Dr. Paige Tan



Dr. Paige Tan is a Professor in the Department of Political Science at Radford University. She teaches courses in Comparative Politics and International Relations, with a primary focus on political parties, democratization, and dictatorships. Dr. Tan has contributed articles to Current History, Indonesia, Contemporary Southeast Asia, Asian Journal of Political Science, Inside Indonesia, Education about Asia, Kyoto Review of Southeast Asia, and Asian Perspective. Her Ph.D. is in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia. Her Master’s Degree is in International Public Administration with an emphasis in Chinese from the Monterey Institute of International Studies (now the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey).

Dr. Tan's CV



Much of Dr. Tan's academic research focuses on political parties and their role in democratization of countries in Asia.  She has written many articles on Indonesia’s democratization since the fall of the Dictator Suharto in 1998.  She finds the relative weakness of political parties important in democracy’s fragility in that country (View an example of a recent book chapter PDF). Currently Dr. Tan is engaged in two research projects. One project focuses on Indonesia’s foreign policy and the country’s engagement as part of the United Nations Security Council for the period 2019-2020. The other focuses on China’s diplomatic rhetoric.

Dr. Tan’s research informs her teaching.  When teaching about democratic transitions or political parties, she can bring to the class real stories from the ground during Indonesia’s transition to democracy. She can share her interviews with Indonesian party leaders with students, so they can see how people like them around the world face the important political challenges before them.  Further, the process of engaging in research improves our ability to structure an inquiry; this ability can be shared with students who can then take the ability to structure an inquiry out into the world of work.

See her CV for a full list of publications.


Dr. Tan believes in service to the students, faculty, university, community, profession, and the world.

At Radford, she is supporting the growth of Model United Nations.  In Model UN, students simulate international diplomacy, representing country delegates and interacting with others to find solutions to world problems.  Model UN increases students’ knowledge of world affairs. It also enhances students’ abilities in networking, leadership, negotiation, and public speaking.  Model UN also enhances students’ confidence and abilities to think on their feet.

Dr. Tan also seeks to increase the number of our students participating in study abroad.  She serves as department study abroad advisor.  She hopes to propose a study abroad trip to Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand in 2020.

On campus, Dr. Tan has served as chair of the University’s Core Curriculum Advisory Committee (2017-2019).

In the community, she has lectured on Chinese foreign policy to Blacksburg’s Great Decisions program and delivered a short course on Terrorism to Virginia Tech’s Lifelong Learning Institute (both Spring 2018). She also serves as a member of the board of her neighborhood association.

In her profession, Dr. Tan serves as a board member of the Southern Regional Model United Nations (2017-2019). SRMUN puts on two Model UN conferences each year, one in Atlanta (November) and one in Charlotte (March/April).

Previously, Dr. Tan has advised the Drug Enforcement Administration and the State Department (Washington, DC); the World Bank (Jakarta, Indonesia); as well as the US military (Fort Bragg and Camp Lejeune, NC).