Meredith Weiss

Meredith Weiss, PhD

Associate Professor
Specialization: Comparative Politics
Department of Political Science

213A Milne Hall | 518-442-5269
On Leave

Curriculum Vitae | Office Hours

About Professor Weiss

Meredith Weiss joined the faculty of the Political Science department at the University at Albany in Fall 2008. Professor Weiss’s research is in the field of comparative politics, focusing on Southeast Asia, especially Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. Thematically, she explores processes and patterns of political development and mobilization, including such dimensions as electoral patterns and processes, nationalism and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, Islamism, “new media,” and coalition-building in both civil society and electoral politics. Her primary current research projects explore, on the one hand, clientelist networks and patronage flows as part of electoral politics in Southeast Asia, and on the other, the intermeshing of feminist and “queer” discourses and identities in the region.

Professor Weiss’s first book, Protest and Possibilities: Civil Society and Coalitions for Political Change in Malaysia (Stanford University Press, 2005) examines political mobilization and efforts at political change in 20th century Malaysia, and contrasts coalition-building and reform processes there and in Indonesia. Her second book, Student Activism in Malaysia: Crucible, Mirror, Sideshow (Cornell SEAP/NUS Press, 2011), situates student activism and its suppression as a part of postcolonial political development, focusing on Malaysia and Singapore from the late colonial period until the present. Professor Weiss is also co-editor of four books: Social Movements in Malaysia: From Moral Communities to NGOs (with Saliha Hassan, RoutledgeCurzon, 2003), which analyzes the development of civil society in Malaysia, focusing on several of the most important social movements there; Political Violence in South and Southeast Asia (with Itty Abraham and Edward Newman, United Nations University Press, 2010), which explores the significance, nature, and roots of violent political contention in these two regions; Student Activism in Asia: Between Protest and Powerlessness (with Edward Aspinall, University of Minnesota Press, Fall 2012), which compares campus-based movements across Northeast and Southeast Asia; and Homophobia Goes Global: States, Movements, and the Diffusion of Oppression (with Michael Bosia, University of Illinois Press, forthcoming), which explores an apparent global trend toward overtly political, often state-sponsored, homophobia. In addition, Professor Weiss has published articles in Perspectives on Politics, Democratization, New Political Science, Taiwan Journal of Democracy, Journal of East Asian Studies, Asian Survey, Critical Asian Studies, Journal of Contemporary Asia, and other journals, in addition to numerous book chapters. 

Professor Weiss is a former chair of the Southeast Asia Council of the Association for Asian Studies (AAS) and member of the AAS Board of Directors. In the American Political Science Association (APSA), she currently serves on the Committee on Siting & Engagement, as 2013 Program Chair (and past Treasurer) of the Caucus for a New Political Science, and as Communications Officer of the Sexuality & Politics section; she is also past chair of the LGBT Caucus. She has testified for the House Committee on International Relations (Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific), given briefings for the US Trade Representative and State Department, and served as a State Department lecturer in Malaysia. Professor Weiss came to the University at Albany after three years at the East-West Center in Washington, DC; prior to that, she was on the faculty at DePaul University. She has held visiting fellowships also at the University of Sydney, Universiti Malaya, Georgetown University, and the Australian National University, and has been the recipient of Fulbright, SSRC, and other grants. Professor Weiss received her PhD and MA degrees from Yale University.

Selected Publications

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