Hyun-Binn Cho is a Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow at CISAC. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania in 2018. His research interests are in crisis escalation, coercive diplomacy, and security in the Asia-Pacific, with a focus on China, the United States, and the Korean peninsula.
His book project, which builds onto his dissertation, explains and demonstrates the dangers of provocation in interstate crises. Recent tensions in the South China Sea and on the Korean peninsula have raised concerns that provocative actions, such as harsh rhetoric and low-level violence, might embroil the United States in an unwanted war. The international relations literature, however, is ill-equipped to explain such dangers as there is no theory of provocation and crisis escalation and no clear conception of what it means to provoke. Binn’s book offers a theory that explains the distinctive escalatory logic of provocation in interstate crises. He evaluates this theory with survey experiments, game-theoretic models, and case studies involving China.
At CISAC, Binn will further explore the dangers of provocation in nuclear crises. Previously, he was a pre-doctoral fellow at the Institute for Security and Conflict Studies at George Washington University, and a visiting doctoral student at the School of International Studies at Peking University. He is proficient in Mandarin Chinese, fluent in Korean, and holds an M.A. in Political Science from Columbia University, an M.A. in International Relations from Seoul National University, and a B.Sc. in Government and Economics from the London School of Economics.