I am an Assistant Professor with a joint appointment in the Department of Political Science and the School of Public Policy & Global Affairs. I am also the Director of UBC’s Centre for Southeast Asia Research and a Faculty Associate at UBC’s Institute of Asian Research.
I specialize in comparative politics, particularly the political economy of development and ethnic politics. My work has been published in numerous journals including American Political Science Review, Politics Groups and Identities, Political Science, the Journal of East Asian Studies, Pacific Affairs, and the Journal of Southeast Asian Economies. I have also published numerous policy reports and book chapters.
My research largely focuses on Southeast Asia, particularly Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and Myanmar. I have been active in several development projects in the region, including a multi-year capacity building project in Myanmar supported by the International Development Research Centre of Canada.
I fill several external service roles, including Associate Editor (Southeast Asia) at Pacific Affairs, Chair of the American Political Science Association’s Southeast Asia Politics Related Group, and Executive Committee member of the Canadian Council for Southeast Asian Studies. I am also an Associate Fellow at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore.
You can find more information about my work on my personal website: www.kaiostwald.me
- “Language Politics, Education, and Ethnic Integration: The pluralist dilemma and its consequences in Singapore” (with Elvin Ong and Dimitar Gueorguiev) – Politics, Groups, and Identities, 7(1): 89-108, 2019.
- “Political Islam, Turnout, and the Indonesian Presidential Election” (with Dimitar Gueorguiev and Paul Schuler) – Political Science, 70(3): 240-252, 2018.
- “Triple Duel: The Impact of Coalition Fragmentation and Three-Corner Fights on the 2018 Malaysian Election” (with Paul Schuler and Jie Ming Chong) – Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, 37(3): 31-55, 2018.
- “Canada’s Foreign Policy and Bureaucratic (Un)Responsiveness: Public Diplomacy in the Digital Domain” (with Julian Dierkes) – Canadian Foreign Policy Journal, 24(2): 202-222, 2018.
- “Ethnic Segregation and Public Goods: Evidence from Indonesia” (with Yuhki Tajima and Krislert Samphantharak) – American Political Science Review, 112(3): 637-653, 2018.
- “Explaining Elections in Singapore: Dominant Party Resilience and Valence Politics” (with Steven Oliver) – Journal of East Asian Studies, 18(2): 129-156, 2018.
- “Federalism without Decentralization: Power Consolidation in Malaysia”– Journal of Southeast Asian Economies, 34(3): 488-506, 2017.
- “Indonesia’s Decentralization Experiment: Motivations, successes, and unintended consequences” (with Yuhki Tajima and Krislert Samphantharak) – Journal of Southeast Asian Economies, 33(2): 139-156, 2016.
- “Context and Comparison in Southeast Asia: the Practical Side of the Area Studies – Discipline Debate” (with Paul Schuler) – Pacific Affairs, 88(4): 871-888, 2015.
- “How to Win a Lost Election: Malapportionment and Malaysia’s 2013 General Election”– The Round Table:Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs, 102(6): 521-532, 2013.
- “Malaysia’s Electoral Process: The Methods and Costs of Perpetuating UMNO Rule”– ISEAS Trends, no. 19, 2017.
- “Fieldwork and the Academic Job Market as a Southeast Asianist”– APSA Comparative Democratization newsletter, vol. 15, 2017.
- “Delayed Transition: The end of consensus leadership in Vietnam?”– ISEAS Perspective, #2, 2016 (with Paul Schuler).
- “Myanmar’s landmark elections: unresolved questions”– ISEAS Perspectives, #68, 2015 (with Paul Schuler).
- “Ebola, SARS, and the Economies of Southeast Asia”–ISEAS Perspective, #63, 2014.
- “Against the Odds: Malaysia’s Electoral Process and Pakatan Harapan’s Unlikely Victory” forthcoming in Francis E. Hutchinson and Lee Hwok Aun Malaysia’s GE14: Missed Signs or Late Surge, Singapore: ISEAS Yusof Ishak Institute.
- “Electoral boundaries in Malaysia’s 2018 Election: Malapportionment, Gerrymandering, and UMNO’s Fall” forthcoming in Edmund Terence Gomez and Mohamed Nawab Mohamed Osman (eds) UMNO’s Fall: Intra-Elite Feuding, the Pursuit of Power and Malaysia’s 14thGeneral Elections”.
- “Local Elections, Decentralization, and Institutional Reform in Malaysia” forthcoming in Sophie Lemiere (ed) Minorities Matter: Malaysian Politics and People.
- “Canada’s foreign policy and bureaucratic (un)responsiveness: Public diplomacy in the digital domain” (with Julian Dierkes)in Richard Nimijean and David Carament (eds), Canada, Nation Branding and Domestic Politics. Routledge, 2019 [chapter is reprint of journal article]
- “National Service and Nation Building: Successes and Limitations of the Singaporean Model” in Ho Shu Huang and Graham Ong-Webb (eds), Citizen/Soldier: National Service in Singapore. 2018.
- “Democratic Crossroads and Political Transitions in Southeast Asia: Domestic and International Factors” in Southeast Asia in an Evolving Global Landscape, proceedings from the Global Affairs Canada conference on Southeast Asia, 2017.
- “Singapore’s PAP has little to fear from Malaysia’s political transition” – East Asia Forum, 2018 (with Steven Oliver)
- “Ethnic diversity matters for decentralisation and development” – East Asia Forum,2018 (with Yuhki Tajima and Krislert Samphantharak)
- “Centralisation not reconciliation under Najib Razak” – East Asia Forum, 2018
- “Legitimacy and Longevity in Singapore’s Reserved Presidency” – East Asia Forum, 2017 (with Isabel Chew).
- “China’s Ambitions Welcomed in Kuala Lumpur?” – Asia Pacific Memo, #388, 2016 (with Phuong Nguyen).
- “Has Chinese foreign policy in Southeast Asia entered a bolder and more assertive phase?” – Asia Pacific Memo, #342, 2015.
- “LNG in British Columbia, scandals in Malaysia, and the complexity of policy decisions” – Asia Pacific Memo, #340, 2015.
- “The many implications of cheap oil in Southeast Asia” – Asia Pacific Foundation, 2015.
- “Will the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) transform Southeast Asian economies in 2015?” – Asia Pacific Memo, #322, 2015 (with Krislert Samphantharak)
- “The Perilous Start and Uncertain Future of the Jokowi Era in Indonesia” – Asia Pacific Memo, #311, 2014
- “The Year in Malaysian Politics: Democracy’s Crooked Trajectory” – Asia Pacific Memo, #310, 2014
- “Malaysian elections, malapportionment, and redelineation” – New Mandala, 2013.
- “The Canada Advantage”, contributed analysis with UBC’s MPPGA research team in conjunction with the Canada-ASEAN Business Council and the National University of Singapore, 2018.
- “The ASEAN Advantage: Exploring Canada’s Trade Potential”, contributed analysis with UBC’s MPPGA research team in conjunction with the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, the Business Council of Canada, and the Canada-ASEAN Business Council, 2017.
- “2016 Canada-ASEAN Business Outlook”, prepared for the Canada-ASEAN Business Council, the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, and the International Development Research Centre (with UBC’s MPPGA research team), 2016.
I am interested in working with students whose work is relevant to issues of political development, particularly in Southeast Asia.
PhD Students (supervision):
- Isabel Chew (Political Science, 2017 – )
- Nathan Peng (Political Science, 2017 – )
PhD Students (committee):
- Fraser GerMann (Anthropology, 2015 – )
- Faisal Harahap (Resource Management and Environmental Studies, 2015 – )
- Salta Zhumatova (Political Science, 2013 – )
- Kylie Luu (Institute of Asian Research, 2014 – 2017)
- Clarrie Ng (Institute of Asian Research, 2014 – 2016)
- Lotus Ruan (Institute of Asian Research, 2014 – 2016)
- Keshav Kelkar (Institute of Asian Research, 2013 – 2015)
- Peggy Lam (School of Journalism, 2015 – 2017)
- Michael Zhang (Institute of Asian Research, 2013 – 2015)
www.kaiostwald.meCLICK HERE for an updated version of my CV from my personal website.