Joshua Byun is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of Chicago.

Joshua specializes in International Relations, with a focus on questions related to grand strategy, alliance politics, and military performance. His dissertation project examines the causes and consequences of strategic incoherence in military alliances, analyzing (1) why a leading great power’s allies often fail to reconcile their military postures with the aims of its grand strategy and (2) how this affects the alliance’s performance vis-à-vis its adversaries.

Joshua’s broader research interests center on topics such as the politicization of international norms, the effects of leader age on international politics, and the impact of different military recruitment systems on battlefield performance. His research has been supported by the Korea Foundation for Advanced Studies, as well as the Center for East Asian Studies and the Nicholson Center for British Studies at the University of Chicago, among others.

Before coming to Chicago, Joshua served as the personal interpreter to South Korea’s Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In this capacity, Joshua assisted the Chairman during all interactions with English-speaking foreign partners, including the Commander of the U.S. Forces Korea (CDRUSFK), Commander of the U.S. Pacific Command (CDRUSPACOM), and the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS).

Joshua holds an MA in Political Science from the University of Chicago and a BA in International Studies and Political Science, summa cum laude, from Korea University.

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