I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. My research interests focus on authoritarian nostalgia and related political behavior in post-authoritarian democracies, especially East Asian countries. My dissertation investigates why individual voters feel nostalgic for an authoritarian past and vote for political parties that are linked to the past. I explain the variation in authoritarian nostalgia with personality traits and external threat perception. I also show that authoritarian nostalgia is one of the key sources of social identity in maturing democracies, and people high in nostalgia are more likely to “vote for nostalgia”, support politicians and political parties evoking nostalgia.
My dissertation research is supported by various sources, including a Taiwan Fellowship from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Taiwan and a Doctoral Fellowship from the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange. My work is forthcoming at Political Communication.
Before joining the PhD program at Illinois, I received my BA in Political Science and Economics and an MA in Political Science from Korea University.
PhD Candidate in Political Science
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
MA in Political Science, 2015
BA in Political Science; Economics, 2011
The loss of local newspapers in the US is understood to be a challenge for a functioning democracy. Relying on a theoretical framework drawn from political geography, this article explores “news deserts” and related concerns about news media saturation in large cities, using newspaper employment and a typology of 15 US county-types to better understand shifts in the US’ newspaper industry.
Legacies of an authoritarian past still leave enduring effects on voters’ political attitudes and behavior. I argue that authoritarian nostalgia is a defining factor in voter attitudes and related behavior in post-authoritarian democracies. Voters who share core values from the authoritarian past construct heightened social identity toward the past, which breeds strong attachment to authoritarian legacy parties.
How does an authoritarian past shape voters’ left-right orientation? Recent studies investigated “anti-dictator bias” in political ideology that citizens of a former right-wing (left-wing) dictatorship may display a leftist (rightist) bias in their ideological self-identification. I argue “pro-dictator bias” that citizens may hold ideological positions corresponding to those of the dictator based on three reasons: first, successors of a former dictator may still dominate politics in some countries with inherited political resources from the past; second, not all former dictators are evaluated negatively and even attract positive evaluation based on their performance, evoking authoritarian nostalgia; and third, the political environment that shaped former dictators’ ideological position may persist under the new regime, prolonging the ideology’s relevance.
What explains the lack of electoral consequences for corrupt politicians? Building on studies of motivated reasoning and asymmetric partisan bias, this paper highlights the importance of partisan differences in how voters interpret corruption charges and make voting decisions. I contend that in post-authoritarian democracies, supporters of authoritarian legacy parties (ALPs) are less likely to punish corrupt copartisan incumbents compared to supporters of other parties faced with equally corrupt copartisan incumbents.
This paper examines the connection between declines in local journalism in the US and the possibility of declines in federal prosecutions for public corruption, defined by the US Department of Justice as crimes involving the abuse of public trust by government by federal, state, and local public officials. Journalism has long been presumed to serve as a check on the powerful, shedding light on wrongdoing; however, given the significant declines in local newspaper journalism in the US, extant theory suggests that wrongdoing such as public corruption would be less visible to the public–and in turn, make it more difficult for these abuses to come to light so they can be prosecuted by the US government.
I received the A. Belden Fields Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching as a Teaching Assisant in 2019. Teaching evaluations are available upon request.