Research Proposal Essay

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Statement of Research Proposal

My broader research interests lie in the areas of international and comaparative political economy, applied game theory and quanttitative methodology. My current research projects focus on the simultaneous interaction between politics and economy at both the national and the international levels. I am particularly interested in the dynamic relationship between economic liberalization and political survival of authoritarian regimes. I also have a special interest in East Asian politics, particularly Chinese politics. During the fellowship years, I plan to develop my dissertation on foreign direct investment (FDI) liberalization and the political economy of authoritarianism into a book manuscript after
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[UNCTAD2003] As a result, global FDI grew much faster than either trade or income in the last two decades. Whereas world real GDP increased at an average rate of 3.00% between 1985 and 2004 and world exports by 6.29%, world real inflows of FDI increased by 9.85%. The liberalization processes varied considerably, however, across countries in timing, speed, and magnitude.

Previous literature has examined the economic causes and consequences of international and domestic financial sector liberalization. However, the political causes and consequences of economic liberalization have received less attention [Abiad2005]. Few theoretical work addresses whether an increase in financial liberalization leads to democratic transition [Milner2009, p175], or why large-scale policy changes regarding capital account liberalization took place in developing countries in 1990s [Cohen1996]. My research project addresses this gap in the literature. Using both formal theory and quantitative methods, I develop and test a unified theory that investigates the short-run and long-run political effects of international financial liberalization, and explains the causes, timing, speed, magnitude of liberalization.

The current research proposal is focused on completing this project, which began as a dissertation project at

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