Ae sil Woo
I am a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at the University of California, Merced. My primary research interests focus on institutions in dictatorships, particularly on arrangements of legislative procedures. My research has been published in the Journal of Politics. I am currently serving as an International Relations Editorial Assistant at the Journal of Politics.
My dissertation, "Designing the Rules of the Game: Legislative Processes in Authoritarian Legislatures," explores why dictators create heterogeneous legislative institutions and how those institutions affect a variety of political outcomes including repression and dissent. In the project, I show formally that legislative processes that allocate power to members of the opposition produce similar policy outcomes as those produced via processes where dictators monopolize legislative power. In my job market paper, I argue that dictators manage the tradeoff between minimizing opposition threat and legislative policy loss by strategically designing the legislative process. Using spatial models, I identify the dictator’s optimal legislative design and find empirical support for the expectation that opposition threat leads dictators to prefer the optimal design over others.
My interest in autocratic institutions extends to the examination of the influence of these institutions on domestic conflict, including opposition dissent and government repression.
The Differential Effect of "Democratic" Institutions on Dissent in Dictatorships (with Courtenay R. Conrad). 2019. Journal of Politics 81(2).
How Opposition Cooptation and Institutional Constraints Affect State Repression in Autocracies (with Courtenay R. Conrad). 2016. APSA Annals of Comparative Democratization 14(1): 2.
Opposition Threat and Legislative Process in Dictatorships
Institutional Antidotes: Legislative Power-Sharing and Managing Policy Loss (with Nathan W. Monroe)
Press Freedom in Dictatorships and Voluntary Selection of Media Bias (with JunHyeok Jang)
Leader Strength, Status Quos, and Legislative Choice in Dictatorships
Why set up to lose? Opposition Type and Legislative Process in Dictatorships
How To Be a Dictator (Instructor). Department of Political Science, UC Merced. Spring 2020 (Scheduled)
International Relations (Teaching Assistant). Dr. Alex Kroeger. Department of Political Science, UC Merced. Fall 2018
Political Violence (Teaching Assistant). Dr. Courtenay R. Conrad. Department of Political Science, UC Merced. Summer 2016
International Organization (Teaching Assistant). Dr. Emily Hencken Ritter. Department of Political Science, UC Merced. Spring 2015
Macroeconomics (Teaching Assistant). Dr. Jason Lee. Department of Economics, UC Merced. Summer 2017
Econometrics (Teaching Assistant). Dr. Robert Innes. Department of Economics, UC Merced. Fall 2016; Fall 2019
Microeconomics (Teaching Assistant). Dr. Gabriela Rubio. Department of Economics, UC Merced. Economics. Fall 2015
Calculus I (Teaching Assistant). Dr. Christopher Sandoval. Department of Mathematics, UC Merced. Summer 2018