Risa J. Toha

Assistant Professor of Political Science

Wake Forest University

Yale-NUS College (on leave)


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Hello! I am Assistant Professor of Political Science at Wake Forest University and at Yale-NUS College in Singapore (on leave). 

I'm broadly interested in comparative ethnic politics, political violence, and the political economy of development, with a regional focus on Southeast Asia. My book, Rioting for Representation: Local Ethnic Mobilization in Democratizing Countries, examines the micro-dynamics of ethnic riots in Indonesia during its transition to democracy and argues that local political actors resort to violence to protest against exclusion in local politics. This book was published by Cambridge University Press. 

I received my Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles, and my AB from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.  I was previously an Indonesia Postdoctoral Fellow at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Harvard Kennedy School, a Visiting Assistant Professor at Wheaton College, and a Visiting Scholar at the Shorenstein APARC at Stanford University.    My research has been supported by grants from the Singapore Social Science Research Council, Singapore's Ministry of Education, Yale-NUS College, National University of Singapore, the Mustard Seed Foundation, Pacific Rim Research Organization, and the U.S. Department of Education, among others. 

I am currently Chair of the American Political Science Association's Southeast Asia Politics Related Group, and a co-convenor of Women in Southeast Asian Social Sciences (WiSEASS).   I also serve on the leadership council of the Southeast Asia Research Group (SEAREG).