Welcome! I am a Global Innovation Program Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perry World House and an incoming Assistant Professor of Political Science at Boston College. In the 2021-22 academic year, I was a Hans J. Morgenthau Fellow at the Notre Dame International Security Center.

I specialize in International Relations, with a focus on questions related to grand strategy, alliance politics, and military performance. In my current book project, I examine the causes and consequences of strategic incoherence in military alliances, analyzing (1) why a leading great power’s allies often fail to reconcile their military postures with the aims of its grand strategy and (2) how this affects the alliance’s performance vis-à-vis its adversaries.

My broader research interests center on topics such as the role of nuclear weapons in grand strategy, the politicization of international norms, the effects of leader age on international politics, and the impact of different military recruitment systems on battlefield performance. Some of my research has been published or is forthcoming in outlets such as the American Political Science Review, International Studies Quarterly, Political Science Quarterly, European Journal of International Security, and the Washington Quarterly.

My research has been supported by the Smith Richardson Foundation and the Korea Foundation for Advanced Studies, as well as the Center for East Asian Studies and the Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts at the University of Chicago, among others.

Before beginning my academic career, I served as the personal interpreter to South Korea’s Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In this capacity, I assisted the Chairman during all interactions with English-speaking foreign partners, including the Commander of the U.S. Forces Korea (CDRUSFK), Commander of the U.S. Pacific Command (CDRUSPACOM), and the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS).

I received a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Chicago in 2022. I also hold an M.A. in Political Science from the University of Chicago and a B.A. in International Studies and Political Science, summa cum laude, from Korea University.

Contact: joshbyun@upenn.edu