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Thomas Pepinsky

Associate Professor

photo of Thomas Pepinsky

White Hall, Room 322



I am an associate professor in the Government department and a faculty member of the Southeast Asia Program. 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.My current work focuses on financial politics in emerging market economies, authoritarianism and regime survival, and political Islam in Indonesia and beyond.


  • Forthcoming 2016. “Colonial Migration and the Origins of Governance: Theory and Evidence from Java.” Comparative Political Studies. 2015.
  • “Trade Competition and American Decolonization.” World Politics 67, no. 3 (July), 387–411. 2015.
  • “Interpreting Ethnicity and Urbanization in Malaysia’s 2013 General Election.” Journal of East Asian Studies 15, no. 2 (May-August), 199–226. 2014.
  • “The Politics of Capital Flight in the Global Economic Crisis.” Economics and Politics 26, no. 3 (November), 431–456. 2014.
  • “Context and Method in Southeast Asian Politics.” Pacific Affairs 87, no. 3 (September), 441–461. 2014.
  • “The Institutional Turn in Comparative Authoritarianism.” British Journal of Political Science 44, no. 3 (July), 631–653.


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