Welcome! I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political and Social Change (PSC) at the Australian National University. Previously, I was a Research Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse (IAST) .
In 2020, I obtained my PhD in Politics at Princeton University, where I was a graduate student fellow of the Program for Quantitative and Analytical Political Science (Q-APS) and a graduate student affiliate with the Paul and Marcia Wythes Center on Contemporary China. My advisors were Carles Boix (Chair), Rory Truex, and Kosuke Imai.
My research interests center on historical political economy, politics of state-building, and bureaucracy.
I also do research on statistical methods of causal inference.
My work has appeared or will soon appear in
American Journal of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies,
Journal of Politics, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Research and Politics, among others.
In 2022, I received the Mancur Olson Award for the Best Dissertation in Political Economy completed in the past two years given by the American Political Science Association (APSA). In 2017, my colleagues and I won the Fragile Families Challenge for the best statistical prediction of material hardship among disadvantaged children in the United States. In 2015, I won the Malcolm Jewell Award for the best graduate student paper at the Southern Political Science Association (SPSA) Annual Meeting.
Frightened Leviathan: How Fighting Corruption Affects Bureaucrats in China
Book manuscript based on prior work that has received the
Mancur Olson Award for the Best Dissertation in Political Economy
Leviathan Reborn (with Xiaoming Zhang & Joy Chen)
Leviathan's Offer: State-building with Elite Compensation in
Early Medieval China (with Joy Chen & Xiaoming Zhang)
Revised & Resubmitted to the American Political Science Review
• Media: Broadstreet
Frightened Mandarins: The Adverse Effects of Fighting Corruption on Local Bureaucracy
Forthcoming, Comparative Political Studies
Awakening Leviathan: Effect of Democracy on State Capacity. 2018.
Research and Politics 5(2), 2053168018772398
(with Yiqing Xu)
-- Awarded the 2015 Malcolm Jewell Award for the best graduate student paper presented at the SPSA annual meeting.
At Princeton, I have had a lot of joy teaching both substantive and methodological courses at various levels. I have taught courses in comparative politics and international relations to undergraduates. I have also taught the third course in my department’s quantitative methods sequence to PhD students, as well as programming language and research design to entering undergraduates via the Freshman Scholars Institute.
At the Australian National University (ANU), I am currently teaching an undergraduate Asian history class and a graduate seminar on political economy of development. You can find a summary of these courses below.
PhD-level course, Princeton, NJ, Fall 2016
Preceptor for Prof. Kosuke Imai
Third course in the Politics department’s graduate quantitative methods sequence, covering discrete choice models, machine learning via EM algorithm and variational inference,
models for time-series cross-sectional data, and event history analysis, all taught with both econometrics perspectives and causal inference perspectives.
(Student evaluations: 4.6/5)
Undergraduate-level course, Princeton, NJ, Spring 2017
Preceptor for Prof. Andrew Moravcsik
This course is an introduction to the causes and nature of international conflict and cooperation. We critically examine various theories of international politics by drawing on examples drawn from international security, economic and legal affairs across different historical eras from 10,000 BC to the present. Topics include the causes of war, the pursuit of economic prosperity, the sources of international order and its breakdown, and the rise of challenges to national sovereignty, and such contemporary issues as international environmental politics, human rights promotion, global terrorism, and the future of US foreign policy.
(Student evaluations: 4.1/5)
Undergraduate-level course, Princeton, NJ, Summer 2017
Preceptor for Prof. Will Lowe
An introduction course to statistics and programming for newly admitted undergrads at Princeton, covering experimental deisgn, predictive modelling, as well as elementary techniques for analysis of network, text and spatial data.
(Student evaluations: 4.8/5)
Undergraduate-level course, Princeton, NJ, Fall 2017
Preceptor for Prof. Rory Truex
This course provides an overview of China's political system. We will begin with a brief historical overview of China's political development from 1949 to the present. The remainder of the course will examine the key challenges facing the current generation of CCP leadership, focusing on prospects for democratization and political reform. Among other topics, we will examine: factionalism and political purges; corruption; avenues for political participation; village elections; public opinion; protest movements and dissidents; co-optation of the business class; and media and internet control.
(Student evaluations: 4.5/5)
PhD-level course, Princeton, NJ, Winter 2018
This camp will prepare students for POL 572 and other quantitative analysis courses offered in the Politics department and elsewhere. Although participation in this camp is completely voluntary, the materials covered in this camp are a pre-requisite for POL 572. Students will learn the basics of statistical programming using R, an open-source computing environment. Using data from published journal articles, students will learn how to manipulate data, create graphs and tables, and conduct basic statistical analysis. This camp assumes knowledge of probability and statistics as covered in POL 571.
(Student evaluations: 4.2/5)
Undergraduate-level course, ANU, Canberra ACT, Australia, Spring 2022
This course traces the historical development of Asia's diverse political systems. It examines underlying geo-political realities and their implications for political structure and focusses on the religious and political systems of thought that have shaped Asian political systems, especially regarding leadership, the family, ethnicity, social class and age. The course commences with the emergence of civilization in Asia, examines political structures as they were influenced by Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Islam and Christianity, the transformation of ethnic and national identities brought about in the era of western imperialism, and the assertion of new political ideals inspired by communism, liberalism, religions and reinterpretations of the past..
PhD-level course, ANU, Canberra ACT, Australia, Spring 2022
This course is designed to serve as an in-depth introduction to political economy, broadly defined. It will survey and discuss the political and institutional factors underlying cross- national and subnational variation in economic performance. The course is structured around the following issues or questions: Why do countries differ so much in their level of economic development? What is the role of political institutions in promoting economic development? How do the structures and capacities of the state affect economic performance? To what extent are countries and regions destined for a certain level of development due to their geography, culture, or history? What is the political logic of inequality and welfare state?
Kim, In Song, Adam Rauh, Erik Wang, and Kosuke Imai. ''PanelMatch: Matching Methods for Causal Inference with Time-Series Cross-Sectional Data.'' available through The Comprehensive R Archive Network.