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Taking a long historical perspective, I work on state building and political parties, especially in the East Asian context. My current book project is about the role of political parties under authoritarianism and investigates the Chinese Communist Party. Asking why the Chinese state is "stronger" in some areas of its realm than in others, I am particularly interested in local government, state bureaucracy and the Communist Party. I approach contemporary outcomes from a long historical perspective and have conducted research on the Cultural Revolution, the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945) and governance reforms of the Yongzheng Emperor (r. 1722-1735). I have spent altogether two years doing field research in mainland China (Shandong, Hubei, Beijing), Taiwan and Japan. I hold a PhD in political science from Harvard University and was granted a post-doctoral scholarship from the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies (2015-2017).