Sanghoon Kim

Sanghoon Kim

PhD Candidate

Department of Political Science, University of Illinois

I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I received my BA in Political Science and Economics and an MA in Political Science from Korea University. I began my PhD program at the University of Illinois in 2016. My research interest focuses on authoritarian nostalgia and related political behavior in post-authoritarian democracies.


  • Authoritarian nostalgia
  • Post-authoritarian democracies
  • Comparative politics


  • PhD Candidate in Political Science

    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

  • MA in Political Science, 2015

    Korea University

  • BA in Political Science; Economics, 2011

    Korea University

Dissertation Project

Voting for nostalgia?: Authoritarian legacies and voting behavior in post-authoritarian democracies.

Why do voters popularly elect parties associated with former dictatorships? Democratic rule has been the modal political system since the Third Wave of democratization, but the legacies of authoritarian rule still drive political behavior in many new democracies. Politicians often win elections by evoking the achievements of a former autocrat or by recycling the political rhetoric of the old regime. In my dissertation, I claim that voters’ social identities originating from authoritarian nostalgia form the basis of this electoral support. Defining authoritarian nostalgia as a positive affective attachment to the achievements from the former period of dictatorship, this project examines personality traits that drive these attachments as the foundation of this political behavior and predicts how each factor contributes to an individual propensity for authoritarian nostalgia. Longing for the authoritarian past can function as a remedy for a lack of satisfaction with the new democratic …


I received the A. Belden Fields Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching as a Teaching Assisant in 2019. Teaching evaluations are available upon request.


  • PS241 Comparative Politics in Developing Nations (Online, Spring 2020)
  • GLBL296 Global Politics of Intellectual Property Protection (Spring 2019)
  • PS100 Intro to Political Science (Online, Spring 2019)

Teaching Assistant

  • PS241 Comparative Politics in Developing Nations (Spring 2018, Fall 2018)
  • PS220 Intro to Public Policy (Fall 2017)
  • PS322 Law and Public Policy (Spring 2017)
  • PS321 Principles of Public Policy (Fall 2016)