Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty Profiles

National University of Singapore
10 Kent Ridge Crescent, Singapore 119260

Email: polyn@nus.edu.sg
Homepage: http://profile.nus.edu.sg/fass/polyn/
| Brief Introduction | Teaching Areas | Research Interests | Publications | Other Information

Brief Introduction Top

I was a Research Fellow in the Department of Political and Social Change, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, at the Australian National University before joining the NUS faculty in July 2007. A native of Japan, I became interested in Southeast Asia, especially the history of Singapore and Malaysia, by a totally strange twist of fate. Soon thereafter, by just another quirk of fate, my research interest shifted to rural Thailand, a subject on which I now specialize. Although formally trained as a political scientist, I have eclectic, interdisciplinary interests that cut across anthropology, history, literary studies, and psychology. Besides traveling, eating sushi, and being in the Thai (and Japanese) countryside, I passionately enjoy watching Premier League football games, esp. watching Man U and Chelsea lose to Arsenal (which unfortunately does not happen often ...). I admire Lionel Messi more than any other football player. He is a pure delight to watch.

Teaching Areas Top

politics and society of Southeast Asia; comparative politics; state-society relations

Research Interests Top

(local) politics in Southeast Asia; state-society relations; social movements; collective identity formation; spectacles of power; geographies of power; state formation at local level; domination and resistance; ideology; discourse formation; politics of memory

Publications Top

  • Book:

       Political Authority and Provincial Identity in Thailand: The Making of Banharn-buri (Ithaca: Cornell University Southeast Asia Studies Program, 2011).



    ●  “Peasants and the Redshirt Movement in Thailand: Some Dissenting Voices,” Journal of Peasant Studies, vol.41, no.1 (2014), pp.1-28.

    ● "The King and Banharn: Towards an elaboration of network monarchy in Thailand," South East Asia Research, vol. 21, no. 1 (2013), pp. 69-103.

    ● “Prostitution and Female Leadership in Rural Thailand: The Story of Phayao Province.” Modern Asian Studies, vol.45, no.6 (2011), pp. 1535-1597. 

       “Suphanburi in the Fast Lane: Roads, Prestige, and Domination in Provincial Thailand.” Journal of Asian Studies, vol.67, no.2 (2008), pp.433-467.  

       “Constructing Moral Authority in Rural Thailand: Banharn Silpa-archa’s Non-violent War on Drugs,” Asian Studies Review, vol.31, no.3 (2007), pp.343-364.

       “The Gargantuan Project and Modernity in Provincial Thailand,” Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology, vol.8, no.3 (2007), pp.217-233.

       “The Domination of a Fussy Strongman in Provincial Thailand.” Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, vol.37, no.2 (2006), pp.267-291.

       “The Moral Origin of Thailand's Provincial Strongman: The Case of Banharn Silpa-archa.” South East Asia Research, vol.13, no.2 (2005), pp.184-234.

       “Provincializing Thai Politics.” Kyoto Review of Southeast Asia, no.1 (March 2002), http://kyotoreview.cseas.kyoto-u.ac.jp. Reproduced in Kyoto Review of Southeast Asia: Selected Essays (Bangkok: Dream Catcher Graphic, 2004), pp.3-19.


    Book Review:

    ●  Marc Askew, Performing Political Identity: The Democrat Party in Southern Thailand (Chiang Mai: Silkworm Books, 2008), in Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, vol. 40, no.3 (2009), pp. 651-653.

    ● Tyrell Haberkorn, Revolution Interrupted: Farmers, Students, Law, and Violence in Northern Thailand (Madison, University of Wisconsin Press, 2011), in Journal of Peasant Studies, vol. 40, no. 2 (2013), pp. 459-462.

    ●  Andrew Walker, Thailand’s Political Peasants: Power in the Modern Rural Economy (Madison, University of Wisconsin Press, 2012), forthcoming in Journal of Southeast Asian Studies (2014).



    ● “Thailand 2012.” Encyclopedia Britannica (Chicago: Britannica Inc., 2013)

       “Thailand 2011.” Encyclopedia Britannica (Chicago: Britannica Inc., 2012)

    “Thailand 2010.” Encyclopedia Britannica (Chicago: Britannica Inc., 2011)

       “Thailand 2009.” Encyclopedia Britannica (Chicago: Britannica Inc., 2010).

       “Thailand 2008.” Encyclopedia Britannica (Chicago: Britannica Inc., 2009).

       “Thailand 2007.” Encyclopedia Britannica (Chicago: Britannica Inc., 2008).

       “Thailand 2006.” Encyclopedia Britannica (Chicago: Britannica Inc., 2007).

       “Thailand 2005.” Encyclopedia Britannica (Chicago: Britannica Inc., 2006).

       “Thailand 2004.” Encyclopedia Britannica (Chicago: Britannica Inc., 2005).


  • Other Information Top


    ●  NUS FASS Excellent Teaching Award, 2008

    ●  NUS FASS Excellent Teaching Award, 2010

    ●  NUS FASS Excellent Teaching Award, 2011

     NUS FASS Student Choice Award, 2011

    ●  NUS University-level Annual Teaching Excellence Award, 2011

    ●  NUS FASS Excellent Teaching Award, 2012

    ●  NUS University-level Annual Teaching Excellence Award, 2012


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