Taiwan Studies Programme

Taiwan Studies Programme seminar by Dr Don Lee

A2 Law and Social Sciences Building, Uniersity Park Campus
Wednesday 22nd March 2017 (16:00-18:00)

Dr Chun-Yi Lee (academic contact) chun-yi.lee@nottingham.ac.uk or Mandy Felton (administrative contact) mandy.felton@nottingham.ac.uk



The Taiwan Studies Programme (TSP) is delighted a to announce a Seminar by Dr Don Lee, Research Fellow at the School of Politics and International relations, on 22 March in A2, Law and Social Sciences Building.

The talk will address the Political Leadership and Personnel Management in Democracies and Autocracies in East Asia.

The stability of new democracies depends on leadership and management as exemplified by governments in East Asia. However, little work has thoroughly examined how Asian presidents exert their leadership through personnel management in specific institutional settings of new democracies. My research fills this gap by analyzing the strategic choices of presidential cabinet appointments in East Asia. Through close examinations of over 1,200 cabinet ministers' profiles and in-depth interviews with more than 30 cabinet ministers in four countries, I find that presidents have pursued political leadership models that balance representing political interests and maintaining administrative competence in their cabinets. Ultimately, my research demonstrates that the models created through democratization cause East Asian governments to embrace democratic values by being responsive and accountable to their constituents.

Extending this research, I introduce my current collaborative project which examines the impact of a politician's public profile for promotion in democracies and autocracies in East Asia. In this project, we theorize that public profile will have different effects across regime types. In democracies, public profile will positively correlate with career advancement because these officials can win votes for themselves and the party. In autocracies, however, high profile officials may threaten the leaders and be less likely to win promotion. We test our theory on an original dataset of public profiles for cabinet ministers in nine East Asian countries since 2005.

Dr Don S. Lee is currently a research fellow of the Taiwan Studies Programme, at the School of Politics and International Relations, University of Nottingham. He received a PhD in political science from the University of California, San Diego in the United States. His research focuses on presidential democracies in East and Southeast Asia. Previously, he worked as a research fellow in Taiwan, South Korea, the Philippines, and Indonesia. He is working on a book project, titled "Presidential Leadership Contested: Party Elites, Bureaucrats, and Cabinet Appointments in East Asia."

If you are interested in attending please reserve your place by emailing Mandy Felton.


Taiwan Studies Programme

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD