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Min Jung Kim

International Relations

Min Jung Kim’s research interests lie at the intersection of comparative politics and security issues and specifically the territorial dimension of state-building, state capacity, and political order in frontiers. In her dissertation, she explores the logic for why polities target certain territories for control, the modes they employ, and the degree of state control exercised over highland regions in South and Southeast Asia since the 19th century. In contrast to the dominant state capacity view, Kim argues that the interests, values, and ideas of state leaders regarding their frontier lands and populations account for the observed variations in territorial control. Using archival materials, maps, and elite interviews, she traces policies and practices of territorial control of selected districts in the highland regions of Thailand, Myanmar, and India. Kim holds an MA in conflict resolution from Georgetown University. Prior to the joining the SIS doctoral program, she worked on program development and management on human trafficking and migration issues at International Organization for Migration in Bangkok as well as research at the US Institute of Peace and the Embassy of Republic of Korea in Washington D.C.


“Explaining the subnational variation in territorial control within the Northeast Frontier of British India, 1860s-1947,”Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, IL, April 2018 (scheduled)

“The Logic of (not-) Governing: Selective State Building in Southeast Asia,” American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, September 2016


Pre-Dissertation Summer Research Funding, School of International Service, American University, 2016 and 2017

Research Fellow, Peace and Violence Research Lab, American University, Spring 2016
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