About

I am a Ph.D. candidate at the National Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS) in Tokyo, under Professor Kaoru Sugihara. My focus lies on Tokyo’s post-war urban economic history in particular and urban development studies in general. I also teach an undergraduate class at Temple University Japan called “Politics of the Global Economy”.

Besides my academic research, I work on several book projects. I am one of the authors of Architectural Guide Yangon (DOM publishers, 2015), a “sumptuous, evocative book (that) captures the energies of a city in the midst of rapid change”, according to Sunil Amrith of Harvard University. Read more about it here.

Previously, I worked in finance and as a political analyst for Royal Dutch Shell and had stints at several international financial institutions. I hold undergraduate and graduate degrees from SOAS and Cambridge University, respectively.

Please get in touch – my email address is written “hello” at my domain name.

You can find me on Linkedin here, and on Twitter here.

6 thoughts on “About

  1. I sat next to you at Piketty lecture. Enjoyed talking to you and your wife. Anything happen after I left? Your blog is so diverse and very interesting–from Ukraine to Canadian architecture! Regards, Anne

  2. Hi Ben,

    Just discovered your site after looking for information about construction going at the US Embassy in Tokyo in 1964.

    Looking through your posts I noticed we have the same interests about urban history. I think you may like my sites MeijiShowa and Old Photos of Japan if you don’t know them already.

    Cheers,
    Kjeld ^_-

  3. Thank you for your article on my father Norman Macrae. Dad was one of the last alumni of Keynes. If you have read the last chapter of Keynes General Theory you will know that Keynsians believe “increasingly only economists rule the world” ie their rules lock in exponentially most of what will be possible for youth out of particular places. We would welcome you joining gycommunity if you feel its about time youth took back what futures are possible! write me if i can introduce you to some GY members.

  4. Ben,

    You work is very interesting. I am urban historian/historic preservationist, and I am very fascinated by the cityscape of pre-war Tokyo. While I have encountered a plethora of images on notable spaces like the Ginza and Nihonbashi, I am looking for written descriptions of photographs of the more workaday residential and industrial areas of the Yamanote and Shitamachi. Any help one where to find these would be greatly appreciated.

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