Image: Simon Kan

We are grateful for the opportunity to stand on the shoulders of giants.

speaker Christopher H. Achen is an emeritus professor in the Politics Department at Princeton University, where he holds the Roger Williams Straus Chair of Social Sciences, Emeritus. His primary research interests are public opinion, elections, and the realities of democratic politics, along with the statistical challenges that arise from those fields. He is the author, coauthor, or co-editor of six books, including the international award-winning Democracy for Realists (with Larry Bartels), published by Princeton University Press in 2016, and The Taiwan Voter (with T.Y. Wang), published by the University of Michigan Press in 2017. He has also published many articles.

Achen is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences since 1995, and has received fellowships from the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, the National Science Foundation, and Princeton’s Center for the Study of Democratic Politics. He was the founding president of the Political Methodology Society, and he received the first career achievement award from The Political Methodology Section of The American Political Science Association in 2007. He has served on the top social science board at the National Science Foundation, and he was the chair of the national Council for the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) from 2013-2015. He is also the recipient of an award in 1996 from the University of Michigan for lifetime achievement in training graduate students and a student-initiated award in 2017 from Princeton University for graduate student mentoring.

speaker Barbara Geddes is emeritus professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of California, Los Angeles. She works on autocratic politics, regime transition, democratization, bureaucratic reform and corruption, political bargaining over institutional change, and research design. Her current research focuses on politics in dictatorships. Her most recent book is How Dictatorships Work: Power, Personalization, and Collapse (with Joseph Wright and Erica Frantz), 2018. The original data set on which the book was based, The Authoritarian Regimes Data Set (, was awarded the Lijphart/Przeworski/Verba Best Original Data Set Award give by the Comparative Politics Organized Section of the American Political Science Association. Her other publications include Paradigms and Sand Castles: Theory Building and Research Design in Comparative Politic (2003); Politician’s Dilemma: Building State Capacity in Latin America (1994); “What Do We Know about Democratization after Twenty Years?” in the Annual Review of Political Science (1999); What Causes Democratization?” in The Oxford Handbook of Political Science (2009); and “Autocratic Breakdown and Regime Transitions: A New Data Set” (with Erica Frantz and Joseph Wright) in Perspectives on Politics (2014). She has chaired more than 50 dissertation committees, and she was the first recipient of the UCLA Political Science Department’s Best Mentor award, which was named after her. The Comparative Politics Organized Section of the American Political Science Association awarded her the Bingham Powell Graduate Mentoring Award in 2014. Until her recent retirement, she taught Latin American politics, authoritarian politics, and research design at UCLA.

speaker Ji Yeon (Jean) Hong is Associate Professor of Political Science and Korea Foundation Professor of Korean Politics at the University of Michigan. Before the University of Michigan, She worked at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology for 8 years as Assistant Professor and Associate Professor. Her research focuses on authoritarian politics and legacies, with particular attention to East Asia including Korea, China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. She has various ongoing research projects related to the legacy of the authoritarian past, the long-term impact of political violence, and the determinants of government policies under authoritarianism. She obtained the Ph.D. degree in the Department of Politics at New York University. Her research has been published in American Journal of Political Science, British Journal of Political Science, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, and Journal of Politics, among others.

speaker T. Y. Wang is Chair of the Department of Politics and Government, Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois. He is an ISU University Professor. He currently serves as the co-editor of the Journal of Asian and African Studies and was the Coordinator of the Conference Group of Taiwan Studies (CGOTS) of the American Political Science Association. Professor Wang’s current research focuses on Taiwanese national identity, cross-Strait relations, and US policy towards China and Taiwan. He has authored, co-authored or edited 7 books/special issues and published over 50 articles/book chapters in such scholarly journals as the American Political Science Review, Asian Survey, International Studies Quarterly, Issues and Studies, Journal of Peace Research, Political Research Quarterly and Social Science Quarterly. He is the co-editor of The Taiwan Voter (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2017) (with Christopher Achen).