BIO

I am a political economist specializing in U.S. foreign economic policymaking on export-oriented countries of Northeast Asia – China, Japan and South Korea. I work on trade, energy, and tech conflicts with a broader range of regional focuses not just on the U.S. and East Asia, but also Europe and the Middle East. I also conduct policy-oriented research on the two Koreas. My grand theme of research is why countries fight and how, using what. I study why countries have different policy outcomes by analyzing governance structures – domestic institutions, leaderships, and bureaucracies that shape the policy formation process.

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I am a recipient of the Next Generation Researcher Grant of the National Research Foundation of Korea for my first book manuscript, TRADE WARS & CURRENCY CONFLICT: China, South Korea and Japan’s Responses to U.S. Pressures since the Global Financial Crisis. Using a framework of institutional variance, my book manuscript attempts to answer why the three countries have not acted the same upon encountering U.S. protectionism, and provides a mechanism for predicting policy moves. The book project is in progress under the Academic Book Publication Program at the Research Information Service of the National Library of Korea. In summer 2019, I took part in drafting a commissioned report for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea on the ongoing U.S.-China trade war.

My second book project, EUROPE’s CHALLENGES & RESPONSES: Between Faustian Bargains with China and U.S. Pressures since Brexit, also utilizes the framework of institutional variance but moves the stage to Europe and broadens the scope to pressures from two great powers: China and the U.S. In culmination of my work on trade, energy, and tech wars, the project examines each of the policy responses from Germany, France and the UK post-Brexit to China and the U.S. on specific issues of the aforementioned three policy realms in the era of geoeconomic conflict between the two countries. This project is intended for submission to the European Research Council for the ERC Starting Grant in January 2021.

In response to the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus, I have also launched a standalone project entitled, GOVERNING A PANDEMIC IN THE AGE OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: Beyond Massive Tracking and Data Privacy in South Korea to Counter COVID-19. The project centers on the questions of a social contract on conditional AI-oriented surveillance, patents on health related technology, and bureaucratic governance in governing a pandemic – with comparative angles on South Korea and Europe. The funding application for the project is under review by the Social Science Research Council for the Rapid-Response Grant on COVID-19.

On July 24, 2020, I officially launched my BookTube Channel, INSIDE TRADE WARS on YouTube to raise public awareness on trade wars. It airs every Friday at 7PM KST. Each episode covers the most pressing trade war issue of the week, and suggests a related book for to deepen our understanding of trade wars, which will be beneficial for the students of the next generation.

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