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Mai NguyenVisiting Instructor


Dr. Mai Nguyen is a recent Ph.D. and MacCracken Fellow in the Wilf Family Department of Politics at New York University. She primarily study issues relating to state formation, ethnic politics and the political economy of development.

Her current research focuses on state integration of ethnic minority groups in Southeast Asia. Specifically, her work aims to answer three related but distinct questions: 1) why do states choose to extend their reach into some peripheral areas and not others, 2) how do states integrate peripheral groups, and finally, 3) what are the long term consequences of different state incorporation policies.    

In addition to being a visiting QTM instructor, Dr. Nguyen I am a data analyst at Astoria Analytics and the quantitative editor for FiveThirtyEight


  • Ph.D., Political Science, New York University, 2018
  • M.A., Political Science, New York University, 2013
  • B.A., Political Science, Creighton University, Omaha, NB, 2009


Research Interests

Comparative politics, political economy, Southeast Asian politics, political methodology, ethnic identity, conflict


“Long-Run Impacts of State Integration Policies: Autonomy and Assimilation in the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.” (under review)

“Reluctant Reformers: How Myanmar’s Military Attempts to Retain Resource Rents amid Democratization.” (under review with Darin Christensen and Renard Sexton)

“Pacifying the Periphery: How Rubber and Opium Cultivation Affect State Integration Policies in Southeast Asia.” (work in progress)

“Extractive Industries in Myanmar: Fostering Development without Fomenting Conflict.” (work in progress with Darin Christensen and Renard Sexton)

“Authority and Governance in State Peripheries: Indirect versus Direct Rule of Ethnic Minorities in the Southeast Asian Massif” (work in progress)