International Forum for Democratic Studies Research Council Member

Donald Emmerson

Stanford University

Donald K. Emmerson is director of the Southeast Asia Forum (SEAF) at the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford University. In addition, Prof. Emmerson is an associated scholar with the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law and the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies. He is also a senior fellow emeritus in the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. His current research focuses on relations between Southeast Asia and China.

Prof. Emmerson’s recent writings include “Reading Between the Lines: China and the South China Sea,” CSIS cogitAsia, (2015); “Facts, Minds, and Formats: Scholarship and Political Change In Indonesia,” Producing Indonesia: The State of the Field of Indonesian Studies (2014) edited by Eric Tagliacozzo; Regional Efforts to Advance Democracy and Human Rights in Asia (2012), “Stability, Reform and Democracy in Myanmar,” East Asia Forum, 14 November 2012, and chapters in Indonesia Rising (2012) and Producing Indonesia (forthcoming). Other publications span some 20 authored or edited books and monographs and more than 200 articles, chapters, and shorter pieces.

In 2011, before covering the East Asia Summit in Bali for Asia Times Online, he explored “Crisis, Uncertainty, and Democracy: Black Swans, Fat Tails, and the Futures of Political Science” in a keynote speech at the Australian Political Studies Association convention. In 2010 the National Bureau of Asian Research and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars awarded him a two-year Research Associateship given to “top scholars from across the United States” who “have successfully bridged the gap between the academy and policy.”

Before moving to Stanford in 1999, Prof. Emmerson was a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he won a campus-wide teaching award. Places where he has held visiting positions include the Institute for Advanced Study and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He serves on the editorial boards of Contemporary Southeast Asia, the Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, Journal of Democracy, and TRaNS: Trans-Regional and -National Studies of Southeast Asia. He has a PhD in political science from Yale University and a BA in international affairs from Princeton University.

Forum Publications

“Kishore’s World,” Journal of Democracy (July 2013)

“Southeast Asia: Minding the Gap between Democracy and Governance,” Journal of Democracy (Apr. 2012)

“Indonesia’s Approaching Elections: A Year of Voting Dangerously?”Journal of Democracy (January 2004)