Byunghwan Son, PhD

Byunghwan Son, PhD

Associate Professor

College of Hummanities and Social Science

Other Positions:

Faculty Affiliate

Research Theme:

Digital Technologies - Inventing new algorithms, digital techniques, and technologies

Key Interests:

International Political Economy, Quantitative Social Science, Text-Mining, Machine Learning, Survey Data, Causal Inference, Democratization, Time-Series Data


PhD, Political Science, University of Missouri-Columbia

Research Focus

I am a quantitative political scientist focusing comparative and international political economy. My research interests lie in the intersection of political behaviors (individual and collective) and economic conditions. My published work reflects academic discussions on democratization, democratic support, public confidence in governments, international reserves, currency crises, exchange rate regimes, Asian politics, and social science methodology. My methodological interest recently includes unsupervised online text mining and machine learning.

Current Projects

■ Post-Crisis Developmental States in Asia: in this book-length project, I examine the financial policies of East and Southeast Asian countries to see 1997 Asian Financial Crisis shaped a new era of developmental states in Asia.

■ Autocratization and Public Health: In this article project I examine a global sample of time-series and survey data to see if autocratization (current political regime getting less democratic over-time) undermines the country’s capacity to provide public health goods for the general population.

■ K-pop and Soft power: in this project, I challenge the conventional wisdom that a country’s soft power builds on cultural products but not the other way around. By changing landscape of online discussions on Korean pop-culture, particularly K-pop, around major social events, I show that soft power also affects the diffusion of cultural products.

Select Publications

B. Son. Democracy and Reserves. Foreign Policy Analysis 16(3), 417-437 (2020).

B. Son and N. Bellinger. Political parties and foreign direct investment inflows among developing countries. Political Studies 67, 712-731 (2019).

B. Son and D. Peksen. Economic coercion and currency crises in target economies. Journal of Peace Research 52, 448-462 (2015).

B. Son et al., Economics inequality and democratic support. Journal of Politics 76, 139-151 (2014).



College of Hummanities and Social Science

Contact Byunghwan:


LinkedIn: N/A