Announcing three postdoctoral fellows for 2015-16

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Each year the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center offers fellowship opportunities to recent graduates to further their research and engage with scholars at Stanford. Postdoctoral fellows have the opportunity to develop their dissertations for publication, present their research to the Stanford community, and participate in Center activities.

Fellows often go on to pursue teaching positions and advisory roles at top universities and research organizations around the world. Into the future, they remain engaged with the Center and continue to contribute to Shorenstein APARC publications, conferences and related activities.

Shorenstein APARC is pleased to welcome three postdoctoral fellows for the 2015-16 academic year:

Asia Health Policy Fellow

Darika Saingam

Saingam’s research interests are public health, substance abuse, drug policy and Southeast Asia. While at Shorenstein APARC, she will research the evolution of substance-abuse control measures and related policy in Thailand.

Saingam seeks to identify potentially effective policy directions suitable for Thailand, and other developing countries in Southeast and East Asia.

“There are a lot of lessons to be learned from substance abuse policy implementations in other countries…coping and dealing with substance abuse is a complex story and cannot respond successfully with only one strategy.”

Saingam completed her doctorate in epidemiology at the Prince of Songkla University in 2012, and has served as a researcher at the University’s epidemiology unit since, as well as a researcher at the Thailand Substance Abuse Academic Network since 2014.

Shorenstein APARC Postdoctoral Fellows

Booseung Chang

Chang’s research interests are comparative policy analysis and political institutions in East Asia, mainly South Korea and Japan. While at Shorenstein APARC, Chang will conduct research on how countries respond differently to the same external challenges, and how institutions are interpreted and applied in different ways.

His dissertation, which he seeks to build upon, is titled “The Sources of Japanese Conduct: Asymmetric Security Dependence, Role Conceptions, and the Reactive Behavior in response to U.S. Demands.” It is a qualitative comparative case study of how key U.S. allies in Asia – namely Japan and South Korea – and major powers in Europe - the United Kingdom and France responded to the U.S.-led Persian Gulf War and the Iraq War.

“East Asia is a treasure island of new theory building because some of the big challenges facing East Asia – finding a new role for Japan, denuclearization of North Korea, unification of the Korean peninsula, democratization of China and reconfiguration of its relations with the world, and development and integration of Southeast Asian countries – are truly new ones…”

Chang completed his doctorate in political science from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University in 2014.

Nico Ravanilla

Ravanilla’s research interests are political economy and governance, comparative politics and Southeast Asia. While at Shorenstein APARC, Ravanilla will research how political selection impacts governance, and evaluate possible routes for incentivizing capable and virtuous citizens to run for public office.

His project titled “Nudging Good Politicians” looks at the case of the Sangguniang Kabataan, a governing body in the Philippines comprised of elected youth leaders. Ravanilla aims to apply his research to develop and scale up programs for politicians, especially those at the onset of their careers, which would include specialized leadership training and merit-based endorsement.

“If we could design a policy that screens-in and incentivizes competent and honest citizens to run for office, would it play a catalytic role in improving the quality of the political class, and ultimately, the quality of government?”

Ravanilla is also a Southeast Asia Research Group (SEAREG) Young Southeast Asia Fellow for 2015-16. He will complete his doctorate in political science and public policy from the University of Michigan in summer 2015.

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