Michael J. Montesano

Dr Michael J Montesano
Associate Senior Fellow
  • 0Thailand Studies Programme0
Research Interest
The Economic and Social History of Modern Southeast Asia and its Legacies, Thailand, The Philippines, Myanmar, Provincial Southeast Asia

Researcher’s Profile

I previously served as Coordinator of the Thailand Studies Programme and Co-coordinator of the Myanmar Studies Programme at ISEAS, where I have worked since 2008. I spent six years as managing editor of the ISEAS journal SOJOURN: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia. My life in the region began in the 1980s, when I served as a United States Peace Corps volunteer in South Thailand and studied agriculture at the University of the Philippines at Los Baños.


Current Research

My ongoing research concerns Bangkok’s relations with the Thai provinces in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. It examines the activities of business firms and banks, ideological constructs used to map provincial society, and questions of local political economy and political organization.


Selected Publications

  • Praetorians, Profiteers or Professionals? Studies on the Militaries of Myanmar and Thailand (ISEAS Publishing, forthcoming 2020); co-editor, with Terence Chong and Prajak Kongkirati
  • After the Coup: The National Council for Peace and Order Era and the Future of Thailand (ISEAS Publishing, 2019); co-editor, with Terence Chong and Mark Heng
  • “The Place of the Provinces in Thailand’s Twenty-Year National Strategy: Toward Community Democracy in a Commercial Nation?”, ISEAS Perspective 60/2019, 8 August 2019
  • “The Approach of Elections in Trang, South Thailand — Part II: Economic Worries, Social Issues, and the Question of National Integration”, ISEAS Perspective 16/2019, 22 March 2019
  • “The Approach of Elections in Trang, South Thailand — Part I: Context and Competition”, ISEAS Perspective 13/2019, 13 March 2019
  • Bangkok, May 2010: Perspectives on a Divided Thailand (ISEAS Publishing, 2012); co-editor, with Pavin Chachavalpongpun and Aekapol Chongvilaivan
  • Thai South and Malay North: Ethnic Interactions on a Plural Peninsula (NUS Press, 2008); co-editor, with Patrick Jory. [Thai-language edition, Thai tai malayu nuea patisamphan thangchatiphan bon khapsamut haengkhwamlaklai (Walailak University, 2018)]