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Thomas Pepinsky

Walter F. LaFeber Professor

Thomas Pepinsky

White Hall, Room 322



I am the Walter F. LaFeber Professor of Government and Director of the Southeast Asia Program at Cornell, and Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brooking Institution. I study comparative politics and political economy, with a focus on emerging market economies in Southeast Asia. I received my Ph.D. in political science from Yale University in May 2007, and joined the Cornell faculty in 2008.


  • Government

Graduate Fields

  • Asian Studies
  • Government


My research centers around two themes: the relationship between economic interests and political outcomes, and the interaction between domestic politics and the global economy. Most of my work focuses on emerging markets, and I have a special interest in Southeast Asia and the Muslim world. My current work focuses on issues relating to identity, politics, and political economy in comparative and international politics. 


Spring 2021

Fall 2021


Recent selected publications. See my list of published work for more. 

  • 2021. “The Exclusionary Foundations of Embedded Liberalism” (with Sara Wallace Goodman). International Organization 75, no. 2 (Spring), 411–439.

  • 2021. “Learning from Biased Research Designs” (with Andrew T. Little). Journal of Politics 83, no. 2 (April), 602–616.

  • 2020. “Migrants, Minorities, and Populism in Southeast Asia.” Pacific Affairs 93, no. 3 (September), 593–610.

  • 2020. “Encouraging Indonesians to Pray from Home During the COVID-19 Pandemic” (with Nicholas Kuipers and Saiful Mujani). Journal of Experimental Political Science, 1-12.

  • 2019. “The Return of the Single-Country Study.” Annual Review of Political Science 22, 187–203.

  • 2019. “The Trump Presidency and American Democracy: A Historical and Comparative Analysis” (with Robert Lieberman, Suzanne Mettler, Kenneth Roberts, and Richard Valelly). Perspectives on Politics 17, no. 2 (June), 470–479.

  • 2018. “A Note on Listwise Deletion versus Multiple Imputation.” Political Analysis 26, no. 4 (October), 480–488.

  • Piety and Public Opinion: Understanding Indonesian Islam (with R. William Liddle and Saiful Mujani). New York: Oxford University Press, 2018.


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