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Jacob Reidhead

Jacob in Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Jacob Reidhead
PhD Sociology, Stanford
MA Sociology, Washington
MS Statistics, Ohio State
BS Mathematics, Arizona State


While patronage networks and neopatrimonial authority are often synonymous with corruption and nepotism, Jacob’s research highlights the integrative and capacity-building aspects of traditional politics in the absence of strong modern institutions.

A former aid worker in North Korea, Jacob's research interests have evolved over his two decades of experience in East Asia.

Jacob’s dissertation identified a new mode of patronage in South Korean political parties which reestablished ties between national and regional legislators that had been severed by anti-corruption reforms.

As a post-doctoral research fellow in Taiwan, he is currently studying the rewiring of local patronage ties following significant reductions in local party organization, particularly since the 2014 Sunflower Movement.

A well-rounded methodologist, Jacob blends ethnography and media content analysis with statistical and social network analysis in a creative, mixed-methods approach to comparative political sociology.