I am an Assistant Professor in the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs & the Department of Political Science. I’m also a Faculty Associate at the Institute of Asian Research. My work is broadly on development, public policy, and ethnic politics. My focus is strongly on Southeast Asia, especially Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and Myanmar.

Please see my personal website for further details: www.kaiostwald.me

Please CLICK HERE for a current version of my CV from my personal website.

Peer Review:

“Federalism without Decentralization: Power Consolidation in Malaysia” – Journal of Southeast Asian Economies, Forthcoming in 2017

Language Politics, Education, and Ethnic Integration: The pluralist dilemma and its consequences in Singapore” (with Elvin Ong and Dimitar Gueorguiev) – Politics, Groups, and Identities, Online First 2017

Indonesia’s Decentralization Experiment: Motivations, successes, and unintended consequences” (with Yuhki Tajima and Krislert Samphantharak) Journal of Southeast Asian Economies, 2016.

Context and Comparison in Southeast Asia: the Practical Side of the Area Studies – Discipline Debate” (with Paul Schuler) – Pacific Affairs, 2015.

How to Win a Lost Election: Malapportionment and Malaysia’s 2013 General Election”, The Round Table: Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs, 2013.

Selected Other Publications:

“Delayed Transition: The end of consensus leadership in Vietnam?” ISEAS Perspective, #2, 2016 (with Paul Schuler).

“Myanmar’s landmark elections: unresolved questions” ISEAS Perspectives, #68, 2015 (with Paul Schuler).

“Has Chinese foreign policy in Southeast Asia entered a bolder and more assertive phase?” Asia Pacific Memo, #342, 2015.

“LNG in British Columbia, scandals in Malaysia, and the complexity of policy decisions” Asia Pacific Memo, #340, 2015.

“The many implications of cheap oil in Southeast Asia.” Asia Pacific Foundation, 2015.




I currently teach courses in UBC’s Masters of Public Policy and Global Affairs, as well as in the Department of Political Science. My past courses include:

  • Measurement and Data Analysis for Policy, 2017 (MPPGA, UBC)
  • Domestic and Global Policy Process – 2016 (MPPGA, UBC)
  • Quantitative Analysis for Policy – 2015 (MPPGA, UBC)
  • Policy Making Process – 2015 (MA level, IAR, UBC)
  • Southeast Asian Governments and Politics – 2015, 2016, 2017 (BA level, UBC)
  • Perspectives and Methods in Asia Pacific Policy Studies – 2014 (MA level, IAR, UBC)
  • Political Economy of Southeast Asia – 2013 and 2014 (MA level, IR/PS, UCSD)
  • Economic Development of Southeast Asia – 2012 and 2014 (MA level, IR/PS, UCSD)
  • Politics of Southeast Asia – 2013 (BA level, UCSD)
  • Politics of Multiculturalism – 2012 (BA level, UCSD)
  • Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict – 2012 (BA level, UCSD)

Kai is currently involved in several projects with external partners, including:

Canada-ASEAN Business Outlook Survey: In collaboration with the Canada-ASEAN Business Council (CABC) and the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada (APF), Kai and team of UBC MPPGA students conducted a survey of the Canadian private sector in Southeast Asia. The purpose was to provide insights into market conditions in the ASEAN region and better understand how the Canadian government can support deeper Canada-ASEAN economic ties. The report and additional information on the project can be found here. 

Emerging Myanmar Initiative: The Institute of Asian Research at UBC will be leading a capacity development program at the Yangon University of Economics and the University of Yangon in Myanmar, from 2017-2019. Further information to be posted shortly.

V-Dem: Kai is a contributor to the V-Dem project.

Canada-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement Study: Kai and a team of MPPGA students at UBC contributed (together with the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, the Business Council of Canada, and the Canada-ASEAN Business Council) to a study that provides policy recommendations for the federal government of Canada on how to deepen the bilateral relationship with the ASEAN region.

Find me on Twitter: @KaiOstwald