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Migrants, Minorities, and Populism in Asia

Migrants, Minorities, and Populism in Asia

Photo: Tom Pepinsky, cropped.

Colloquium with Professor Thomas Pepinsky (Cornell University)

Wednesday, November 14, 2018
12:30 PM - 2:00 PM
10383 Bunche Hall
UCLA Campus
Los Angeles, CA 90095

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Populists in East and Southeast Asia generally refrain from invoking anti-migrant and anti-minority sentiments as part of their mobilizational strategies. This differentiates them from “exclusionary” populists in Europe and the United States, even though many Asian countries are diverse societies with long histories of migration and ethnic chauvinism. This talk proposes that Asian populists work within rather than against existing categories of peoplehood that were set alongside the onset of mass politics. Because these categories of peoplehood remain salient today, they constrain contemporary Asian populists’ rhetorical and mobilizational strategies. The cases of the Rohingya and Chinese Indonesians, who are vulnerable to populist mobilization, provide evidence of how contested notions of peoplehood make exclusionary populism possible. The Asian experience thus reveals the flexibility of identity, nation, and membership in contemporary populism.

Thomas Pepinsky is an associate professor in the Government department and a faculty member of the Southeast Asia Program at Cornell University. He studies comparative politics and political economy, with a focus on emerging market economies in Southeast Asia. He received my Ph.D. in political science from Yale University in May 2007, and joined the Cornell faculty in 2008.



Nguyet  Tong
(310) 206-9163

Download file: Pepinksy_11-14-18-tq-vuf.pdf

Sponsor(s): Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Asia Pacific Center, Political Science