Professor Sidel specializes in the study of Southeast Asia and has four main areas of thematic expertise and interest in the study of politics, as reflected in his research, writing, and teaching:
Local Politics: bosses, caciques, clans, mafias, warlords, and various forms of machine politics and monopolistic pratices impeding democratization at the local level.
Religion and Politics: inter-religious violence, religious persecution, religion and democratization, and various forms of mobilization in the name of Islam.
Nationalism and Transnational Forces: the role of transnational ideological currents and social movements, diasporic communities, and international conflicts and conjunctures, in the making of 'nationalist' revolutions.
Advocacy Campaigns: the role of coalitions in advocacy campaigns and activist networks in promoting policy reforms and political change in developing countries like Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam.
Professor Sidel is a member of the editorial board of the journals Asian Politics and Policy, Asian Survey, Indonesia and the Malay World, Pacific Affairs, and South East Asia Research, and the co-editor of the Contemporary Issues in the Asia Pacific book series at Stanford University Press. You can find further information about the Series at SUP and at the East-West Center, which sponsors the Series.