Gerry’s current research is moving towards the comparative history and politics of climate change adaptation in Asia (Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines and India). He coordinated international research projects on the provincial middle class in Indonesia (In Search of Middle Indonesia, 2006-2011), on citizenship and democratisation in Indonesia (From Clients to Citizens? 2012-2016), and on digital humanities (Elite Network Shifts, 2012-2016).
After gaining a MSc in geophysics (Macquarie University, Sydney, 1978), Van Klinken taught physics in universities in Malaysia and Indonesia (1979-91). Thereafter he moved into Asian Studies and earned a PhD in Indonesian history from Griffith University in Brisbane in 1996. After that he taught and researched in this field at universities in Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Yogyakarta (Indonesia), and now Leiden and Amsterdam.
In 1998 he became a frequent media commentator on Indonesian current affairs in Australia. He was editor of the Australian quarterly magazine Inside Indonesia between 1996 and 2002 and remains on the editorial board. From late 1999 to 2002 he was resident director in Yogyakarta for the Australian Consortium of In-Country Indonesian Studies (Acicis). In 2002-2004 he also spent nine months as research advisor to the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation in East Timor (CAVR).