Director Erik Kuhonta

Erik Martinez Kuhonta is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and Director of the Institute for the Study of International Development at McGill University.  Born in Kandy, Sri Lanka, Kuhonta grew up in Rome, Italy, and became interested in development because of his Philippine roots. His research interests focus broadly on political development, with a regional focus on Southeast Asia. He writes and teaches on questions of state formation, democracy, political parties, political economy, religion, migration, as well as on comparative-historical analysis and qualitative methods. He is author of The Institutional Imperative: The Politics of Equitable Development in Southeast Asia (Stanford University Press, 2011), which was short-listed for the Canadian Political Science Association Prize in Comparative Politics. He is co-editor of Party System Institutionalization in Asia: Democracies, Autocracies, and the Shadow of the Past (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015) and Southeast Asia in Political Science: Theory, Region, and Qualitative Analysis (Stanford University Press, 2008). Kuhonta has published articles in Pacific Affairs, Contemporary Southeast Asia, Comparative Political Studies, Asian Survey, and Pacific Review, as well as in a number of edited volumes on political development and political economy. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton University, and his B.A. Magna Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania. He has held visiting fellowships at Stanford University, the National University of Singapore, the East-West Center (Honolulu), and Kyoto University. Besides research, Kuhonta’s favorite pastime is playing with his two very active young boys, Javier and Keisuke.


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