My name is Hojung Joo, and I am a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at the University of Michigan. My research interest lies at the intersection of international relations, comparative politics, and Korean politics. I study wars, violence, state-building, and legacy of colonial rule, with an empirical focus on Korea. In my work, I demonstrate how war-making contributes to state-making by allowing states to define and eliminate potential threats to a vulnerable regime while establishing a long-run base of support by mobilizing those who participated in the war effort. I also evaluate how past and present wars shape policymaking processes and how such effects evolve with time.

My dissertation project examines the relationship between prewar resistance against the state and civilian killings during the Korean War. To test the relationship between prewar resistance against state authorities and civilian killings, I construct an original dataset on civilian killings by South Korean and North Korean armed actors during the Korean War. I also utilize data on various protest activities during Japanese colonial rule and vectorized & geocoded data on major battle locations during the war. Utilizing regression models, I find a positive and significant correlation between anti-colonial protests of the March First Movement (1919) and civilian killings by South Korean armed actors. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission reports and archival records suggest that South Korean local policemen, who retained their positions since colonial rule, acted as an active informant against their neighbors during South Korean occupation.

I hold a B.A. and M.A. in political science from Yonsei University. I can be reached at

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