I specialize in authoritarianism, democratization, and social movements in Korea and East Asia. My research on authoritarian regime support, South Korean democracy movement, and electoral accountability in post-transition South Korea are published in Electoral Studies, Journal of East Asian Studies, Studies in Comparative International Development, and the Routledge Handbook of Korean Culture and Society. My other writings have appeared in the Pacific Affairs and The Conversation.
I am currently working on a book manuscript tentatively entitled, Dictator’s Modernity Dilemma: Development and Democracy in South Korea, 1961-1987. The book argues and demonstrates that the structural foundations of modernization (industrial complexes and higher education in particular) had an initial stabilizing effect on authoritarian rule by increasing regime support, but also contributed to the development of mobilizing structures for anti-regime protests in the 1970s and 1980s by various social movement groups, most importantly workers and students.
I am an Assistant Professor of East Asian Studies (Korea Foundation Assistant Professor of Korean Political Economy), and an Assistant Professor, by courtesy, of Government at Wesleyan University. I am also an Associate-in-Research of the Council of East Asian Studies at Yale University, Executive Secretary of the Association of Korean Political Studies, and a 2018-2019 U.S.-Korea NextGen Scholar.
I received my Ph.D and A.M. degrees in Political Science from the Department of Government at Harvard University in 2016 and 2011 and B.A. (cum laude with honors) in Political Science from the University of Rochester in 2008. I previously held visiting fellow positions at the Asiatic Research Institute at Korea University, Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, and the Center for International Studies at Seoul National University.