top of page


Working Papers

  • Does Khaki Shadow Pink?: The Effects of Military Service on Gendered Issues (Under Review)

This paper explores obstacle factors to representation of women's issues in the legislature while previous literature has focused on accelerators for women's substantive representation. Why are some male legislators more hostile to women's issues? This paper focuses the analytic lens on men and their personal backgrounds. I theorize that the prior military background of a legislator is an important life experience with relevance to how supportive they are of women's issues. Masculine socialization from military service has a negative impact on attitudes toward women's issues. In addition, in the case of compulsory military service, men can feel relative deprivation toward women because of opportunity costs incurred from military service. I examine the theory with an original dataset including the military experience of members of the South Korean congress, and roll-call voting on women's issues from 2016 to 2021. I find that male legislators with military experience are less likely to vote yea for pro-women issues if they do not have party pressure. 

  • Do Congresswomen Comfort the "Comfort Women"? (with Sumin Lee)

Although sexual violence against women is prevalent in wartime, compensation for the female victims has received little attention from not only governments after wars but also previous scholars. Do congresswomen represent female victims of sexual violence from past wars? How do female and male legislators talk and vote differently regarding the issue? We argue that congresswomen will be more supportive of bills regarding comfort women than congressmen. To test our argument, we focus on how the comfort women issue of World War II is discussed at the National Assembly of South Korea using statistical and text analyses of congressional voting and speeches. We find that congresswomen are more likely to vote for bills for comfort women regardless of their party affiliations. Furthermore, our results from text analysis show that congressmen will discuss comfort women in relation to foreign policy issues such as the South Korea-Japan relations while congresswomen will discuss it in a humanitarian framework. This paper will contribute to substantive representation literature by expanding its scope to wartime victims’ historical lack of access to justice.

  • Between Agency and Conformity: Insurgent Female Leadership and the Patterns of Sexual Violence (with Hyeran Jo)

How do female insurgents develop agency in insurgent organizations filled with men with guns? Can they make difference in reducing wartime sexual violence? Contrary to the existing understanding that female insurgents merely conform to what the insurgent organization dictates, we argue that female insurgent leadership can make a difference in producing the patterns of wartime sexual violence – with primary leadership (such as high-ranking communication officer) coupled with ordinary leadership roles (such as noncombat community female organization). We develop the concept and types of “female insurgent leadership” in insurgent organizations and build our explanations for different patterns of conflict-related sexual violence. With the new Female Insurgent Leadership (FIL) data for the 140 insurgent organizations between 1998 and 2012, we analyze the relationship between female insurgent leadership and sexual violence patterns. To highlight the mechanisms of community relations and female leadership agency, we also trace 40 qualitative cases of insurgent organizations systematically over time. Our results show female insurgent leaders generally conform to the rules and imperatives of insurgent organizations, but insurgent women with community-building female organizations exhibit markedly different patterns in wartime sexual violence.

  • Lipstick and Egalitarianism: Gender, Office Holding, and Education Policy

Do women’s political gain in office translate into substantive differences in education policy outcomes? Although there is plenty of research to examine how women's descriptive representation translates into substantive representation by exploring social welfare policies, education policy outcomes have little received attention from previous scholars. I theorize that women’s presence in the education ministry contributes to equity in education since female education ministers would be more expected to advocate equity than male education ministers by gender stereotype. I examine the relationship between women's presence in education ministers, the academic performance gaps between genders (Boys vs. Girls), classes (Rich vs. Poor), and regions (Urban Areas vs. Rural Areas), and the government partisanship by using PISA (the OECD's Programme for International Student Assessment)'s standardized test data of 15 advanced countries between 2000 to 2018. I find that women's presence in education ministry contributes to decreasing the gender gap of academic performance. Regarding income gaps and region gaps, the results are inconclusive. Also, the left-wing parties' effect is rarely observed in the analyses.

Work in Progress

  • Side Effects of Quota on Women's Substantive Representation

  • Social Constructions, Electoral Systems, and LGBTQ Policies

  • The Impact of Women’s Descriptive Representation on Gender Earning Equality (with Mi Jeong Shin)

bottom of page