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Emerging Democracies Book Launch: "State Institutions, Civic Associations, and Identity Demands"

Amy H. Liu, Professor of Government, University of Texas at Austin. Joel Sawat Selway, Associate Professor of Political Science, Brigham Young University.
Tuesday, April 9, 2024
4:00-5:30 PM
Room 110 Weiser Hall Map
Attend in person or via Zoom. Zoom registration at

While the media tends to pay the most attention to violent secessionist movements or peaceful independence movements, it is just as important to understand why there are regions where political movements for autonomy fail to develop. In neglecting regions without political movements or full-blown independence demands, theories may be partial at best and incorrect at worst.

State Institutions, Civic Associations, and Identity Demands examines over a dozen regions, comparing and contrasting successful cases to abandoned, unsuccessful, or dormant cases. The cases range from successful secession (East Timor, Singapore) and ongoing secessionist movements (Southern Philippines), to internally divided regional movements (Kachin State), low-level regionalist stirrings (Lanna, Taiwan), and local but not regional mobilization of identity (Bali, Minahasan), all the way to failed movements (Bataks, South Maluku) and regions that remain politically inert (East and North Malaysia, Northeast Thailand). While each chapter is written by a country expert, the contributions rely on a range of methods, from comparative historical analysis, to ethnography, field interviews, and data from public opinion surveys. Together, they contribute important new knowledge on little-known cases that nevertheless illuminate the history of regions and ethnic groups in Southeast Asia. Although focused on Southeast Asia, the book identifies the factors that can explain why movements emerge and successfully develop and concludes with a chapter by Henry Hale that illustrates how this can be applied globally.

Amy H. Liu (PhD Emory University) is an Associate Professor in the Government Department and codirector of the Politics of Race and Ethnicity Lab at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research and teaching focus on the intersection of ethnic politics, language politics, and migration politics – often through the lens of Great China, the Chinese language, or the Chinese diaspora. Amy’s first book Standardizing Diversity: The Political Economy of Language Regimes (University of Pennsylvania Press 2015) examines how the recognition of lingua francas can be conducive for economic growth – in Asia generally and in Southeast Asia specifically. The second book The Language of Political Incorporation: Chinese Migrants in Europe (Temple University Press 2021) looks at the linguistic networks of Chinese migrants and the implications for engagement with local authorities in Europe. She also has coauthored a monograph (Cambridge University Press 2022 ) explaining the treatment of ethnic minorities in Southeast Asia. Amy is also currently working on a new book project examining the diversity and representation of government cabinets in Asia.

Joel Sawat Selway (PhD University of Michigan) is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Brigham Young University. His research and teaching focus on ethnicity, nationalism, and political institutions. His first book Coalitions of the Wellbeing: How Electoral Rules and Ethnic Politics Shape Health Policy in Developing Countries (Cambridge University Press 2015) examines how the both electoral rules and a country’s ethnic diversity structure incentives for the delivery of public goods, with a particular focus on Southeast Asia. His second book (in progress) looks at the competing identities of nationalism and regionalism in Thailand, explaining why some ethno-regional groups have experienced separatist activity, while others have not. Joel’s work has also appeared in journals such as World Politics, Political Analysis, Comparative Political Studies, British Journal of Political Science, and Journal of Conflict Resolution.

Purchase the book via:
Order online and save 30% with discount code UMS24!

This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required if you intend to participate virtually.

If there is anything we can do to make this event accessible to you, please contact us. Please be aware that advance notice is necessary as some accommodations may require more time for the university to arrange.
Building: Weiser Hall
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: democracy, international, political science
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies, International Institute