Manuel Litalien


Dr. Litalien’s research focuses are social development, welfare systems, philanthropy, ethnicity, minority groups, and religion, with a focus on Southeast Asia. As a researcher, he has conducted fieldwork in Canada and Southeast Asia. He is interested in looking at how institutions in developing and developed nations are creating political venues for marginalized groups. His works have documented community social welfare projects, as well as the impacts of government development initiatives on the behaviour of non-governmental organizations. He is particularly interested in examining the role of religion in public life, in global development, and in diasporas, connecting these to religious movements and national identity. He is the author of the book La philanthropie religieuse en tant que nouveau capital démocratique: développement social et régime providentiel en Thaïlande (Presses de l’Université Laval, 2017).


Authored Books

  • Litalien, Manuel. 2016. La philanthropie religieuse en tant que nouveau capital démocratique: développement social et régime providentiel en Thaïlande. Québec: Presses de l’Université Laval.

Journal Articles

  • Litalien, Manuel. 2018. “Social Inequalities and the Promotion of Women in Buddhism in Thailand.” Journal of Buddhist Ethics.

Chapters in Edited Books

  • Litalien, Manuel. 2019. “Gender, Religions and the SDGs: a Reflection on Empowering Buddhist Nuns”, in The Future of Humanity: Revisioning the Human in the Posthuman Age, Rowman & Littlefield International: London, pp. 49-64
  • Litalien, Manuel. 2016. “Establishing a Buddhist Economy in Thailand: Competing Perspectives on Moral Economy in State and Society.” In The Moral Economies of Ethnic and Nationalist Claims, edited by Bruce J. Berman, André Laliberté, and Stephen J. Larin, 163-95. Vancouver: UBC Press.
  • Litalien, Manuel. 2013. “Changing State Monopoly on Religion and Secular Views in Thailand.” In Secular States and Religious Diversity, edited by Bruce J. Berman, Rajeev Barghava, and André Laliberté, 232-64. Vancouver: UBC Press.
  • Laliberté, André, and Manuel Litalien. 2010. “The Tzu Chi Merit Society from Taiwan to China via Canada.” In Wild Geese: New Studies of Buddhism in Canada, edited by Victor Sōgen Hori, John S. Harding, and Alexander Soucy, 350-85. Montréal: McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Awards and Distinctions

  • Research Achievement Award, Nipissing University 2018-2019


Research Interests

Cultural politics, religious diversity in Southeast Asia, the geopolitics of Buddhism, health, education, the elderly, families, violence, poverty alleviation, social inequalities, disaster relief, moral economy