I am a postdoctoral scholar at New York University, where I was selected for the Provost's Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. I am also one of eleven scholars selected nation-wide as a 2018-19 CSIS U.S.-Korea NextGen Scholar.
I study democratic resilience against the odds in East Asia, with particular focus on the Korean peninsula. My research is motivated by one of my first political memories growing up in South Korea: citizens lined up to donate gold during the Asian Financial Crisis to keep the young democracy afloat. What pushes citizens to hold steadfast to democratic norms in the face of uncertainty or risk? What holds democracies together through tough times, when payoffs largely fail? I examine how nationalism—typically seen as a violent, destabilizing force in democracies—serves as that “moral glue” for many ordinary citizens in practice. I study such questions in the broad context of threats to democracy, from challenges in compliance to the integration of refugees, national minorities, and other marginalized groups.
My work is published or forthcoming in the British Journal of Political Science, Journal of East Asian Studies, Electoral Studies, Public Opinion Quarterly, and Korean Election Studies. My book manuscript, titled Dutiful Democracy: How Nations Hold Democracies Together, has been submitted for review to a university press.
I received my Ph.D. in Politics from Princeton University, M.P.P. from the Harvard Kennedy School, and B.A. from Stanford University.