I am a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in the Department of Politics at the University of York, and in Spring 2023 I will be a Visiting Scholar in the Korea-Pacific Program at UCSD’s School of Global Policy and Strategy. I study authoritarian politics, mainly from a global comparative perspective, and have a particular interest in North Korea.
My book manuscript, Purges: How Dictators Fight to Survive, examines the causes of elite purges and their effects on autocratic survival. I argue that dictators purge elites to consolidate power, punish them for insubordination, and scapegoat them to alleviate popular threats. Further, rather than fomenting instability, purges help dictators survive.
My work has been published or is forthcoming in journals including British Journal of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies, International Studies Quarterly, Journal of Peace Research, and Democratization.
PhD in Political Science, 2020
University of Missouri
MA in Intelligence and International Security, 2013
King's College London
BSc in Politics, 2010
Purges: How Dictators Fight to Survive (book manuscript)
“The Effects of Elite Purges on a Dictator’s Popular Approval: An Online Survey Experiment in Turkey”
“Brothers in Arms No Longer: Who Do Regime Change Coup-Entry Dictators Purge?” (with Austin S. Matthews)
North Korea’s Succession from Kim Jong Il to Kim Jong Un: Empowering the Leader and Elite Regeneration (book manuscript, with Peter Ward)
“Elite Management Before Autocratic Leader Succession: Evidence from North Korea” (with Peter Ward)
“Do We Have a Deal? Inferring Closed Autocracies’ Intentions Through Sentiment Analysis of Propaganda” (with Ji Yeon (Jean) Hong)
“China’s Surveillance State at Home & Abroad: The Development & Global Export of Chinese Policing Technology” (with Sheena Chestnut Greitens)
Comparative Institutions and Public Policy | York | Fall 2021, Fall 2022
Evaluation Fall 2021
Spatial Interdependence in Theory and Practice (lab instructor) | IPSA-USP | Spring 2018
Political Enquiry in Politics | York | Spring 2022
Introduction to Democratic Politics | York | Fall 2021, Fall 2022
Comparative Political Systems | Mizzou | Spring 2019
“The Kims Aren’t Just Looking at Things: What Leadership Events Can Tell Us About North Korean Politics.” The National Committee on North Korea and the Woodrow Wilson Center, September 2022.
“Before categorising autocracies, we need to count them accurately.” The Loop, August 12, 2022.
“The Logic of Autocratic Purges.” Political Violence at a Glance, January 10, 2022.
“Review of The Great Successor: The Divinely Perfect Destiny of Brilliant Comrade Kim Jong Un.” Journal of Asian Studies 79(4): 1013-1014.
“How Would Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Handle North Korea?” The National Interest, August 20, 2020.
“Body Politic: Why Kim Jong Un’s Health Still Matters.” NK News, June 26, 2020.
“The Importance of Regime Similarity to Explain Democratic Diffusion.” Democratic Audit, June 26, 2019 (with Sheena Chestnut Greitens).
“North Korea is Marching with South Korea at the Olympics Opening Ceremony. Does This Mean a Diplomatic Thaw is Coming?” The Washington Post, February 9, 2018.
“Review of North Korea: Markets and Military Rule.” Democratization 25(1): 187-188.
“Will U.N. Sanctions Stop North Korean Missile tests? Don’t Count On It.” The Washington Post, August 9, 2017.