Visiting Fellows Seminar - Dec. 13, 2007

Dr. Napisa Waitoolkiat, Southeast Asia Visiting Fellow from Thailand, discusses her findings with Dr. Blair King of USAID.



(WASHINGTON, DC) Dec. 13 – The East-West Center in Washington’s two Southeast Asia Visiting Fellows, Dr. Napisa Waitoolkiat from Thailand and Dr. Sulfikar Amir from Indonesia, capped off their three-month fellowships at the East-West Center in Washington with a presentation of their respective research findings.


Addressing an audience of scholars and policymakers, Dr. Waitoolkiat, Chairman of the Political Science Department at Naresuan University, Thailand, discussed the issue of whether electoral rules are related to political corruption in emerging democracies using the case of Thailand.  In advance of the Thai elections on December 23, 2007, she argued that electoral rules have an impact on the level of political corruption by shaping the nature of electoral competition and by influencing the degree of candidates’ accountability to voters.  The level of political corruption, she contended, is ultimately dependent upon the balance between a candidate’s accountability and the type of electoral competition.  Dr. Blair King, Senior Democracy and Governance Advisor at USAID, served as a discussant.


Dr. Amir gave an overview of the state of nuclear politics in post-Suharto Indonesia, analyzing the domestic political terrain to understand state-society relations in the context of Indonesia’s nuclear policy.  He argued that the rationale behind Indonesia’s nuclear policy in the post-Suharto era is the state’s attempt to enhance its capacity, thus reasserting authority that has diminished since the collapse of the Suharto regime.  Dr. Alasdair Bowie, professor of political science and international affairs at the George Washington University, provided commentary and feedback.


The East-West Center in Washington’s Southeast Asia Visiting Fellowship, funded by a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation, ISEAS Singapore, and the East-West Center, is a program designed to offer young scholars and analysts from Southeast Asia and the United States the opportunity to undertake policy-relevant research and writing on international relations, political change, and conflicts in Southeast Asia or on U.S.-Southeast Asia relations. The annual fellowships finance fieldwork in Southeast Asia, a two-month residence at the ISEAS in Singapore, and a three-month residence at the East-West Center in Washington (Washington, D.C.).


For more information on the Southeast Asia Visiting Fellowship, please contact the East-West Center in Washington at




From L to R: Dr. Meredith Weiss, EWC Research Fellow; Dr. Sulfikar Amir, Southeast Asia Visiting Fellow from Indonesia; and Dr. Alasdair Bowie, professor at George Washington University.