Gidong Kim joins the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (APARC) as Korea Program Postdoctoral Fellow beginning Fall 2023. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from University of Missouri, as well as both a M.A. and a B.A. in Political Science from Hankuk University of Foreign Studies. He studies comparative political behavior and economy in East Asia, with particular focus on nationalism and identity politics, inequality and redistribution, and migration in South Korea and East Asia. His work is published or forthcoming in journals including Journal of East Asian Studies, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Asian Perspective, Korea Observer, and Social Science Quarterly.
His dissertation, “Nationalism and Redistribution in New Democracies: Nationalist Legacies of Authoritarian Regimes,” investigates the micro-level underpinnings that sustain weak welfare system in developmental states. He argues that authoritarian leaders who encounter twin challenges of nation-building and modernization tend to utilize nationalism as an effective ruling and mobilizing strategy for national development. As a result, nationalism shaped under the authoritarianism can embed pro-development norms, which can powerfully shape citizens' preferences for redistribution even after democratization. He tests my theoretical argument using a mixed-method approach, including in-depth interview, survey experiment, and cross-national survey data analysis.
At APARC, Gidong will transform his dissertation project into a book manuscript. Also, he will lead collaborative projects about nationalism, racism, and democratic crisis to address emerging social, economic, and political challenges in Korea and, more broadly, Asia.