia expanded its terrorist designation of Hamas in 2022 (to cover the organisation “in its entirety”) the listing came to into alignment with the United States and the United Kingdom. Does such Anglophone alignment in the designation of threats help Australia attend to pressing national security concerns?

In late works of 2005 and 2007, Coral Bell described an already real multipolar order after US predominance; a “society of giants” in which the “the options for Canberra” required adaptation in thought and change in practice. How has Australia’s international outlook changed in the intervening years? What are the prospects for adaptation in the years ahead?

The work of Coral Bell remains a wellspring of acute analyses and temperate propositions, pertinent to Australia's international relations today. Benedict's research is drawing on this wellspring, and aims to correlate Bell's insights to the conditions shaping Australian foreign policy, and the options available to Australia in the coming years.

Benedict’s Master’s thesis (2020, University of Sydney) was on relations between the European Union and Palestine. The thesis focussed on political Islam and Hamas in particular, and these are ongoing interests. 

Benedict is currently researching Australia’s criminal listing of Hamas, and the consequences of Hamas’ October 7 attack for state/society cohesion in Israel. His BA was in German and European Studies, with interests from Lessing to Lenin. Benedict is also a singer.

    Research Interest

      • Coral Bell, Gordon Freeth, Paul Keating, Australian diplomatic realism
      • Hamas, political Islam, Israel-Palestine realism
      • Theodor Adorno, Wolfgang Streeck, Bodo Ramelow, European dialectical realism


      Language learning

      • English: Native or bilingual proficiency
      • German: Full professional proficiency
      • French: Limited working proficiency
      • Indonesian: Elementary proficiency (started learning 2022)
      • Italian: Limited working proficiency
      • Arabic: A few basic greetings and phrases
      • Persian: A few basic greetings and phrases
      • HTML: Full professional proficiency


      MA dissertation


      Opinion and commentary

      HDR Supervisor/s

      George Lawson Benjamin Zala

      Thesis Title/Topic

      Coral Bell in the twenty-first century: Are there Australian alternatives to being a dependent ally?

      Expertise Area(s)

      Coral Bell
      Australian realism
      Olivier Roy
      Theodor Adorno

      Contact Email