Soosun You

I am PhD candidate in Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, a Research Associate at the Center on the Politics of Development and Research Fellow at the Human Trafficking Vulnerability Lab. I will be joining the Department of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania as a Senior Fellow in 2024-2025 and as an Assistant Professor in 2025.

My work focuses on addressing various challenges to achieving gender equality. In my book project, I examine how the politics of the marriage market has shaped the feminist and antifeminist movements in South Korea, and East Asia more broadly. Drawing on qualitative and quantitative methods, I examine how the anti-natalist and pro-natalist government campaigns and policies have affected different dimensions of women’s empowerment. My work has been supported by the generous funding from the Academy of Korean Studies, the Northeast Asia Council, Korea Foundation, and the Center for Korean Studies at UC Berkeley. I am also a recipient of the 2024 Empirical Study of Gender Research Network (EGEN) Prize.

My other works examine the salience of economic inequality on support for women’s social, economic, and political empowerment, the impact of awareness campaigns on norms and behaviors on labor exploitation and human trafficking in Nepal and Hong Kong, and the role of information and misperceptions on various political behaviors. I have work that is forthcoming in the Annual Review of Political Science.

Prior to pursuing my PhD, I worked as a journalist in South Korea. I also worked as a Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) research fellow in Holeta, Ethiopia, studying the effects of education and health interventions on knowledge, perceptions and behaviors among mothers with young children.

I hold a BA in Economics, an MA in Political Science from UC Berkeley, and a Master of Public Policy from Seoul National University.

You can find more about me in my C.V..