Meet Changwook Ju, 2021 APSA Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grantee

The American Political Science Association is pleased to announce the Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant (DDRIG) Awardees for 2021. The APSA DDRIG program provides support to enhance and improve the conduct of doctoral dissertation research in political science. Awards support basic research which is theoretically derived and empirically oriented.

Changwook Ju , Yale University

Changwook Ju is a Ph.D. candidate in political science at Yale University whose research interests revolve around military and security studies. His dissertation focuses on how a country’s military recruitment system affects the performance of its armed forces on the battlefield. The consensus of military leaders, policymakers, and scholars is that conscript armies are inferior to volunteer armies in terms of military effectiveness. His dissertation, however, turns the conventional wisdom on its head, providing reasons why conscript armies should outperform volunteer armies in modern battles. His work employs a large-n cross-national statistical analysis of an original battle-level dataset from 1939 to 2011 (with plans of extending the period range to 1914–2015) and detailed case studies of American battlefield performance in three major U.S. wars where conscription was relied on (World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War) and in three major U.S. wars where volunteerism was relied on (the 1st Gulf War, the Afghanistan War, and the Iraq War). His dissertation shows that how countries recruit men and women for war has profound implications for civil–military relations and body politics.

Changwook holds an M.A. and M.Phil. in Political Science (en route to a Ph.D.) from Yale University. Before Yale, Changwook earned his M.P.P. from the University of Chicago, Harris School of Public Policy. He also spent two years in the Republic of Korea Marine Corps, beginning as a private and then becoming a sergeant, and has dual undergraduate degrees in public policy and political science from Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul, South Korea.