Fung Fellows to focus on the 'International Society'

Six outstanding early career scholars from around the world have been named the fourth cohort of the Fung Global Fellows at Princeton University. They will arrive on campus this fall to begin a year of research, writing and collaboration.

The Fung Global Fellows Program, administered by the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS), brings together international research scholars from the social sciences and humanities around a common theme. For the 2016-17 academic year, the group will examine "International Society: Institutions and Actors in Global Governance." The scholars will focus on the emergence, functioning and effects of international organizations and transnational associations from a cultural, historical, political or sociological perspective.

Christina Davis, a professor of politics and international affairs, will serve as director of the program.

"These outstanding academics share a common interest in the role international organizations and transnational actors play in our increasingly globalized society," Davis said. "But they look at this question from different disciplinary perspectives. This should create many interesting conversations amongst the fellows and Princeton faculty and students."

The six fellows selected for 2016-17:

  • Lai-Ha Chan, senior lecturer, University of Technology Sydney, Australia  
  • Srividya Jandhyala, assistant professor, ESSEC Business School, Singapore 
  • Anastassia Obydenkova, senior researcher, Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia
  • Jong Hee Park, associate professor, Seoul National University, South Korea
  • Lena Rethel, associate professor, University of Warwick, United Kingdom
  • Vinicius Rodrigues Vieira, postdoctoral researcher, University of São Paolo, Brazil 

The program is funded by a portion of a $10 million gift from Princeton alumnus William Fung of Hong Kong that is designed to substantially increase the University's engagement with scholars around the world and inspire ideas that transcend borders.

In 2013, the first group of fellows came together around the theme of "Languages and Authority" — an examination of how languages interact with political, social, economic and cultural authority. The second cohort, focused on "Global Diffusion," examined how certain policies, specific modes of social categorization and cultural templates spread to nations around the globe while others never catch on. The 2015 group, which is completing its stay at Princeton, is working on "Ethnic Politics and Identities," exploring the causes, narrative modalities and consequences of the politicization of ethnic, racial and national divides from a comparative perspective.

In May, the "Global Diffusion" cohort will return to campus, as it has become tradition for each group to return a year after its residency to organize a workshop around its theme. On May 13-14, the scholars will host a conference titled "Diffusion Beyond Convergence."

"These annual workshops are wonderful opportunities for the fellows to share the progress they've made on their individual projects, as well as to engage and exchange ideas with the current cohort," said Beate Witzler, assistant director of the Fung Global Fellows Program.

More about the new group of Fung Global Fellows:

Chan received a Ph.D. in international and Asian studies from Griffith University in South East Queensland, Australia. Her research focuses on China and global governance, including issues of global health, peace and security, environmental protection, global financial order, military intervention, and development aid. At Princeton, she will mainly study the impact of the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) on the guiding principles of global development assistance with particular focus on how far China can reshape the conception of the "normal" in the area of foreign aid governance.

Jandhyala received a Ph.D. in management from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Her research examines the influence of international organizations on the strategic choices of firms, particularly in the context of disputes between firms and host governments. Her recent work focuses on the strategic use of treaty-based investment arbitration by states and firms to enforce international property rights protection. Her research has been published in leading journals in management, international business and political science.

Obydenkova received a Ph.D. in political and social science from the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. Her main research interests are at the intersection of international relations, international political economy and political science. She has published on international organizations in Eurasia, energy policy and energy dialogue, international security issues in post-Communist societies, causes and consequences of democratization, the role of historical legacies in regime transition, federalism and decentralization, interethnic and cross-border disputes, and autocratic and democratic external influences. Her most recent work analyzes the impact of political regimes (democracies versus autocracies), the effects of corruption on social trust to international organizations in Eurasian states, and the dynamic of interrelationship between nondemocratic states and international organizations.

Park received a Ph.D. in political science at Washington University in St. Louis. His research interests include international political economy, development and cooperation, and political methodology. He is interested in developing research methods that enable researchers to investigate historical changes in network data, text data and discrete data. At Princeton, he will examine the relational level of analysis in international relations by investigating the evolution of international treaty networks for the last century.

Rethel received a Ph.D. in politics and international studies from the University of Warwick, United Kingdom. Her research has focused on the relationship between finance and development and the emergence of alternative economies with a regional focus on Southeast Asia. More specifically, her work has concentrated on the question of how states engage new financial ideas and practices, how this leads to institutional change (in particular the expansion of capital markets), and the socioeconomic implications of these changes. During her time at Princeton, she will look into how various Islamic economies — finance, halal products and tourism to name a few — are governed and how this compares to traditional arrangements of global economic governance.

Rodrigues Vieira received a Ph.D. in international relations from the University of Oxford, United Kingdom. For the period 2015-17, he holds a nonresident fellowship at the Summer Program of Social Science of the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) in Princeton. Rodrigues Vieira is also the secretary of the International Political Economy Research Committee of the International Political Science Association. His research interests focus the impact of domestic-international interactions on the foreign policy and strategies of development of emerging powers, exploring how national identity creates power asymmetries among interest groups. At Princeton, he aims to explore the impact of regionalism on the organization of multilateral regimes, with a special emphasis on trade-related issues.