The department

The ANU Department of Political and Social Change is a leading centre for the study of Asian politics and society. We have considerable depth of expertise on the political and social dynamics of Indonesia and China, including the highest concentration of academic staff and PhD students specialising in Indonesian politics outside of Indonesia itself.

The Department offers world-class graduate research programs focusing on political science, but also drawing upon the diverse disciplinary backgrounds of our academic staff, including sociology, history and anthropology. Our specialisations include democratisation, national and local politics, gender, conflict and conflict resolution, religious politics and political theory. We also teach courses in a range of undergraduate programs.

We regularly co-sponsor conferences, seminars, and workshops with other centres and departments, including the Indonesia Update conference, which has been held annually since 1983, and the update conferences on Vietnam, Burma/Myanmar and the Philippines. Revised papers from these and other conferences involving the Department are usually published in books.

Since its inception in 1978 the department has supervised almost 80 PhDs.


John Nation
Planned social change: Fijian participation in cattle development projects


Amir Santoro (University of Indonesia)
Public policy implementation: rice policy at the regional level in Indonesia, 1970–1984


Wan Kadir Che Man
Muslim separatism: the Moros in southern Philippines and the Malays in southern Thailand


Jane Ching Yee Lee
The politics of transition in Hong Kong: elections and the mobilization process, 1982–85

Andrew MacIntyre
Politics, policy and participation: business–government relations in Indonesia


Beverley Blaskett
Papua New Guinea–Indonesia relations: a new perspective on the border conflict

Imron Husin
Rural electrification in Indonesia: policy implementation in theory and practice

Viberto Selochan
Professionalization and politicization of the armed forces of the Philippines


Suchai Treerat
Capitalist penetration in rural Thai villages: Suphanburi, 1960–1984


William Standish
Simbu paths to power


Ropate Qalo
Indigenous politics in the governance of Fiji: The case of forestry


Peter Searle
‘Rent-seekers’ or real capitalists? The riddle of Malaysian capitalism


Rory Ewins
Tradition, politics and change in contemporary Fiji and Tonga


Alaine Chanter
‘Contested identity’: The media and independence in New Caledonia during the 1980s

Derry Habir
Public policy and state enterprises in Indonesia

Wendy Timms
The post-World War Two colonial project and Australian planters in Papua New Guinea

Asofou So’o
O le Fuata ma Lona Lou: Indigenous institutions and democracy in Western Samoa


Anne Dickson-Waiko
‘A woman’s place is in the struggle’: Feminism and nationalism in the Philippines

John Maxwell
The making of a political activist: the life of Soe Hok-gie, a young Indonesian intellectual

Shannon Smith
The Indonesian corner of the growth triangle


Jun Honna
The developing civil–military discourse in Indonesia’s late Suharto regime

Ben Reilly
The electoral system in Papua New Guinea


Rohan Ekanayake
State coercion and the ascendancy of civil disorder in Sri Lanka

Russell Heng
Of the state, for the state, yet against the state: the struggle paradigm in Vietnam’s media politics

Maung Aung Myoe [Jointly with Pacific and Asian History]
The counterinsurgency in Myanmar: the government’s response to the Burma Communist Party

Kayoko Tsumori
The middle class in politics: Political discourse among public intellectuals in Soeharto’s Indonesia


Edward Aspinall
Political opposition and the transition from authoritarian rule: the case of Indonesia

In Won Hwang
Changing conflict configurations and regime maintenance in Malaysian politics: From consociational bargaining to Mahathir’s dominance

David Koh
Wards of Hanoi and state–society relations in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Otto Ondawame
‘One people, one soul’: West Papuan nationalism and the Organisasi Papua Merdeka (OPM/Free Papua Movement)

Don Porter
The failure of corporatism in Indonesia: Suharto and Islam


Tarcisius Kabutaulaka
Landowners and the struggle for control of Solomon Islands’ logging industry

Nuraida Mokhsen
Decentralization in Indonesia

Trevor Rogers
The Papua New Guinea Defence Force Vanuatu (1980) to Bougainville (1990)

Elizabeth St George
Government policy and changes to higher education in Vietnam, 1986–1998: Education in transition for development?

Andrew Smith
Water first. A political history of hydraulics in Vietnam’s Red River Delta


Nankyung Choi
Democratization, decentralization and local party politics in Post–Soeharto Indonesia

Kumiko Mizuno
Indonesia’s East Timor policy: 1998–2002

Emily Rudland
Political triage: Health and the state in Myanmar


John Gillespie
Transplanting commercial law reform: Developing a ‘rule of law’ in Vietnam

Neilson Mersat
Politics and business in Sarawak (1963–2004)

Marcus Mietzner
Indonesian civil-military relations: The armed forces and political Islam in transition, 1997–2004

Nathan Quimpo
Contested democracy and the Left in the Philippines after Marcos

Natalie Hicks
Organizational adventures in district government: central control versus local initiative in Long An Province, Vietnam


Kikue Hamayotsu
Institutions, parties and Ulama: The making of the Islamic administrative apparatus and the politics of cooption

Morten Pedersen
International democracy promotion in authoritarian states: The Burmese case

Stan Tan
Dust beneath the mist: state and frontier formation and the Central Highlands of Vietnam, the 1955–61 period

Chris Wilson
From soil to God: Ethno-religious violence in North Maluku Province, Indonesia, 1999–2000


Ruth Spriggs
Gender and peace: Bougainville women’s role in the Bougainville peace process, 1990–2001

Bima Sugiarto
Beyond formal politics: Party factionalism and leadership in post-authoritarian Indonesia

Dang Dinh Trung
Agrarian reform in southern Vietnam from 1975 to the late 1980s: From small to large scale farming and back again


Taufiq Tanasaldy
Regional ethnic politics and national political transitions: The Dayaks of West Kalimantan


Beibei Tang
The making of housing status groups in post-reform urban China: Social mobility and status attainment of gated-community residents in Shenyang

Michael Karadjis
The Vietnamese Communist Party debate and the leading role of the state sector: Ideological straight-jacket, vested interests or real social progress?

Meiling Southwell-Lee
Women with money, women with minds: Social status, gender and marriage choices among elite urban women in contemporary China


Frieda Sinanu
Everyday politics of global civil society: A study of the relationships between international and local NGOs in Indonesia

Catherine Hine
Untying the hard knot of her subjugation: Women activists negotiating change in Pakistan

David Jansen The central role of the police in networked security in Indonesia: A case study of Yogyakarta

Antje Missbach
Long-distance politics in transition: Aceh’s diaspora during and after the homeland conflict (1976–2009)

Evelyn Chia Sing-Tingn
Forest governance in Chinese villages: Community, the ‘common interest’ and common pool resources


Takashi Tsukamoto
Encountering the Other within: Thai national identity and the Malay–Muslims of the deep South

Louise Michelle Merrington
Beyond the protracted contest: Redefining the Sino–Indian relationship

Tin Liu
Boys’ love in girls’ hands: The survival of a gendered youth culture in mainland China and Hong Kong

Wai Weng Hew
Negotiating ethnicity and religiosity: Chinese Muslim identities in post–New Order Indonesia

Lichao Yang
A case study of three villages in Shaanxi

Emma Campbell
Uri nara, our nation: Unification, identity and the emergence of a new nationalism amongst South Korean young people

Nattakant Akarapongpisak
Rethinking state-village relations: Positive forms of everyday politics and land occupation in Thailand (1997-2010)


Venkatachalam Thiruppugazh
Post-disaster reconstruction: Policies, performance and politics; a comparative study of three states in India

Nick Cheesman
The politics of law and order in Myanmar

Irwan Sinaga
State and the migration industry in Indonesia: Legal and institutional reforms and the protection of migrant workers

Ayami Noritake
A place of diversity and change: gender, space and agency in a South Korean marketplace area

Kumiko Kawashima
In search of fulfilment: Japan’s lost generation and the Australian working holiday

Tom Cliff
Oil and water: Experiences of being Han in 21st Century Korla, Xinjiang


Prajak Kongkirati
Bosses, bullets and ballots: Electoral violence and democracy in Thailand, 1975–2011

Tracy K.F. Lee
Reading men’s lifestyle magazines in contemporary China

Mei-Ling Ellerman
Subordination at work: Chinese female domestic workers’ struggles between silence and critical consciousness

Nathan Blank
The recruitment industry in the Philippines: Government–business relations in the overseas employment program

Peter O’Donnell
Environmental governance in Northern Thailand

Lior Rosenberg
Policy implementation in contemporary rural China: the case of the village development program


Norshahril Saat
Striving to capture the state: Official Ulema in Indonesia and Malaysia


Peter Chaudhry
Government munificence and the struggle to be poor: Politics, power and the local state in Vietnam’s Northwest Borderlands

Shangpo Hsieh
Nongovernmental organisations and corruption prevention in democratising Indonesia (1998-2008)

Syamsul Rijal
Habaib, markets, and traditional Islamic authority: The rise of Arab preachers in contemporary Indonesia

David Gilbert
Everyday transgender belonging in transitioning Yangon


Kimly Ngoun
The politics of nationalism in Cambodia’s Preah Vihear conflict with Thailand: The state, the city and the border

Tu Phuong Nguyen
Workplace (in)justice, law and labour resistance in Vietnam

Quinton Temby
Jihadists assemble: The rise of militant Islamism in Southeast Asia

Chit Win
Explaining Myanmar’s Hluttaw, 2011-2016: Transitional legitimacy and the politics of legislative autonomy


Sri Lestari Wahyuningroem
From state to civil society: transitional justice and democratization in Indonesia

Meixi Zhuang
The politics of public supervision of government in China: the case of the civil monitory organization

Aisi Shang
Villager responses to drought: an ethnographic study in Southwest China

Justin Whitney
Learning from disaster: resilience and crisis management in Japan (1923-2016)

Eve Warburton (winner of J G Crawford Prize 2018 and the Ann Bates Postgraduate Prize for Indonesian Studies 2018)
Our resources, our rules: a political economy of resource nationalism in Indonesia

Burhanuddin Muhtadi
Buying votes in Indonesia: Partisans, personal networks, and winning margins


Ronald Holmes
The centrality of pork amidst weak institutions: presidents and the persistence of particularism in post-Marcos Philippines (1986-2016)

Daungyewa Utarasint
Voices and votes amid violence: power and electoral accountability in Thailand’s Deep South

Gerard McCarthy
Regressive democracy: explaining distributive politics in Myanmar’s political transition

Dominic Berger
Opportunistic repression: managing anti-state dissent in post-authoritarian Indonesia


Bayu Dardias Kurniadi
Defending the Sultan’s land: Yogyakarta, control over land and aristocratic power in post-autocratic Indonesia


Ana Alonso
Icons of the past: Stories about children born of violence in the Guatemalan and Peruvian Truth Commissions

Camille Boullenois
The self-made entrepreneur: Social identities and the perceived legitimacy of entrepreneurs in inland rural China

Rungrawee Chalermsripinyorat
Jihad for Patani: Islam and BRN’s separatist struggle in Southern Thailand

Haula Noor
The family context and its role in making jihadists: The case of the families of jihadists in Indonesia


Ahmad Muhajir
Religion and money politics in Indonesia: Fatwa, pietism and Muslim candidate vote-buying in the 2014 elections

Felix Pal
Weaponised pluralism: Why Hindu nationalists need Muslim friends

Gatra Priyandita
Between honey and poison: Indonesia’s management of ties with a rising China

Sirichinda Thongchinda
The violence of the ties that bind: Kinship, gender and monarchy in Thailand

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