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Tan Netina, Assistant Professor

Netina Tan

Assistant Professor

Department of Political Science

Institute on Globalization & the Human Condition

Area(s) of Interest:

Research Snaps


Netina Tan received her Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of British Columbia. Her dissertation "Access to Power: Hegemonic Party Rule in Singapore and Taiwan" was awarded the 2011 Vincent Lemieux Prize for the best Ph.D. thesis submitted at a Canadian Institution by the Canadian Political Science Association. Netina was a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow at Asian Institute, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto, 2011-2. She completed her B.A. at the National University of Singapore, and worked as a Research Officer in the Singapore Ministry of Defence before attaining her M.A. in Southeast Asian Studies at the NUS and M.A. in Political Science at the University of Regina.

Research and Teaching Interests

Democratization, Authoritarianism, Electoral and Party Politics, Gender and Security Issues in East and Southeast Asia. 

Graduate Supervision

I am happy to supervise students working on democratization, authoritarianism, electoral and party politics, gender, digital media and mass movement in Asia.

Students requesting reference letter from Dr. Netina Tan, please refer to guidelines here: Dr. Netina Tan Reference Letter Guidelines

Honours and Awards

  • 2016-8 SSHRC Insight Development Grant for project on Electoral Integrity in East and Southeast Asia.
  • 2011 Winner, Vincent Lemieux Prize for Best Dissertation Submitted in a Canadian University in 2009-2010.
  • 2011-2 Social Science and Humanities Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Toronto.
  • 2011 Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs Research Fellowship.
  • 2010-1 Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office Graduate Fellowship.
  • 2008 Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, Academy of Korean Studies, South Korea (Declined).
  • 2007 Dissertation Fellowship, Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, Taiwan.
  • 2007 Visiting Research Associate, S. Rajaratnam School of Int Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.


  • 2014: Asia-Canada: Transnational Collaborative Research Conference, 4 Apr
An exciting inter-disciplinary conference funded by Forward with Integrity brought together faculty and students at McMaster University to collaborate and deepen our understanding of Asia. For more information, visit Asian Research Working Group website or email:

  • 2013: Asian Research Working Group (ARWG) 
Supported by the Forward With Integrity initiative, the Asian Research Working Group (ARWG) aims to build a community of scholars who work on Asia in McMaster. This working group will promote interdisciplinary dialogue, collaboration and explore the creation of an Asian Research Centre. To participate in the ARWG, please send your email address and put "subscribe to ARWG list" on the subject..
  • 2013: Political Representation of Women in Asia Workshop, 3-5 Oct.
A 3-day workshop supported by American Council of Learned Societies and Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange features a fantastic line up of scholars on electoral and gender politics. Programme here.


Ph.D., Political Science, University of British Columbia

M.A., Political Science, University of Regina

M.A., Southeast Asian Studies, National University of Singapore

B.A., Political Science and Sociology, National University of Singapore


  • Poli Sci 3H03: Honours Issues in Comparative Politics (Authoritarianism) 
  • Poli Sci 3LC3: Southeast Asian Politics
  • Poli Sci 4KC3: Comparative Democratization
  • Poli Sci 740: Theories of Comparative Politics
  • Poli Sci 716*: Comparative Authoritarianism (NEW COURSE FOR 2016-7)


Research Funding

  • 2016-8: SSHRC Insight Development Grant, "Electoral Integrity in East and Southeast Asia".
  • 2016: McMaster IQ2 Seed Fund, "Electoral Integrity and Digital Innovation in East and Southeast Asia".
  • 2015: McMaster International Initiatives Micro Fund, "Electoral Integrity and Digital Innovation in East Asia".
  • 2014: McMaster Arts Research Board Grant, "Social Media and Opposition Mobilization in Electoral Authoritarian Regimes".
  • 2013-4: Forward With Integrity Grant and Deans of Social Sciences, Humanities, Health Sciences and Business for Asia-Canada: Transnational Collaborative Research Conference, 4 Apr 2014, McMaster University.
  • 2013: American Council of Learned Societies and Chiang Ching-kuo for International Scholarly Exchange and McMaster Provost Office and VP Research Office for Political Representation of Women in Asia Workshop, 3-5 Oct 2013, McMaster University.

Special Journal Issues

  1. 2016. Guest Editor. Special Section on "Gender Reforms, Quotas and Women's Political Representation in Taiwan, South Korea and Singapore", Pacific Affairs (89:2): 84 pp.
  2. 2015. Guest Editor. Critical Perspectives on “Quotas and Non-Quota Strategies in East Asia.” Politics and Gender 11(01): 46 pp.

Journal Articles

  1. 2016. "Gender Reforms, Quotas and Women's Political Representation in Taiwan, South Korea and Singapore", Pacific Affairs(89:2):309-323.
  2. 2016. "Why are Gender Reforms Adopted in Singapore? Party Pragmatism and Electoral Incentives", Pacific Affairs (89:2):369-393.  
  3. 2015. “Introduction: Quotas and Non-Quota Strategies in East Asia.” Politics & Gender 11 (01): 171–75.   
  4. 2015. “Party Quotas and Rising Women Politicians in Singapore.” Politics & Gender 11 (01): 196–207.
  5. 2014. "The General and Presidential Elections in Singapore 2011." Electoral Studies 35: 374-8.
  6. 2014. "Ethnic Quotas and Unintended Effects on Women's Political Representation in Singapore." International Political Science Review, 35 (1): 27-40.
  7. 2013. "Manipulating Electoral Laws in Singapore.” Electoral Studies, 32 (4):632-643.

Book Chapters

  1. 2016. “Pre-Electoral Manipulation, Gerrymandering and Its Effects on Singapore’s 2015 GE,” in Voting in Change: Politics of Singapore's 2015 General Election, edited by Terence Lee and Kevin Tan, 169-190. Singapore: Ethos Book.  
  2. 2015. "Institutionalized Hegemonic Party Rule in Singapore." In Party Institutionalization in Asia: Democracies, Autocracies and the Shadows of the Past, edited by Erik Kuhonta and Allen Hicken, 49-73. New York: Cambridge University Press.

  3. 2014. "Embracing Uncertainty and Democratization in Singapore." In Democracy in Eastern Asia, edited by Edmund Fung and Steven Drakeley, 181-202. New York: Routledge.
  4. 2014. "Singapore." In Party Politics in Southeast Asia: Organization, Money and Influence, edited by Wolfgang Sachsenroder. CreateSpace Publishing: 261-285. Also available in Kobo here.
  5. 2004. "Human Security in Southeast Asia: A Gender and Constructivist Perspective." In Asia in the New Millennium: APISA First Congress 2003, edited by Amitav Acharya and Lee Lai To, 595-627. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish Academic.

Op-Eds and Reports

  1. 2016. "Are Gender Quotas Helping Female Politicians in Asia?" 24 Jun.
  2. 2015. "PAP's Win Silences its Critics." East Asia Forum, 16 Sep.
  3. 2015. "Singapore’s 2015 Election: Can the People’s Action Party Strengthen Its Mandate to Rule?" Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, 8 Sep.
  4. 2012. "Democracy in Southeast Asia: A New Generation's Take." New Mandala: New Perspectives on Mainland Southeast Asia, Section on Singapore, 26 Mar.
  5. 2012. “Brain Drain, Immigration and Integration in Singapore,” co-author with Joseph Wong. Policy paper commissioned by CSIS and NSCS.
  6. 2011. "Singapore's Divisive Seventh Presidential Election." Asia Pacific Memo 101, 15 Sep.
  7. 2011. "Fear No More: Singapore's Defining 2011 General Election." Friedrich Naumann Stiftung Current Affairs & Analysis No.1, 7 May.
  8. 2011. "Turn of Tide: Singapore's Watershed Election 2011." Asia Pacific Memo 82, 22 Feb.
  9. 2011. "Singapore Revs Up for Elections." Berita, Spring 2011, pp 13-15.
  10. 2011. "Singapore Clamps Down on Social Media." Asia Pacific Memo 58, 22 Feb.
  11. 2009. "Lee Kuan Yew's Legacy on Leadership Succession." The Online Citizen, 16 Sep.
  12. 2009. "Nominated Ministers' Idea: Don't Take the Road to Less Accountability." Straits Times, 15 Jun.
  13. 2009. "Gender Quota Versus GRC scheme: Conflicting Signals." Straits Times, 6 Jun.
  14. 2008. "My Fieldwork Experience in Singapore and Taiwan."  CCSEAS Newsletter 8.1, pp. 4-5
  15. 2007. "ASEAN Response to Myanmar: Coordinated Engagement as a Way Forward." Straits Times, 8 Oct.
  16. 2007. "Grant Single-Mums Maternity Leave Freely." Straits Times, 2 Feb.
  17. 2007. "Nurture the Smart Kids as Well as the Not-So-Smart." Straits Times, 25 Jan.
  18. 2003. "Have Interns Help MPs Research Policy Issues." Straight Times, 18 Mar.
  19. 2003. "Women Warriors: Singapore Military Still Largely a Man's Turf." Straits Times, 24 Jan.
  20. 2000. "More on the F word." Straits Times, 27 May.

Book Reviews

  1. Review of Political Booms: Local Money and Power in Taiwan, East China,Thailand and the Philippines by Lynn White 84.1 (March 2011): 121-2.
  2. Review of Building Party Systems in Developing Democracies by Allen Hicken in Journal of East Asian Studies 10.1 (2010 Jan-Apr):155-168.
  3. Review of Democratization in Taiwan: Challenges in Transformation, ed. by Philip Paolini and James Meernik, Pacific Affairs 83.1 (Spring 2010) 160-2.
  4. Review of Maritime Security in Southeast Asia, ed. by Kwa Chong Guan and John K. Skogan, Pacific Affairs 82.1 (Spring 2009) 152-4.
  5. Review of Corruption and Good Governance in Asia, ed. by Nicholas Tarling, Journal of East Asian Studies 6.3 (2007):511-514.
  6. Review of The Curse of Independence by Shelby Tucker, SOAS Bulletin of Burma Research 4.1, (Spring 2006): 48-51.
  7. Review of Making Enemies: War and State Building in Burma by Mary Callahan, SOAS Bulletin of Burma Research 3.1 (Spring 2005): 233-5.
  8. Review of Living Silence: Burma Under Military Rule by Christina Fink, SOAS Bulletin of Burma Research, 1.2 (Autumn 2003): 35-7.