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Dr. Sophal Ear

Sophal EarStatus
Assistant Professor


Research Interests
Political Economy of Aid, Governance, Growth, and Development; Southeast Asia; Post-Conflict Reconstruction (particularly Cambodia); Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (Bird Flu); Effective Surveillance of Emerging Infectious Diseases

Sophal Ear, Ph.D. joined the Department of National Security Affairs as an Assistant Professor in June 2007. In 2008, he was selected as a TED2009 Fellow for the 25th Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) Conference, now held in Long Beach, California. In 2006-07, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Public Administration at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University, specializing in policy and administration in developing countries.

He has a decade’s experience in development consulting in post-conflict countries and specializes on Southeast Asia. His research has covered such varied topics as social protection, governance, and the livestock sector as it related to Bird Flu. He is working on the institutional arrangements needed to improve effective surveillance of emerging infectious diseases before they jump from animals to humans. In 2002-03, he was in charge of Democratic Governance as an Assistant Resident Representative for the United Nations Development Programme in East Timor, and prior to that consulted for the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank on the Middle East and North Africa (Algeria, and West Bank and Gaza). 

Prof. Ear received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley in 2006, and has three master’s degrees: a Master of Science in Agricultural and Resource Economics, a Master of Arts in Political Science (both from UC Berkeley) and a Master in Public Affairs in Economics and Public Policy from Princeton University. He has traveled extensively in Southeast Asia, living in the region for several years. He speaks French, Khmer, Vietnamese, and Spanish. He moved to the United States from France as a Cambodian refugee at the age of 10.

His recent research includes: “Livelihoods and Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in Cambodia” (with Sigfrido Burgos, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), article under review in a refereed journal; “Sowing and Sewing Growth: The Political Economy of Rice and Garments in Cambodia”, SCID Working Paper 384, Stanford Center for International Development, April 2009; “Cambodia’s Victim Zero: Global and National Responses to Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza”, STEPS Working Paper 16, STEPS Centre, Brighton; “Does Aid Dependence Worsen Governance?” in International Public Management Journal (September 2007), winner of the International Public Management Network’s June Pallot Award in 2008 for the best article published in IPMJ in 2007; and “The Political Economy of Aid and Governance in Cambodia” in Asian Journal of Political Science (April 2007). He has also contributed to several encyclopedias: World Terrorism 1996-2002 (M.E. Sharpe, 2003); World Fascism: A Historical Encyclopedia (ABC Clio, 2006); and World History Encyclopedia (ABC Clio, 2009). He is currently working on two books: (1) Aid Dependence: The Alliance of Donors, Government, and the Development Industry in Cambodia and (2) a history of Western academic supporters of the Khmer Rouge during their reign of terror.

Additional information may be found on his faculty web page by clicking here.

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