Andrew Walker

BA (Hons) (Sydney), PhD (ANU)

Andrew Walker



Biographical statement

Andrew has been working in mainland Southeast Asia since 1993 when he conducted PhD research on cross-border trading links between northern Thailand, northern Laos and southern China. For the past 10 years he has been working on issues of rural development, resource management and modernisation in northern Thailand. He is currently undertaking ongoing ethnographic fieldwork in Baan Tiam, a northern Thai village in Chiang Mai province.

Andrew is the co-founder of the New Mandala blog which provides anecdote, analysis and new perspectives on mainland southeast Asia. It is required reading for all serious scholars of the region.

Research interests

Andrew's research interests include environmental management, rural development, agricultural modernisation, borders and borderlands, politics, ritual, spirits and coyote dancing. There are numerous posts on New Mandala about his research interests.

Key publications

  • 'From Legibility to Eligibility: Politics, Subsidy and Productivity in Rural Asia', TRaNS: Trans-Regional and National Studies of Southeast Asia, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 45-71, 2015.
  • 'Seditious State-Making in the Mekong Borderlands: The Shan Rebellion of 1902-1904', Sojourn, vol. 29, no. 3, pp. 554-590, 2014.
  • 'The Political Economy of Thailand's Middle-Income Peasants', in Michael J. Montesano, Pavin Chachavalpongpun, Aekapol Chongvilaivan (ed.), Bangkok May 2010: Perspectives On A Divided Thailand, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS), Singapore, pp. 323-332, 2012.
  • 'Royal Succession and the Evolution of Thai Democracy', in Michael J. Montesano, Pavin Chachavalpongpun, Aekapol Chongvilaivan (ed.), Bangkok May 2010: Perspectives On A Divided Thailand, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS), Singapore, pp. 333-338, 2012.
  • Thailand's Political Peasants Power in the Modern Rural Economy, University of Wisconsin Press, Madison USA, 2012.
  • 'Practical and Auspicious: Thai Handbook Knowledge for Agriculture and the Environment' (with N Farrelly and C Reynolds), Asian Studies Review, vol. 35, no. 2, pp. 235-251, 2011.
  • 'Royal Sufficiency and Elite Misrepresentation of Rural Livelihoods', in Soren Ivarsson and Lotte Isager (ed.), Saying the Unsayable: Monarchy and Democracy in Thailand, NIAS Press, Copenhagen, Denmark, pp. 241-265, 2010.
  • (with T. Forsyth) Forest Guardians, Forest Destroyers: The Politics of Environmental Knowledge in Northern Thailand. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2008.
  • The Rural Constitution and the Everyday Politics of Elections in Northern Thailand. Journal of Contemporary Asia 38(1): 84-105, 2008.
  • Upper Mekong Borderline Dialogues in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century. In Y. Goudineau and M. Lorrillard (eds) Nouvelles Recherches sur le Laos. (Collection Etudes Thématiques). Paris: Ecole Française d'Extrême-Orient, 2007.
  • Matrilineal Spirits, Descent and Territorial Power in Northern Thailand. The Australian Journal of Anthropology 17(2): 196-215, 2006.
  • Seeing Farmers for the Trees: Community Forestry and the Arborealisation of Agriculture in Northern Thailand. Asia Pacific Viewpoint 45(3): 311-324, 2004.
  • Agricultural Transformation and the Politics of Hydrology in Northern Thailand. Development and Change 34(5): 941-964, 2003.
  • The 'Karen Consensus', Ethnic Politics and Resource-Use Legitimacy in Northern Thailand. Asian Ethnicity 2(2): 145-162, 2001.
  • The Legend of the Golden Boat: Regulation, Trade and Traders in the Borderlands of Laos, Thailand, Burma and China. (Anthropology of Asia Series). Richmond: Curzon Press, 1999.

Career highlights

Co-founder of New Mandala blog - one of the world's leading blogs discussing mainland southeast Asia; Co-convenor of the Masters in Applied Anthropology and Participatory Development; ethnographic research in Laos and northern Thailand; consultancy work for the World Bank and AusAID; international advisory committee member for the Journal of Southeast Asian Studies.


Updated:  1 February, 2015/Responsible Officer:  Web Communications Coordinator/Page Contact:  Web Communications Coordinator