Paul Chambers

Dr. Paul Chambers

Director of Research, Institute of Southeast Asian Affairs (ISEEA), Thailand

Paul Chambers serves as Director of Research, Institute of Southeast Asian Affairs (ISEAA), Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, Thailand and as Research Affiliate at both the German Institute of Global Area Studies (GIGA) in Hamburg, Germany, as well as the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (PRIF) in Frankfurt, Germany. Prof. Chambers completed an MA in International Affairs and an MA in political science, both at Ohio University. Following this, he became a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Thailand’s rural northeast. He lived and worked in Thailand and Lao PDR for 5 years. “Ajarn Paul,” as he is referred to in Thai, returned to Thailand in 2001 as a Fulbright fellow where he conducted research for his dissertation, which focused on democratization and political parties in Thailand.

He graduated with a Ph.D. in political science from Northern Illinois University in 2003. In 2003-5, Dr. Chambers was a visiting assistant professor of political science at the University of Oklahoma. The following year he taught political science at Chiang Mai University and then from 2006 until 2008 taught Southeast Asian politics and served as Academic Coordinator of the Southeast Asian Institute of Global Studies at Payap University in Chiang Mai. From 2008 until 2011, Prof. Chambers served as research fellow at Heidelberg University in Heidelberg, Germany. There he scrutinized civil-military relations in select countries of Southeast Asia, specifically Thailand and the Philippines. In 2011 he returned to Chiang Mai and since 2013 served at Chiang Mai University.

Chambers spent over 20 years off-and-on in Southeast Asia (particularly Thailand) both teaching and researching. His research interests focus on civil-military relations in Southeast Asia; international politics of Southeast Asia; dictatorship and democratization in Southeast Asia; and the Political Economy of Less Developed Nations in the Greater Mekong Sub-region. Chambers wrote four books ( three books on the security sector in Southeast Asia) as well as numerous journal articles and book chapters about the military, democratization, and international politics of Southeast Asia.

His articles appeared in Asian Survey, Contemporary Southeast Asia and Asian Security, among others. His research focuses on Thailand, the Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos. He is regularly quoted in the media as an expert on Thailand’s security sector and is often interviewed in the print, radio and television media.

Dr. Chambers was a speaker and panelist during Norwegian Risk Forum 2014 in Oslo, which examined Risks and Rewards for Foreign Investors in Southeast Asia.

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