Jacob I. Ricks

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I have research interests on a number of topics, bridging three fields of study: comparative politics, political economy of development, and Southeast Asian studies. I draw on empirical observations and puzzles in Southeast Asia, especially Thailand and Indonesia, to speak to theories found in both the political science and development studies literature. These include issues of institutional capacity of developing countries, common pool resource management, bureaucratic reforms, rural transformations, as well as national identity politics.

Here I’ve grouped my publications and short commentaries by broad topic with links provided to the publisher’s websites. You can find a chronological list of my publications on my CV and pre-publication versions are available on my academia.edu page.


Institutional Reforms and State Capacity in Developing Countries

2018. “Agents, Principals, or Something in Between? Bureaucrats and Policy Control in Thailand.” Journal of East Asian Studies. DOI: 10.1017/jea.2018.17

2017. “Sector-Specific Development and Policy Vulnerability in the Philippines.” Development and Change, 48, no. 3 (May). DOI: 10.1111/dech.12300 

2016. (with Punchada Sirivunnabood) “Professionals and Soldiers: Measuring Professionalism in the Thai Military.” Pacific Affairs 89, no. 1 (March), 7-30. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5509/20168917  *** Shortlisted for 2017 William L. Holland Prize for most outstanding article in Pacific Affairs ***

2016. “The Thai Military, Coups, and the False Hope of Professionalism,” Asia Pacific Memo, No. 362. [link]

2015. “Guest Post: Norms and Military Interventions,” Thai Data Points Blog (www.thaidatapoints.com), February 20. [link]

2015. “Growing into Inertia,” Catalyst Asia, July 7. [link]


Politics of Agriculture and Irrigation

2018. “Politics and the Price of Rice in Thailand: Public Choice, Institutional Change, and Rural Subsidies.” Journal of Contemporary Asia. DOI:10.1080/00472336.2017.1419275

2017. “Street-Level Bureaucrats and Irrigation Policy Reform in Southeast Asia.” Invited Essay. Asian Politics & Policy 9, no. 2 (April), 310-319. DOI: 10.1111/aspp.12319

2017. “Thailand’s Delayed Structural Transformation.” Thai Data Points Blog (www.thaidatapoints.com), February 15. [link]

2016. “Building Participatory Organizations for Common Pool Resource Management: Water User Group Promotion in Indonesia.” World Development 77 (January), 34-47. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2015.08.014

2015. “Pockets of Participation: Bureaucratic Incentives and Participatory Irrigation Management in Thailand.” Water Alternatives 8, no. 2 (June), 193-214. [link]

2012. (with Sigit S. Arif) “Field Report: Local Successes in Encouraging Participatory Irrigation Management: Policy Lessons from Indonesia.” Journal of International Development 24, no. 7 (October), 946-949. DOI: 10.1002/jid.2859


National Identity Politics

2018. “The Effect of Language on Voter Opinion: Results from a Survey Experiment in Thailand.” Political Behavior. DOI:10.1007/s11109-018-9487-z. Replication data available on Dataverse.  *** I incorrectly identify Prabowo Subianto as Prabowo Wiranto at one point in the paper. My apologies. ***

2012. (with Amy H. Liu) “Coalitions and Language Politics: Policy Shifts in Southeast Asia.” World Politics 64, no. 3 (July), 476-506. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S004388711200010X

2008. “National Identity and the Geo-Soul: Spiritually Mapping Siam.” Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism 8, no. 1 (April), 120-141. DOI: 10.1111/j.1754-9469.2008.00006.x


Political Science Methods

2018. (with Amy H. Liu) “Process Tracing Research Designs: A Practical Guide.” PS: Political Science & Politics. DOI: 10.1017/S1049096518000975