Meredith Weiss

Meredith Weiss

Professor, Director of Graduate Studies, Director of Semester in Washington
Political Science
International Affairs
Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy
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213A Milne Hall
Meredith Weiss

Meredith Weiss is Professor of Political Science and director of Rockefeller College’s Semester in Washington Program. She has published widely on social mobilization and civil society, the politics of identity and development, electoral politics and parties, institutional reform, and subnational governance in Southeast Asia, with particular focus on Malaysia and Singapore. Her books include Student Activism in Malaysia: Crucible, Mirror, Sideshow (Cornell SEAP, 2011); Protest and Possibilities: Civil Society and Coalitions for Political Change in Malaysia (Stanford, 2006); The Roots of Resilience: Party Machines and Grassroots Politics in Southeast Asia (Cornell, 2020); and the co-authored Mobilizing for Elections: Patronage and Political Machines in Southeast Asia (Cambridge, forthcoming). She has also edited or co-edited eleven volumes, most recently, The Political Logics of Anticorruption Efforts in Asia (SUNY, 2019), and Toward a New Malaysia? The 2018 Election and Its Aftermath (NUS, 2020). Her articles appear in Asian Studies ReviewAsian SurveyCritical Asian StudiesDemocratizationJournal of Contemporary AsiaJournal of DemocracyJournal of Human Rights, Taiwan Journal of Democracy, and other journals. Current projects include collaborative studies of urban governance and public-goods delivery, of civil society in Southeast Asia, of pandemic governance, and of democratic representation and political elites in Southeast Asia; and a monograph on Malaysian sociopolitical development.

Professor Weiss co-edits the Cambridge University Press Elements book series on Politics and Society in Southeast Asia and is associate editor for Southeast Asia of the Association for Asian Studies’ (AAS) Journal of Asian Studies. She was co-founder and inaugural chair of the Southeast Asian Politics related group of the American Political Science Association (APSA), has chaired the Southeast Asia Council of the AAS, chairs APSA’s Asia Workshops steering committee, serves on the Southeast Asia Research Group (SEAREG) Council, and is a co-convener of the Women in Southeast Asian Social Sciences (WiSEASS) network, as well as organizer of the New York Southeast Asia Network Public Universities Consortium (NYSEAN PUC). Having worked previously at the East-West Center Washington and DePaul University before joining the department in 2008, she has also held visiting fellowships or professorships in Australia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and the US. She received her MA and PhD in Political Science from Yale University and a BA in Political Science, Policy Studies, and English from Rice University.

Selected Publications

The Roots of Resilience: Party Machines and Grassroots Politics in Southeast Asia

Student Activism in Malaysia: Crucible, Mirror, Sideshow

Protest and Possibilities: Civil Society and Coalitions for Political Change in Malaysia

The Political Logics of Anticorruption Efforts in Asia

Political Participation in Asia: Defining and Deploying Political Space

Electoral Dynamics in Malaysia: Findings from the Grassroots

Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Malaysia

Global Homophobia: States, Movements, and the Politics of Oppression

Student Activism in Asia: Between Protest and Powerlessness

Selected Articles

Meredith L. Weiss, “Building Solidarity on the Margins: Seeking SOGIE Rights in ASEAN,” Journal of Human Rights 20:2 (2021), pp. 194–210.

Meredith L. Weiss, “Legacies of the Cold War in Malaysia: Anything But Communism,” Journal of Contemporary Asia 50:4 (2020), pp. 511–29.

Lee Morgenbesser and Meredith L. Weiss, “Survive and Thrive: Field Research in Authoritarian Southeast Asia,” Asian Studies Review 42:3 (September 2018), pp. 385-403.

Meredith L. Weiss, “Going to the Ground (or AstroTurf): A Grassroots View of Regime Resilience,” Democratization 24:2 (March 2017),  pp. 265-82.

Meredith L. Weiss, Hoe-Yeong Loke, and Luenne Chua, “The 2015 General Election and Singapore’s Political Forecast: ‘White Clouds, Blue Skies,’” Asian Survey 56:5 (September/October 2016), pp. 859-78.

Meredith L. Weiss, “Payoffs, Parties, or Policies: ‘Money Politics’ and Electoral Authoritarian Resilience,” Critical Asian Studies 48:1 (March 2016), pp. 77-99.