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NIAS Director Duncan McCargo has two new publications

Duncan McCargo’s book Fighting for Virtue: Justice and Politics in Thailand is just out from Cornell University Press. Based on a Leverhulme Trust Major Research Fellowship that funded him to conduct a year’s fieldwork in Bangkok, it explores the role of judges and examines a number of politically-related court cases that have helped shape Thailand’s recent politics. The book draws upon hundreds of hours of political ethnography conducted in Thai courts and police stations, as well as dozens of interviews. McCargo argues that legalistic ‘solutions’ to Thailand’s complex political problems have made matters worse, raising questions about the value of legalism more generally.




Duncan McCargo’s latest article, in the journal Conflict, Security & Development, co-authored with Colombo-based scholar Dishani Senaratne, explores parallels between the politics of memorialization in southern Thailand and Sri Lanka. The authors argue that the way government and anti-government combatants are memorialized – or not – speaks volumes about the real nature of peace in post-conflict societies.

The article draws upon on a fieldtrip McCargo made to the North of Sri Lanka in the summer of 2017 (see, as part of an ESRC-funded collaborative project on illiberal peacebuilding in Asia (  

Reference: Duncan McCargo and Dishani Senaratne, ‘Victor’s Memory: Sri Lanka’s post-war memoryscape in comparative perspective’, Conflict, Security & Development, 20, 1, 2020: 97–113.