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 regional focuses on East Asia, the Middle East and Europe. 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. 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.

A strand of research that has stemmed from my work on trade wars is on energy wars. The shale gas revolution has rendered the U.S. a major energy exporter and U.S. shale gas sales are used as a coercive tool in today’s trade wars. Oil prices have plunged and the Gulf states are seeking energy diversification. Along these lines, I research on East Asia’s transregional transactions with the petrostates of the Gulf, focusing on East Asia’s increased consumption of Middle Eastern oil and gas and provision of nuclear and renewable energy to the region. In this line of research, I have conducted remote consultancy work on South Korea’s nuclear energy exports to the Middle East for the American University of Beirut in fall 2019.

My work on trade wars has led to subsequent projects on tech wars, and a cross-regional project on the adoption of 5G technology in Europe in the era of Brexit is underway, with a focus on the major competitors in the 4th industrial revolution – China, South Korea, Japan, the U.S. and Germany. A project proposal is being drafted for application to the ERC Starting Grant of the European Research Council in fall 2020.

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