Dr Benito Cao

Dr Benito Cao
  Org Unit Politics and International Studies (POLIS)
  Email benito.cao@adelaide.edu.au
  Telephone +61 8 8313 5745
  Location Floor/Room 4 09 ,  Napier Building ,   North Terrace

I was born in Galicia, a region of Spain situated on the Atlantic coast of the Iberian Peninsula. I studied politics at the University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain), and moved to Adelaide in 1996, where I completed Honours in 1998 and graduated as Doctor of Philosophy in 2008. I have been teaching politics at the University of Adelaide since 2002. I love going to the cinema and playing sports. I watch films as often as possible and I play indoor soccer every week in a team called McHever. I also like watching television. Some of my favourite programs are: Four Corners, Foreign Correspondent, SBS World News, and So You Think You Can Dance, and Have You Been Paying Attention? Some of my favourite series are: Yes Minister, Black Adder, Red Dwarf, Seinfeld, Boston Legal, American Dad, The Sopranos, The IT Crowd, Breaking Bad, True Blood, The Bridge and The Killing. The best ever tv series: The Wire. I am currently following House of Cards, Game of Thrones, Orphan Black, and The Walking Dead. I love food, wine, sport and cinema, including the Adelaide Cinemateque and the Adelaide Film Festival. Cheers!

  • Doctor of Philosophy (2008) - The University of Adelaide (Australia)

Doctoral Thesis: “White Hegemony in the Land of Carnival:

The (Apparent) Paradox of Racism and Hybridity in Brazil”.


  • Bachelor of Arts [Honours - First Class] (1998) - The University of Adelaide (Australia)

Honours Thesis: “Africa Lost in Transit:

The Social Imaginary of Africa in Current Western Cinema”.


  • Bachelor of Arts (1996) - The University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain)

Beacon Commendation for the Enhancement and Innovation

of Student Learning. The University of Adelaide 2016

Executive Dean's Prize for Excellence in Teaching 2016

Faculty of Arts - The University of Adelaide

Faculty Prize for Excellence in Teaching [Continuing] 2016

Faculty of Arts - The University of Adelaide

Nominee to The Unijobs Lecturer of the Year Award 2013

3rd Top Lecturer from The University of Adelaide

Nominee to The Unijobs Lecturer of the Year Award 2012

1st Top Lecturer from The University of Adelaide

Executive Dean's Prize for Excellence in Teaching                            2011

               HUMSS Faculty - The University of Adelaide

Nominee to The Unijobs Lecturer of the Year Award                       2011

               6th Top Lecturer from The University of Adelaide

Faculty Prize for Excellence in Teaching [Early Career]                     2010

               HUMSS Faculty - The University of Adelaide

Nominee to The Unijobs Lecturer of the Year Award                       2010

               6th Top Lecturer from The University of Adelaide


DR Stranks Postgraduate Travelling Fellowship                                 2001

               The University of Adelaide (Australia)

University of Adelaide Scholarship (UAS)                                  1998-2001

               The University of Adelaide (Australia)

Scholarship Award for Departmental Collaboration                1995-1996

               Ministry of Education and Science (Spain)

I have a special interest in the study and teaching of Politics, but I am interested in all fields of Social Sciences and the Humanities.


I have been teaching since 2002. I began as a tutor at the University of Adelaide but have also worked also at UniSA and Flinders University. Over the years I have taught many courses: Introduction to International Politics, Introduction to Comparative Politics, The Comparative Politics of Leadership, The State of the World, Post-Cold War International Relations, Politics, Power & Popular CultureThe Ethics of War and Peace, Citizenship and Globalisation and Global Politics at the University of Adelaide; Governance and Citizenship in Australia, Political Economy and Social Policy, Society and Culture, Studies in Family, The Individual in Society, and Social Analysis and the Human Services at the University of South Australia; and Social Policy at Flinders University.


I have also given guest lectures on topics such as: gender, racism, the media, the family, social work and NGOs, Africa on film, the ethics of war, environmental citizenship, and politics in Brazil.


This year (2017) I am teaching Citizenship and Globalisation (Semester I) and Global Politics (Semester II), and I will be co-teaching with three colleagues Europe Today (Semester II). I will also be conducting a study tour to Singapore ("Inside Singapore: History, Politics, Identity") in Term 4 (Nov 26 - Dec 9).

  • Citizenship, particularly Environmental Citizenship;
  • Nation and State, Nationalism, and Multiculturalism;
  • Racism, Ethnic Relations, and the Politics of Identity;
  • Power, Politics and Popular Culture (Cultural Studies);
  • Development, Global Governance and Democratisation;
  • Innovation in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. 

  Books                            Environment and Citizenship.  London and New York: Routledge (2015). link here

Book Chapters             Dam-nation: The struggle over the future of the Brazilian Amazon. In Timothy Doyle and Sherilyn MacGregor (eds.), Environmental Movements around the World. Oxford: Praeger (2014), Vol. I, pp. 49-75.

                                        Environment and Citizenship: Rethinking What It Means to Be a Citizen in the 21st Century. In James Arvanitakis and Ingrid Matthews (eds.), The Citizen in the 21st Century. Inter-Disciplinary Press (2013), pp. 155-166. 

                                        Thinking critically about critical thinking in the first-year experience. [co-authored with Christine Beasley] In Heather Brook, Deane Fergie, Michael Maeorg and Dee Michell (eds.), Universities in Transition: Forefrounding Social Contexts of Knowledge in the First Year Experience. Adelaide: The University of Adelaide Press (2014), pp. 205-227.

Descubrimiento como Ideología: El Descubrimiento de Asia en el Humanismo Portugués. [Discovery as Ideology: The Discovery of Asia in Portuguese Humanism] In Colóquio Internacional: O Humanismo Latino e as Culturas do Extremo Oriente. Treviso: Fondazione Cassamarca (2006), pp. 33-53. [published in Spanish]

Journal Articles           Beyond Empire: Australian cinematic identity in the twenty-first century, Studies in Australasian Cinema, Vol. 6, No. 3 (2012), pp. 239-250. 

Identity and Citizenship, Social Identities, Vol.18, No. 3 (2012), pp. 373-379

Transforming first-year university Politics students into critical thinkers, ergo: The Journal of the Education Research Group of Adelaide, Vol. 2, No. 3 (2012), 41-52. [with Christine Beasley]

Race Matters in Brazil, Social Identities, Vol.17, No. 5 (2011), pp. 709-716.

White Hegemony in the (Re)Birth of Brazil, Humanities Research, Vol.27, No. 1 (2011), pp. 35-57.

                                        A Cultura Política dos Españois: Orixes e Características.[Spanish Political Culture: Origins and Characteristics] Revista Galega de Economia [Galician Journal of Economics], Vol. 4, No. 1/2 (1995), pp. 125-134. [published in Galician]

Conference Papers    Beyond Empire: Australian cinematic identity in the 21st century. Challenging Politics: Critical Voices. Emerging Scholars Conference. 10-11 June 2010. School of Political Science&International Studies. University ofQueensland, Australia. [see:www.polsil.uq.edu.au/docs/Challengin-Politics-Papers/Benito-Cao-Beyond-Empire.pdf]


Africa Lost in Transit: The Representation of Africa in European Imagination. In Actas del Congreso Africa Camina. Barcelona: LISA & Generalitat de Catalunya (2006). [published in cd-rom]


Book Reviews             I have a long list of book reviews published by Social Identities, International Feminist Journal of Politics, Australian Journal of Political Science, and Forum: Centre for Citizenship, Development and Human Rights Newsletter.

Reports                       “Africa: Etnicidad, Política, Militarismo, Economía” [Africa: Ethnicity,Politics, Militarism, Economy].Report written in 1996, in fulfilment of the Departmental Collaboration Award. Held at the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences, University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain).

  • AIIA (Australian Institute of International Affairs)
  • NTEU (National Tertiary Education Industry Union)
  • HERGA (Higher Education Research Group of Adelaide)
  • CCDHR (Centre for Citizenship, Development & Human Rights)
  • AILASA (Association of Iberian & Latin American Studies of Australasia)

I was an active member of the Goodwood Community Bank Steering Committee that led to the establishment of a community bank in Goodwood (City of Unley, Adelaide) in 2004. The closing of the last of three major-bank branches made people in the community very upset and opened the way for the establishment of a community bank. It took lots of hours of hard community work to get the project off the ground, but we got there in the end, and now the residents of Goodwood not only have a bank in the area … we have our own local community bank.

This is the link to the homepage of the Goodwood Community Bank Branch:


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Entry last updated: Monday, 24 Jul 2017

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