My name is Mathis Lohatepanont, and I go by Ken. I am a Ph.D. student at the Department of Political Science at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, with a focus on comparative politics. I graduated in 2020 with a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley.
I am an opinion writer and analyst of Thai politics, with a particular interest in political parties and constitutional reform. Additionally, I enjoy observing developments in the wider Southeast and East Asia regions, especially in China and Japan. I contribute regularly to the Thai Enquirer, and my work has been published in the Washington Post, Bangkok Post, East Asia Forum, Asia Times and openDemocracy. I am also passionate about making politics engaging and accessible to a general audience; my explainers on Thai politics and history can be found in these projects. All of my writing can be found here.
Previously, I was a researcher at the Thailand Development Research Institute in Bangkok. As part of the Innovation Policy for Sustainable Development team, I produced policy recommendations regarding the restructuring of Thailand’s economy in order to ensure its long-term competitiveness. My 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 state capacity, especially the capability of bureaucracies and public agencies.