About Me

Hi!

My name is Mathis Lohatepanont, and I go by Ken. Originally from Bangkok, Thailand, I am currently a Ph.D. student at the Department of Political Science at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. I graduated in 2020 with a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley. I specialize in comparative politics and my current research interests focus on the role of political institutions in the political economy of development, from bureaucracies to political parties, along with the relationship between state capacity and innovation. My regional focus is Southeast and East Asia.

Previously, I was a researcher at the Thailand Development Research Institute in Bangkok. As part of the Innovation Policy team, I produced policy recommendations regarding the restructuring of Thailand’s economy in order to ensure its long-term competitiveness. This research has led to an interest in the challenges facing how states can support domestic innovation, research, and creativity: factors which are vitally important for assisting Thailand in escaping the middle income trap. In particular, I am motivated by questions about improving the capability of bureaucracies and public agencies.

I am an opinion writer and analyst of Thai politics, contributing regularly to the Thai Enquirer. My work has also been published in the Washington Post, Bangkok Post, East Asia Forum, Asia Times and openDemocracy. In addition, I am passionate about making politics engaging and accessible to a general audience; my explainers on Thai politics and history can be found in these projects. I write about international affairs in Thai on Blockdit.

If you’d like to contact me, please don’t hesitate to email me at ken.lohatepanont@gmail.com or tweet to me @kenlwrites. You can also find my CV here.