Dr. Charles Keyes on how religion and religious differences can strengthen rather than undermine political order.
Professor emeritus of anthropology and international studies at the University of Washington
Charles Keyes, professor emeritus of anthropology and international studies at the University of Washington, has since the early 1960s carried out extensive research in Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia on Buddhism and modernity, ethnicity and national cultures, transformation of rural society, and culture and development. He has authored, edited or co-edited 15 books, monographs or special issues of journals and published over 80 articles. His most recent published work includes “‘Cosmopolitan Villagers and Populist Democracy in Thailand,” South East Asia Research (2012); “The Color of Politics: Thailand’s Deep Crisis of Authority,” in Bangkok May 2010: Perspectives on a Divided Thailand, ed. by Michael J. Montesano, Pavin Chachavalponpun, and Aekapol Chongvilaivan (2012). His forthcoming book, “Finding Their Voice: Northeastern Villagers and the Thai State,” to be published by Silkworm Books, traces the evolution of relationships between Lao-speaking rural people in northeastern Thailand and the Thai state from a millenarian uprising in 1902 to the electoral successes of populist parties in the first decade of the 21st century. He is currently working with the University of Washington Libraries on a joint project with institutions in Thailand to create a digital archive of research materials on Thailand.