WOOSEOK KIM

Hello! I am a PhD Candidate in Political Science and a Dual-Degree MA student in Statistics at the University of Michigan.

I study Comparative Politics, and I engage in the comparative analysis of institutions to examine policymaking interactions—with a current focus on party systems—and their consequences for the performance, consolidation, and erosion of democracy. I am particularly interested in studying distributive politics to understand the sources of political biases and inequality, and explain why certain countries fail to provide adequate levels of basic services to their citizens.

My dissertation research principally revolves around the conceptualization and measurement of party system institutionalization—or the stability and predictability of interparty interactions—and its implications for democracy. As a part of this research, I develop a novel measure of party system institutionalization using a Bayesian latent variable measurement approach. The measure covers 96 post-WWII democracies, which not only provides the most comprehensive measure of party system institutionalization to date, but also demonstrates that party system institutionalization is associated with a range of outcomes that are consequential for democracy, such as public goods provision, corruption, the spread of misinformation, and respect for the rule of law. My dissertation committee is composed of Robert J. Franzese, Jr. (Co-Chair), Allen Hicken (Co-Chair), George Tsebelis, and Walter Mebane.

Prior to beginning my graduate studies, I received my B.A. from the University of Michigan in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, and was stationed at the Korea Defense Intelligence Command to fulfill my mandatory military service requirements. I grew up in England and South Korea.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about my research. Thank you!