DISSERTATION PROJECT

A Variety of Political Control Strategies in Civil-Military Relations
Hwalmin Jin, “Controlling the Military in the Shadow of an External Threat” (Chapter 3)
Under what conditions do leaders of nondemocracies choose one strategy over another in controlling the military in the shadow of external security threats? This study investigates the impact of changes in external security threat levels on the choice of coercion, co-optation, or mixed strategy. I argue that nondemocratic leaders adjust their coup-proofing strategies against the military by ascertaining external security threat levels. Leaders are less likely to implement coercive coup-proofing tactics, such as imposing counterbalances on the military, when there are increased security threats, to retain military effectiveness. Instead, leaders execute co-optive strategies such as allowing the military to participate in national cabinets, not only to avoid the risk of jeopardizing military preparedness but to reduce the chance of a coup. The mixed strategy is most likely to be chosen at an intermediate threat level because leaders are more likely to select coercion or co-optation at the two extreme security conditions. Cross-national data on coup-proofing measures and external security threats provide empirical support for my arguments. This paper sheds new light on the relationship between external security threats and civilian control strategies in nondemocratic regimes.

WORKING PAPERS

Hwalmin Jin, Michael Koch, Pork or Public Goods: South Korean Legislative Voting and War Issues” (under review)
We investigate how electoral concerns at the district level affect foreign policy issues by examining the individual legislators’ roll call decisions on the issue of sending troops to Iraq in the South Korea National Assembly. Our central claim is that South Korean legislators are sensitive to electoral concern when they decide to vote for war bills due to the increasing importance of programmatic politics. The empirical findings confirm that there is a growing divergence of legislators’ roll call behavior depending on their electoral marginality and consideration for pork-barrel or programmatic politics. Governing party members are less likely to vote for war bills while more likely to vote for domestic bills as their electoral competitiveness increases. The study represents the first empirical examination of roll call vote behavior on the commitment of troops outside of the US and Europe, focusing on electoral marginality in the context of pork and programmatic politics.
Kyung Suk Lee, James D. Kim, Hwalmin Jin, and Matthew Fuhrmann  To Deter or Not to Deter: Nuclear Weapons and Interstate Disputes” (Revise & Resubmit at International Studies Quarterly)
 

Hwalmin Jin, “Why Do Small States Adopt Different Alignment Policies? The Comparison of Alignment Policy of Indonesia and Thailand in the Early 1950s” (in progress)