Oanh Nguyen

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My research lies at the intersection of critical migration studies and comparative political economy. I study the politics of migration and citizenship, with a focus on the political economy of labor migration in Southeast Asia. My dissertation seeks to understand how and why migration regimes – the laws, policies, and practices that govern migrant life – evolve over time. Tracing the evolution of Malaysia’s migration regime (1980-2010), it highlights how different labor importing histories affect the power dynamics between migrant workers and their host country. I argue that in contexts where the host country is dependent on foreign labor, migrant workers play a critical but overlooked role in the maintenance and evolution of its migration regime. My work has been supported by the Diversity of Views and Experiences Fellowship Program and the Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change.

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • B.A. : Philosophy and Political Science, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR.


  • Southeast Asian politics
  • Comparative Politics
  • International Relations
  • Qualitative and Interpretive Research Methodologies
Courses Taught
  • PA 5801 Global Public Policy (Spring 2020)
  • POL 3835 International Relations (Summer 2018)
  • Politicizing the Minimum Wage: Wage Councils, Worker Mobilization, and Local Elections in Indonesia: Nguyen, Oanh, Teri L. Caraway, Michele Ford, Politics and Society, 47(2) 251-276, 2019. Link
  • Foreign Labor Dependency and Evasion: The Case of Malaysia’s 1984 Medan Agreement: Nguyen, Oanh, Under Review.
  • Beverly and Richard Fink Summer Fellowship, University of Minnesota, 2019
  • Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship, U.S. Department of Education, 2017
  • Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change Predissertation Grant, 2017
  • Fellow, American Political Science Association Minority Fellowship Program, 2016
  • College of Liberal Arts Summer Fellowship Award, 2015
  • Diversity of Views and Experiences (DOVE) Fellow, 2014
  • Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change (ICGC) Fellowship, University of Minnesota, 2014 - present