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Dr Tomas Larsson

Dr  Tomas Larsson

Senior Lecturer

University Teaching Officer

St John's

Office Phone: 01223 767 258


Tomas Larsson is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of St John’s College. He received a PhD in Government from Cornell University in 2007. From 1990 to 2000, he worked as a freelance journalist based in Southeast Asia. As an undergraduate, he studied East and Southeast Asian Studies and Thai at Lund University, Sweden.


Research Interests

Politics of Southeast Asia; political economy; religion and politics; democratisation.

Research supervision

Dr Larsson has supervised MPhil and PhD theses on a range of topics, mainly relating to Southeast Asian politics. These include: Cambodian nationalism; constitutionalism in Thailand and Japan; central banking in Thailand; the Khmer Rouge Tribunal in Cambodia; opposition politics in Malaysia; political culture in Singapore; social movements in Thailand; sex trafficking in Cambodia; ASEAN and human rights; Malaysian foreign policy; ethnic violence in Indonesia.


Dr Larsson is course organiser for Pol 14: Politics of Asia, and he also teaches on Pol 4: Comparative Politics. At the MPhil level, he contributes to Comparative Politics and Religion and to Research Methods in International Relations and Politics.

Key Publications

▪   Land and loyalty: Security and the development of property rights in Thailand (Cornell University Press, 2012).


▪   ‘Monkish politics in Southeast Asia: Religious disenfranchisement in comparative and theoretical perspective.’ Modern Asian Studies 49:1 (2015): 40–82.

▪   ‘The strong and the weak: Ups and downs of state capacity in Southeast Asia.’ Asian Politics & Policy 5:3 (2013): 337–358.

▪   ‘Western imperialism and defensive underdevelopment of property rights institutions in Siam.’ Journal of East Asian Studies 8:1 (2008): 1–28.

▪   ‘Intertextual relations: The geopolitics of land rights in Thailand.’ Political Geography 26:7 (2007): 775–803.


For a full list of scholarly publications, please go to: