I study authoritarianism, democratization, social movements, and authoritarian legacies in Korea and East Asia. I received my Ph.D and A.M. degrees in Political Science from the Department of Government at Harvard University and B.A. (cum laude with honors) in Political Science from the University of Rochester.
My research on authoritarian regime support, South Korean democracy movement, and electoral accountability in post-transition South Korea has been published in Electoral Studies, Journal of East Asian Studies, Studies in Comparative International Development, and Routledge Handbook of Korean Culture and Society. My first book, Seeds of Mobilization: The Authoritarian Roots of South Korea’s Democracy (University of Michigan Press, 2024), examines the roles of industrialization and tertiary education in South Korea’s nonlinear path to democracy. My other writings have appeared in the Pacific Affairs, The Diplomat, and The Conversation. I also research on the political identity formation of Asian Americans shaped by their home country politics. My research has been funded by the Academy of Korean Studies.
In addition to my academic appointment at Wesleyan, I am an Adjunct Fellow (Non-resident) in the Office of the Korea Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Associate-in-Research of the Council of East Asian Studies at Yale University, Vice President and governing board member of the Association of Korean Political Studies, and a 2018-2019 U.S.-Korea NextGen Scholar. 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.