As of 1st August 2019, Professor Inbok Rhee was appointed a new KDI School faculty member. He is currently teaching a course, ‘Topics in Political Economy of Development,’ and working on a number of research projects.
His recent research work focuses on the legislative and democratic development in Sub-Saharan Africa – investigating the logic of legislator attention in developing democracies and examining when and how some politicians are able to focus more on national policy-making than being mere constituency servants. To answer these questions, he has been conducting extensive fieldwork in Kenya, where he served asa research associate at the Institute for Development Studies (IDS), University of Nairobi (UoN) while developing an original dataset on politicians’ career background, conducting qualitative interviews with Kenyan voters and politicians, and analysing tens of thousands of parliamentary speech texts as data. Prof. Rhee’s recent area of research has been on the various subjects related to the political economy of development in Sub-Saharan Africa, to include the impact of Chinese aid projects, the dynamics of electoral manipulations, and how dual language use affects development outcomes, among others. His research has been supported by a number of generous fellowships and grants such as the Fulbright Program, National Science Foundation (NSF), University of California, and KDI School of Public Policy and Management.
Prof. Inbok Rhee received his BA in Politics and Development Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London in 2006, and an MA in International Affairs from the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), Columbia University in 2010. He later obtained another MA and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego (UC San Diego) in 2014 and 2019. Prior to starting the Ph.D. program at UC San Diego, he served as an officer in the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) for over three years, and was awarded a commendation letter and a meritorious service medal. He is appreciative of the enriching experience he has had so far. From the immense research support friendly and supportive colleagues, and the warm student body, just to name but a few.