Byunghwan Ben Son

Byunghwan Ben Son

Byunghwan Ben Son

Associate Professor

International & Comparative Political Economy, Global Finance, Politics in Asia, Politics of Inequality, Political Communication, Quantitative Methodology, Social Media, #Rstats

Byunghwan Son is an Associate Professor of the Global Affairs Program and Director of Asia-Pacific and Northeast Asian Studies. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Missouri (Columbia). His research interests lie in the intersection of political behaviors (individual and collective) and economic conditions. His research topics include democratization, democratic backsliding, public confidence in governments, international reserves, currency crises,  exchange rate regimes, politics in Asia, and social science methodologies. His comments appear in media outlets like Bloomberg, AFP, and Times Higher Education. Before joining George Mason, he taught at the College of Wooster (Ohio) and the Korean Air Force Academy (South Korea). 

Personal Webpage

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Selected Publications

2024. "Consequences of Democratic Backsliding in Popular Culture: Evidence from Blacklist in South Korea." Democratization, Accepted for Publication.

2024. "Foreign Policy Consequences of Democratic Backsliding: The Case of the Comfort Women Agreement in 2015." The Pacific Review, Forthcoming.

2024. "The Political Economy of Life Satisfaction: Democracy, National Wealth, and Personal Income." International Journal of Public Opinion Research. Forthcoming. (with Nisha Bellinger and Jonathan Krieckhaus)

2023. "Foreign Pop Culture and Backlash: The Case of non-fan K-pop Subreddits during the Pandemic." Journal of Cultural Economics, Forthcoming.

2022. "Health Cost of Autocratization" Journal of Development Studies. 58(5): 873-890. (with Nisha Bellinger)

2021. "Security Threats and Investment: North Korean Threats and the South Korean Stock Market" Pacific Focus. 36(3): 544-569. (with Chungshik Moon).

2021. "Presidential Approval Ratings and Foreign Exchange Market: The Case of the Korean Won during the Park Government" Asian Survey. 61(5): 767–796.

2020. "Doi Moi and Vietnamese Threat Perception of Chinese Economic Growth," Japanese Journal of Political Science. 21(4): 179-193.

2020. "Interpersonal Trust and Confidence in Labor Unions: the case of South Korea," Journal of East Asian Studies. 20: 267-290.

2020. "Democracy and Reserves" Foreign Policy Analysis. 16(3): 417-437.

2019. "Political Parties and Foreign Direct Investment Inflows Among Developing Countries" Political Studies. 67: 712-731. (with Nisha Bellinger)

2018. "The Mysterious Overvaluation of KRW in the 1990s," The Pacific Review. 31(5): 573-597.

2018. "Democratization and Currency Crises in Latin America," Journal of International Relations and Development. 21: 442-463. (with Jonathan Krieckhaus)

2016. "Are the Poor the Weak Link?: Economic Crisis, Income Level, and Democratic Support in South Korea." Journal of East Asian Studies. 16: 219-237.

2016. "Policy Choices in Hard Times: the case of democratization and currency devaluation," International Political Science Review. 37: 453-469.

2015. "Economic Coercion and Currency Crises in Target Economies," Journal of Peace Research. 52: 448-462. (with Dursun Peksen) 

2014. "Inequality and Democratic Support," Journal of Politics. 76-139-151. (with Jonanthan Krieckhaus, Nisha Bellinger, and Jason Wells). 



PhD. University of Missouri-Columbia, Political Science (2013)

M.A./B.A. Yonsei University (Seoul), Political Science