Blog Archives

Lorraine Chuen on Food, Race, and Power

This is relevant to my interests (HT Angry Asian Man). The amount of power that White people hold continues to both amaze and disturb me. White folks have the power to tease, torment, and mock (this food smells like poo,

Posted in Asia, Food and Drink

Does the Kra Canal Threaten Singapore?

A recent essay in The Independent (Singapore) warns that plans to construct a new canal across the Isthmus of Kra are an existential threat to Singapore. If the Kra Canal truly becomes a reality, ships would certainly consider by-passing the

Posted in Asia, Economics, Politics

When China’s Growth Ends, What Next?

At the 2016 Davos World Economic Forum, George Soros issued a stark prognosis about the future of the Chinese economy: “A hard landing is practically unavoidable.” Although few China watchers are willing to make such bold predictions, many observers suspect

Posted in Asia, Politics, Research

What Does It Look Like When Citizens Don’t Trust Elections?

Perhaps more than anything that he has said through his campaign, Donald Trump’s charge that the upcoming presidential elections will be rigged have frightened political observers, and especially political scientists. The reason is that elite and public acceptance of electoral

Posted in Asia, Current Affairs, Politics

Democratization by Elections in Southeast Asia?

One of the most important recent theories of democratization is known as democratization by elections—the idea that elections themselves can bring about democratic change in electoral authoritarian regimes. Surprisingly, this literature almost entirely ignores Southeast Asia, even though Southeast Asia

Posted in Asia, Politics, Research

Law and Order and Drugs in Southeast Asia

The Jokowi administration’s handling of drug offenses in Indonesia has taken a worrying turn in recent days. I am referring to a recent report about Jokowi, the police, and drug traffickers. As we all know and as Jokowi has repeatedly

Posted in Asia, Current Affairs, Indonesia, Politics

On the Cuts to Asian Studies at ANU

By now, many readers of this blog will be familiar with the recent decision to restructure Asian studies at the Australian National University, in particular through the elimination of professorial positions in the School of Culture, History, and Languages. These

Posted in Asia, Research, Teaching

Singlish Linguistic Diversity Challenge

Several years ago I proposed what I called the Indonesian linguistic diversity challenge: create the shortest phrase with the most number of words from different languages, inspired by my visit to the Sekolah Tinggi Ilmu Statistik (Portuguese-Malay-Arabic-Dutch). In a recent

Posted in Asia, Language

The Legacies of the “Boat People” in Asian America

I always struggle to express to undergraduates just how important it is to understand Asian American experiences from the community collectively known as the “Boat People.” Thanks to IPUMS-USA (Ruggles et al. 2015), though, I can make this figure. It

Posted in Asia, Teaching

Syllabus Ideas: The Politics of Violence in Southeast Asia

I am in the process of putting together a syllabus for a graduate-level half-semester course on the politics of violence in Southeast Asia. The goal of such a course would be to make sense of the micro-dynamics of conflict and

Posted in Asia, Teaching
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