Dr. Alexandre Pelletier

Alexandre Pelletier's research is on religious violence, ethnic conflict, and peace in Southeast Asia, with a focus on Indonesia and Myanmar, where he has conducted extensive fieldwork. He has a Ph.D. in political science from University of Toronto and is currently Senior Researcher and Managing Director at the Postcor Lab based at the University of Toronto. He is also a visiting fellow at the Southeast Asia Program at Cornell University.

I have obtained my Ph.D. in political science from the University of Toronto in 2019. I work on religious violence and indigenous/ethnic minority self-determination in Southeast Asia, with a focus on Indonesia and Myanmar, where I have conducted extensive fieldwork.

I am the winner of a 2019 Governor General's Gold Medal for the highest academic standing at the University of Toronto, the Vincent-Lemieux Prize for the best dissertation in Canada in 2017-2018 (CPSA), and the Honorable Mention for the Aaron Wildavsky Best Dissertation Award in Religion and Politics (APSA).

I am currently working on a book manuscript, based on my Ph.D. dissertation, about communal conflicts in Indonesia. The book argues that competition among Muslim leaders is a powerful driver of Islamist mobilization and violence. My postdoctoral project investigates the political economy of moderate mobilization against religious extremism in Indonesia and Myanmar. This project studies how religious networks and institutions shape religious leaders’ propensity to curtail extremist forms of mobilization.

​In parallel to my work on religious violence, I have also been involved in various projects about indigenous/ethnic minority self-determination movements. In Myanmar, I am currently involved in a International Development Research Center of Canada-funded research about indigenous/ethnic minority rights, political autonomy, and federalism. 

Selected media coverage

Cent jours après le coup d'État, la Birmanie plus instable que jamais, RFI, 11 May 2021

From Dissertation to Book: Islamist Mobilization in Indonesia
Southeast Asia Bulletin, Southeast Asia Program, Cornell University, Fall 2019

Birmanie : «Les modérés ont du mal à se faire entendre quand les radicaux s’agitent», (by Arnaud Vaulerin), Libération, 12 July 2018

"Mahasiswa dan Dosen Univeristas Toronto Kunjungi Pesantren di Indonesia, Ada Apa?"Tribun Jabar, 22 February 2018

"Pesantren di Bandung jadi sasaran belajar mahasiswa Kanada"Antara News, 21 February 2018

"Celebrating ASEAN’s 50th Anniversary: Attainments and Shortcomings of Southeast Asian Regionalism" (by Gabrielle Denis), The McGill International Review, 9 December 2017

Rohingya: L'exode des apatridesÉmission Planète Terre, 13 novembre 2017

"Roundtable discusses ethnic cleansing in Myanmar" (by Gabrielle Denis), The McGill Daily, 27 September 2017

Selected publications

"Competition for Religious Authority and Islamist Mobilization in Indonesia," Comparative Politics (April 2021), 1-23. (Appendix)

"First Movers, Democratization and Unilateral Concessions: Overcoming Commitment Problems and Negotiating a “Nationwide Cease-Fire” in Myanmar." (with Jacques Bertrand and Ardeth Maung Thawnghmung) Asian Security (2018): 1-20.

"Violent Monks in Myanmar: Anti-Muslim Scapegoating and the Contest for Power", (with Jacques Bertrand) Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, 23:3, (2017), pp. 1-22

"The De-Escalation of Violence and the Political Economy of Peace Mongering: Evidence from Maluku, Indonesia", (with Jessica Soedirgo) South East Asia Research, 25:4, (2017), pp. 1-17

"Unfree Labour and Extractive Regimes in Colonial Java and Beyond" (with Tania Murray Li and Arianto Sangadji) Development and Change, 47.3 (2016): 598-611.

United States
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