Kyung Suk Lee, James D. Kim, Hwalmin Jin, and Matthew Fuhrmann “Nuclear Weapons and Low-Level Military Conflict (International Studies Quarterly, forthcoming)
(Paper Download)

Do nuclear weapons deter low-level military conflict? Although the political effects of nuclear weapons have been debated for more than 70 years, scholarship has yet to produce a clear answer. We design a study that reduces the risk of omitted variable bias relative to prior research. Our analysis compares the rates of conflict among eventual nuclear powers in the periods before and after they obtained an arsenal. We include two-way fixed effects to control for time invariant state-specific confounders and address common shocks. Our findings indicate that switching from nonnuclear status to a nuclear arsenal decreases the risk of being targeted in militarized interstate disputes (MID) by nonnuclear challengers. 

Working Papers

Hwalmin Jin and Michael Koch, “Korean Legislative Voting on War Issues” (Revise & Resubmit
(Paper Download)

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. The empirical findings confirm that there is a growing divergence of legislators’ roll call behavior depending on their electoral marginality. However, the effect of a constituency is contingent upon partisan cleavages. The study represents the first empirical examination of the use of force in roll call vote behavior outside of the U.S. and Europe, focusing on electoral marginality. The study also affords interesting tests of several hypotheses concerning the factors driving legislative voting behavior in the realm of military policy.
Weiwen Yin and Hwalmin Jin, “Bilateral Trade and Public and Private Mobilization (in progress)

We investigate how bilateral trade dependence affects the process of interstate conflicts. Public mobilization can be used as a tool to deter the enemy because it is a costly signal. It will become more costly when the country dyad depends on each other on trade because it suggests that the signal sender is even willing to endure trade disruption and sacrifice trade to deter the target. On the other hand, countries that do not trade with each other much have little incentive to use public mobilization to deter, while private mobilization/fait accompli becomes a more preferable option because of the benefit of surprise attack. Our paper adds to the understanding of why trade leads to peace. Unlike existing scholarship that shows trade promote peace by other mechanisms, such as liberal peace theory, we show that trade results in peace by strengthening the credibility of public mobilization, which deters war.
Hwalmin Jin, “Ethnic Stacking and Inequality in Armed Forces and Spatial Dependence” (in progress)

Ethnic stacking is the practice of excessively recruiting soldiers and commanders from ethnic and religious groups perceived to be particularly loyal to the state. The regimes pursue ethnic stacking out of concern that militaries that are not ethnically aligned with the regimes are more likely to overthrow the regimes violently. However, ethnic manipulation can result in violent retaliation from the targeted ethnic groups. Ethnic stacking can also create tension and division inside the military forces, impairing their performance on the battlefield. Under what conditions do political leaders nevertheless pursue an ethnic stacking strategy? Ethnic ties to the state’s enemies among out-group members of the armed forces can increase the fear of betrayal in armed conflicts or of a coup sponsored by the state’s enemies. If there are strong ethnic ties between the home country and adjacent enemies, a ruler is more likely to pursue ethnic stacking in armed forces at home, from exclusion to monopoly. I rely on spatial-temporal autoregressive models to construct a spatial dependence that uses the ethnic compositions of the home country and enemies in adjacent countries to find those possible interdependencies.
Hwalmin Jin, “The Legacy of Colonialism and the Origin of Civil-Military Relations” (in progress)
Hwalmin Jin, Matthew Fuhrmann, Kyung Suk Lee, “Why Do Alliances Fight?” (in progress)