well. i am, um, a political science, uh, P-H-D student at Princeton University. and, um, i am interested mainly in comparative politics. which is one of the four sub-fields of, uh, the_ the discipline. um... as an undergraduate i, i did a lot of work in, in both international relations and comparative politics. so my interests, uh, lie somewhere at the intersection of both. i should also say that, um, the other main_ two sub-fields of the discipline are American politics and political theory. um, specifically, um, what interests me in comparative politics is the, uh, interplay of, um, security, issues, and economic issues. that is, um, i, i study how, uh, conflicts are structured in a particular way. um, and, and how, um, those conflict structures, uh, pay off. and... i- in the social sciences the payoff is usually mea- measured in economic terms.
uh, so, um, what a better example of, of a conflict, than the cold war? that's how_ that, that was, uh, my main focus as an undergraduate. and, um, um, the two areas where the cold war was, uh, most contested. were Eastern Europe and Eastern Europe also includes, in this case the former Soviet Union, and North East Asia. and um, those are my main areas of interest. uh, um, not so much, uh, Latin America or, or Africa, or other parts of the world. but primarily, um, the former Communist countries. and, uh, the countries of North East Asia, Japan, China, Korea. um, and in these countries what we see is, um, tha- that it's different from the rest of the world, e- are very strong states, very strong governments, that have used their power, uh, in a number of different ways. um, either to accomplish goals externally or, internally in, in their own societies, in their own countries. um. and for me it is very interesting to, um, to study, um, their motivations and, and th- the, the resources and, the nature and, and the, the way they have used those powers. um, and, uh, this is something that is, um, a little bit like i said. it's a little bit, um, uh, of an oddity in, um, in the world. because most, most, most uh, countries of the world are characterized by weak governments, weak states. not strong states. strong states are somew- somewhat an exception. and, um, of course the fact that the countries that i study, um, exhibit strong states, uh, is probably an indication of, of the fact that they lie in very conflictual, uh, situations. uh, either from within or from without, or both. but it_ it doesn't take away the fact that it_ it is somewhat a_ something of an oddity, um, both in time and space. um, both compared to the rest of the world right now. but also, um, uh, through, through history. and, the end of the cold war is definitely something_ somewhat of an epoc- epoch making event, you know. it will_ it has changed and, it will changed things, uh, substantially, like, uh, some other events, um, before, um, and, uh, it, it gi-gives... this whole, uh, topic, um, a new flavor. it makes it even more interesting. um, now that, uh, so much of what we knew, uh, grew up with has_ is gone. and, uh, we're sort of in a state of flux right now. yeah. and um, yeah that's, uh, that's pretty much a summary of, uh, my interests