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Erik Mobrand (PhD, Politics, Princeton)
I am an associate professor here at GSIS. I joined the faculty in 2016 after nearly a decade working in Singapore. My interests in politics are broad. I'm especially keen to better understand the interplay of informal power relationships and formal political arrangements. Most of my research focuses on Korean and Chinese societies. Through research on those places, though, I try to engage in wider discussions about politics in Asia and the developing world. One stream of my work examines the resistance of poor people in Korean and Chinese cities to central state projects. Another offers a reinterpretation of South Korea's democratization through a focus on elite management of political institutions. I am also interested in approaches to Asian studies that begin with intra-regional comparisons and connections.
I am involved in a number of ongoing projects. A first examines the legal regulation of political parties in East and Southeast Asia. A second project, a collaborative one, examines relations between the state and political parties in Asia. We are now preparing a book on The Party-State Nexus in Asia. I am additionally a participant in collaborations on authoritarian legality, North Korea's external ties, and the Cold War in Asia. I am also overseeing data collection in East and Southeast Asia for a political finance database managed by International IDEA (Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance). I am also completing a book that tells Korean Cold War history from the perspective of a Seoul broker of violence.
Politics and development; Political sociology; Democracy and democratisation; Korean politics and society; Chinese politics and society
Politics of Development; Democracy in Asia: Power, Institutions, and Meanings; Modern Korean History and Society