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John T. Sidel

Sir Patrick Gillam Professor of International and Comparative Politics

London School of Economics and Political Science


Welcome to my new website, which is designed to provide information and easy access with regard to my research and writings, my courses, and my various activities in the realm of public outreach. 


First, a bit about my background: I was born and grew up in New York City, received my BA and MA in Political Science in 1988 from Yale University, where I studied with James C. Scott, and my PhD in Government in 1995 from Cornell University, where I was mentored and supervised by Benedict Anderson. After an initial period of deep interest in Soviet Politics, developed studying Russian in high school, in Leningrad and Moscow (see above), and at Yale, circumstances landed me in the Philippine capital of Manila -- and in the nearby province of Laguna -- in the summer of 1985, in the dying days of the Marcos dictatorship. 


This experience was transformative. Thanks to the Council on Southeast Asian Studies at Yale and the Southeast Asia Program at Cornell, I became immersed in the academic study of the region of Southeast Asia as a whole, its cultures, histories, languages, societies, and politics. Since the mid-1980s, I have spent more than thirty years studying the Philippines, Indonesia, and, to a much lesser extent Vietnam and other countries of the region. My wide-ranging interests in the study of politics thus really begin -- but don't always end -- in Southeast Asia and among the network of scholars of the region spanning the globe. 


After completing my PhD dissertation at Cornell University in 1994, I took up a post as Lecturer -- later Reader -- in Southeast Asian Politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. In 2004, I was appointed as the Sir Patrick Gillam Professor of International and Comparative Politics at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), where I remain based and affiliated with the departments of Government and International Relations and the Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre.


Here is a copy of my CV.


I can be reached by email at

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