Associate Professor Marco Buente



Associate Professor of Politics and International Relations

Telephone No: +603 5514 6261
Fax No: + 603 5514 6365
Room No: 2-6-17

PhD (University of Muenster)
M.A. (University of Muenster)  

Dr. Marco Bünte is Associate Professor of Politics and International Relations. He is Deputy Head of School (Research) and heading the School’s Research Strength “Social Transformation in Southeast Asia”. He is also Associate Fellow at the German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA) in Hamburg, one of the most renowned Area Studies Centers in Europe. 

Previously, he has taught at the Universities of Helsinki, Münster, Hamburg and Kiel. He has been a Visiting Fellow at the Curtin Institute of Technology in Perth, the Indonesian Institute of Science (Lipi) in Jakarta and Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. 

Dr. Marco Bünte is the Co-Editor of the Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs and serves on the editorial board of the German Journal of Asian Studies. 

He holds a PHD in Political Science and a MA Degree in Politics, History and English Literature  from the University of Muenster (Germany). 

Dr. Bünte has also advised government agencies and civil society groups from a wide range of countries including Australia, Cambodia, China, Germany, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar and New Zealand. He regularly appears in international media, outlets have included BBC World Service, Financial Times, Deutsche Welle World. 

Research Interests
My research revolves around questions of democratization, authoritarian resilience and external factors of regime change. Specifically, I have worked on democratic governance, constitutional politics and design, decentralization, civil-society and civil-military relations. I am further interested in various topics of international relations such as human rights, sanctions, democracy promotion, transnational movements and non-traditional security issues (migration, ethnic and religious conflicts, terrorism, piracy). My particular area of expertise is the Asia-Pacific, especially Southeast Asia. 

I am currently working on two research projects:
One is a project on Myanmar’s political liberalization, its’ causes, contours and consequences. Combining insights from the latest research on authoritarianism and democratization, the project attempts to bring light into the driving forces of Myanmar’s transition, its’ trajectory and outcome. 

The second one is a research project on Southeast Asia’s evolving constitutionalism. The project looks at constitutional politics in Southeast Asia from the perspective of contestation in the distinct fields of constitutional design and human rights. It looks at the role of the military and the growing role of courts in the Southeast Asian region. 


  • Bünte, Marco and Björn Dressel: Politics and Constitutions in Southeast Asia, Routledge 2017.
  • Bünte, Marco and Aurel Croissant: The crisis of democratic governance in Southeast Asia, Basingstoke: Palgrave 2010.
  • Bünte, Marco and Andreas Ufen: Democratization in Post-Suharto Indonesia, London: Routledge 2009.
  • Bünte, Marco: Regionale Autonomie in Indonesien [Regional Autonomy in Indonesia], Hamburg: Institute of Asian Studies 2003.
  • Bünte, Marco: Probleme der demokratischen Konsolidierung in Thailand [Problems of Democratic Consolidation in Thailand], Hamburg: Institute of Asian Studies 2000

Journal Articles

  • Bünte, Marco: Myanmar's Protracted Transition: Arenas, Actors, and Outcomes, in: Asian Survey 56/2 (2016), 369-391.
  • Bünte, Marco and Jörn Dosch: Myanmar: Political Reforms and the Recalibration of Foreign Relations, in: Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs 34/2 (2015), 3-19.
  • Bünte, Marco: Burma's Transition from Military Rule: From Rulers to Guardians? Armed Forces&Society, 40/4(2014), 742-764
  • Bünte, Marco: Constitutional Politics in Southeast Asia: From Contestation to Constitutionalism?, in: Contemporay Southeast Asia, 1/2014, pp. 1-22 (with Björn Dressel)
  • Bünte, Marco: Piraterie in Südostasien: Organisierte Kriminalität auf See, (Piracy in Southeast Asia: Organised Crime at High Sea], Welttrends, 91, July 2013
  • Bünte, Marco, Primus inter Pares: Indonesiens globale und regionale Initiativen [Primus Inter Pares: Indonesia’s global and regional foreign policy initiatives], in: Internationale Politik, 2/2012, pp. 18-24.
  • Bünte, Marco and Aurel Croissant: Democracy in Southeast Asia – An Assessment of Practices, Problems and Prospects, in: Panorama, 1/2011, pp. 19-41.
  • Bünte, Marco: Demokratie in Südostasien auf dem Rückzug? [Demoracy in retreat in Southeast Asia?], in: The German Journal of Asian Studies, 3/2010, 40-63.
  • Bünte, Marco: Autoritäre Regime in Südostasien [Authoritarian Regimes in Southeast Asia], in: Der Bürger im Staat, 1/2010, pp. 44-52.
  • Bünte, Marco: Piraterie in Südostasien: Neuere Entwicklungen und Perspektiven [Piracy in Southeast Asia: Newest trends and developments], in: Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, Vol. 28,No. 2, 87-99. (download: (
  • Bünte, Marco: The politics of refugees inside and outside Myanmar, in: Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, 2/2009, pp. 1-6.
  • Bünte, Marco: Kampf der Giganten. Der Konflikt in Thailand ist ein Konflikt der Eliten [Conflict in Thailand: A clash of elites], in: Internationale Politik, 1/2009
  • Bünte, Marco: Myanmar und die Frage der externen Intervention: Von der „responsibility to protect“ zum humanitären Dialog, [Myanmar and the question of external intervention] in: Journal of Peace and International Organization, pp. 1/2009, pp. 125-143.
  • Bünte, Marco: Dezentralisierung und Demokratie in Südostasien, in: Journal of Political Science, 1/2008, S. 25-50.
  • Bünte, Marco: Myanmar: Autoritarismus im Wandel, Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, 2/2008, pp. 75-89.
  • Bünte, Marco: Problemstaat Myanmar: Stabiles Regime, Soziale Krise und das Dilemma der internationalen Gemeinschaft, in: Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, 6/2007, 31-49
  • Bünte, Marco: Die Wiedergeburt der Demokratiebewegung in Thailand: Thaksins Populismus in der Krise, Südostasien aktuell, Nr. 5,2006, 3-11.

Book Chapters

  • Bünte, Marco: Military Guardianship in Myanmar: The Trajectory to Military Control and Recent Reforms, in: Paul Chambers and Napisa Waitoolkat (ed), Khaki Capital: The Political Economy of the Military in Southeast Asia, Copenhagen: NIAS 2017 (forthcoming)
  • Bünte, Marco: Contesting Constitutionalism: Constitutional Politics in Southeast Asia, London: Routledge, pp.3-23
  • Bünte, Marco: Human Rights in Southeast Asia: From Contestation to Compliance?, in: Marco Bünte and Björn Dressel: Politics and Constitutions in Southeast Asia, London: Routledge, pp. 163-186.  
  • Bünte, Marco: China’s rise in Southeast Asia and its effect on regional institution-building: who is leading whom? in: Howard Loewen/Anja Zorob: Regional Integration in Comparative Perspective, Heidelberg, Springer: United Nations Series on Regionalism (forthcoming)
  • Bünte, Marco: Turning Material Capabilities to Leadership: China’s Rise in Southeast Asia, in: Xiaoming Huang/Robert Patman: China and the International System: Becoming a world Power, London: Routledge, 108-125 (with Dirk Nabers)
  • Bünte, Marco: Autoritäre Regime in Südostasien [Authoritarian Regimes in Southeast Asia], in: Holger Albrecht, Rolf Frankenberger, Siegfried Frech (eds): Autoritäre Regime, Wochenschau Verlag 2011, pp. 133-156.
  • Marco Bünte: Decentralization and Democratic Governance in Southeast Asia, in: Marco Bünte/Aurel Croissant (eds.): The Crisis of Democratic Governance in Southeast Asia, Basingstoke, Palgrave 2009, pp. 131-150.
  • Bünte, Marco: Der Kampf gegen Terrorismus und Piraterie in Südostasien [The Fight against Terrorism and Piracy in Southeast Asia], in: Hanns Maull/ Martin Wagener: Ostasien in der Globalisierung, Nomos 2009.
  • Bünte, Marco and Andreas Ufen: The New Order and its legacy: Reflections on Democratization in Post-Suharto Indonesia, in: Marco Bünte/Andreas Ufen (Democratization in Post Suharto Indonesia), London: Routledge 2009, pp. 3-31.
  • Bünte, Marco: Indonesia’s protracted decentralization and its unintended consequences, in: Marco Bünte and Andreas Ufen: Democratization in Post-Suharto Indonesia, London 2009: Routledge, pp.102-123.
  • Bünte, Marco: Gewalt im Süden Thailands: Vom ethnischen zum religiösen Konflikt? [Violence in Southern Thailand: From ethnic to religious conflict?] in: F. Schulze/ H. Warnk (Hrsg.): Muslime und Nichtmuslime. Islam und Identität in Südostasien, Frankfurt: Harrassowitz, 2006,pp.161-185.
  • Bünte, Marco: „Japans Rolle in Südostasien“ [Japan and Southeast Asia], in: Mark Thompson, Verena Blechinger (eds): Politik in Japan. Frankfurt: Campus, 2006, S. 209-22.
  • Bünte, Marco: Hybride Regime in Südostasien [Hybrid Regimes in Southeast Asia], in: Hans-Joachim Lauth/Wolfgang Pickel: Demokratisierungsprozesse in Vergleichender Perspektive, Frankfurt: Westdeutscher Verlag, 2006, pp. 173-195.
  • Bünte, Marco: Country chapter „Cambodia“, in: Jochen Bellers (Hrsg.): Handwörterbuch Autoritäre und transitorischer Regime, Münster 2006: Lit-Verlag, pp.270-278.
  • Bünte, Marco: Formen und Formenwandel politischer Gewalt in Südostasien – ein Überblick“ [Political Violence in Southeast Asia: Forms, actors], in: Matthias Basedau et al (Hrsg.): Multiple Unsicherheit. Befunde aus Afrika, Asien und Lateinamerika, Hamburg2005 : DUI, S. 33-57
  • Bünte, Marco: Europa und Ostasien: Partner einer multilateralen Ordnungspolitik? [Europe and East Asia: Partner in Global Governance?], in: Johannes Varwick/Wilhelm Knelangen (Hrsg.): Fragezeichen Europa, Opladen, 2004, S. 385-403.
  • Bünte, Marco: “Indonesia’s Big Bang Revisited”, in: Michael Nelson: Thai Politics, Global and Local Perspectives, Bangkok: KPI Yearbook No. 2, White Lotus 2004, pp. 283-333.
  • Bünte, Marco: Consolidating Thai Democracy, in: Michael Nelson: Thailand’s New Politics, KPI Yearbook 2001, Bangkok: White Lotus 2002, pp. 177-219.
  • Bünte, Marco: Thailands defekte Demokratie-Auf dem Weg der Stabilisierung? [Thailand’s defective Democracy – on the road to consolidation?], in: Christiane Frantz/Norbert Konegen (ed.): Entwicklungsperspektiven in Asien und Arika, Münster, Lit-Verlag, S. 263-287.

Book Reviews

  • Jürgen Rüland et al: Parliaments and Political Change, in: Internationales Asienforum, 4/2010, 347-348.
  • Duncan Mc Cargo: Tearing Apart the Land. Islam and Legitimacy in Southern Thailand, in: Asien 112-113, 2009, 180-182.
  • Paul Handley: The King never smiles, in: Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, 1/2007, pp. 119-122.
  • Missbach, Antje: Freiheitskämpfer oder Geschäftemacher: Der Unabhängigkeitskampf der GAM, Berlin Logos, in: Südostasien aktuell, 2/2006, 81-83.
  • Aurel Croissant/Beate Martin: Between Consolidation and Crisis. Elections and Democracy in Southeast Asia, in: Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, 6/2006, S. 88-91.
  • Muno, Wolfgang: Die Reformpolitik in jungen Demokratien, Politikblockaden, Vetospieler in Argentinien, Uruguay und Thailand, Wiesbaden, in: Lateinamerika Informationen, S. 161-163.
  • Thailands Politik nach der Finanzkrise: Review of: Pasuk Pongpaichit/Chris Baker: Thaksin – the Business of Politics, Copenhagen; Duncan McCargo/ Ukrist Pathmanand: The Thaksinization in Thailand, in: Asien, 5/2005, S.90 –96.

Reports and Working Papers (Selection)

  • Bünte, Marco: The End of Myanmar's Military-Guided Electoral Authoritarianism: The 2015 Elections, Southeast Asia Research Centre, City University Hong Kong, Working Paper No. 176.
  • Bünte, Marco: Myanmar’s Political Liberalization: On the Road to Democracy?, in: Asia Policy Brief, Bertelsmann-Foundation, 1/2014, www.
  • Bünte, Marco: Myanmar, Bertelsmann-Foundation, Transformation-Index 2014 (forthcoming)
  • Bünte, Marco: “Myanmar: Political Economy Analysis”, Bonn: German Ministry of Economic Development Cooperation 2013 (unpublished), 25 p.
  • Bünte, Marco: Evaluation of the Country Programme Thailand, Konrad-Adenauer Foundation, Bangkok: Konrad Adenauer Foundation 2012, 75 p.(
  • Bünte, Marco: Burma’s transition to disciplined democracy: Abdication or Institutionalization of Military Rule, GIGA-Working Paper, No. 177, 2011.
  • Bünte, Marco: Myanmar: Political Economy Analysis 2011, Bonn: Ministry of Economic Development and Cooperation, 2012, (unpublished), 27pp.
  • Bünte, Marco and Margot Schüller: China in Southeast Asia: An Analysis of China’s Engagement in Southeast Asia and Opportunities for Trilateral Development Cooperation, Hamburg 2011, 160 pages, [unpublished, report commissioned by the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development]
  • Bünte, Marco: Authoritarian Regimes: Elites, Cohesion and Stability, Hamburg 2011, unpublished Manuscript 27 pp.
  • Bünte, Marco: Burma: Political Economy Analysis, Bonn: Ministry of Economic Development and Cooperation, Bonn: unpublished, 2010.
  • The Big Bang Revisited – Indonesia’s Decentralization after Crisis, Working Paper, GTZ-Support for Decentralization Measures, 20 pages, Jakarta 2002.
  • Bünte, Marco: chapter “Thailand”, in: Wirtschaftshandbuch Asien-Pazifik, yearly publication since 2003.