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I am a Ph.D. Candidate at University of California, San Diego majoring in Political Science. I study the foundations of autocratic resilience, with a particular focus on how contemporary autocrats navigate rising global and domestic pressures for democracy by manipulating democratic institutions and norms. My research is geographically centered on East and Southeast Asia, with specialized expertise in China and Vietnam. Additionally, I also study the international relations of the Asia-Pacific region, particularly from a historical perspective. I frequently revisit the region's history to seek for insights that may potentially explain contemporary regional dynamics and developments.

I hail from Da Lat, Vietnam, but later moved to Beppu, Japan, where I obtained a Bachelor degree in International Relations and Peace Studies from Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University. In 2019, I became a Yenching scholar and obtained a Master in Law degree (Politics and International Relations) from Yenching Academy, Peking University two years later. During my time at Peking University, I was also a Baixian scholar affiliated with Baixian Asia Institute, working on research projects studying historical narratives and historical reconciliation in East an Southeast Asia. I have been residing in San Diego since 2021. In 2024, I was awarded the Master of Arts in Political Science by UC San Diego. 


While working on my academic publications, I find joy in contributing to popular outlets such as The Diplomat Magazine and East Asia Forum.


If you want to get to know more about me as a person, please visit my Personal page.

Image by Charles Deluvio


Side Portrait of Duong


Some sketches about me


  • PhD Candidate (Spring 2024 - now)

  • Awarded the degree of Master of Arts in Political Science in Winter 2024

  • PhD Student (2021-2024)

  • Teaching Assistant, Graduate Student Researcher

  • Field: International Relations and Comparative Politics

September 2021 - now


September 2019 - July 2021

  • Awarded the degree of Master of Law

  • Field: Politics and International Relations

  • Former Teaching Assistant

  • The Yenching program is a prestigious fully funded master program in China studies inspired by Rhodes and Fulbright Scholarships with an extremely competitive acceptance rate of 2.7


  • Awarded the degree of Bachelor of Social Science

  • Former Teaching Assistant and Writing Center Tutor

  • Field: International Relations and Peace Studies

September 2014 - September 2018


2020 - Now

  • Former Research Assistant

  • Under the guidance of Professor Renard Sexton from Emory University and Professor Nico Ravanilla from UC San Diego.

  • Website:


  • Baixian Scholar

  • AFLSP Scholarship recipient

October 2019 - July 2021


What They’re Saying About Me

Duong from behind in a coffee shop

A Vietnamese article on the academic journey of mine, and my excellent graduation from Yenching Academy of Peking University.

by Thanh Nien


Latest writings that I have published

Unveiling the engines behind e-government in Vietnam

East Asia Forum

Vietnam's digital government landscape ranked 86th out of 193 countries in 2022. In January 2023, the Ministry of Information and Communications released its goal for Vietnam to be among the top 50 countries by 2025. Vietnamese leaders consider e-government a panacea to the corruption that impedes Hanoi's ambition to become a regional economic tiger.

In Vietnam, Many Are Mourning the Downfall of an American Idol

The Diplomat

“If I could die for Mr. Trump to become the President,” wrote one Vietnamese Facebook user, “I would be very willing to do so.”

Bittersweet: Vietnam’s Mixed Progress on E-Government During COVID-19

The Diplomat

Despite notable progress in providing digital services, there are still major challenges in accessing these tools in practice.

White Accessories

Haruki Murakami, Kafka On The Shore

"Listen up - there's no war that will end all wars"

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