Asia scholars Kyle Jaros and Sharon Yoon join Notre Dame's Keough School

Author: Christine Cox

Two new Asia scholars have joined the University of Notre Dame's Keough School of Global Affairs in fall 2020: Kyle Jaros, associate professor of global affairs and political science, and Sharon Yoon, assistant professor of Korean studies.  

"It is an honor to welcome Professors Jaros and Yoon to the Keough School and to the Liu Institute," said Institute Director Michel Hockx. "There is an urgent need in the Keough School, and more widely at the University as a whole, to broaden our expertise on Asia and to enable our students to learn about global affairs from diverse perspectives."

Kyle Jaros

Jaros’s research explores the politics of regional development, central-local relations, and metropolitan governance with a focus on China. His first book, China’s Urban Champions: The Politics of Spatial Development (Princeton University Press, 2019) examines the policy logics and political factors driving uneven development in China’s provinces. His research on China’s subnational development and central-local relations has also appeared in leading China studies and social science journals such as The China Journal, The China Quarterly, Modern China, Politics & Society, and Studies in Comparative International Development. Jaros is currently at work on a second book project that examines changes in the structure and workings of China’s big-city governments to understand the evolution of the party-state system under Xi Jinping.

Before coming to Notre Dame, Jaros was associate professor in the political economy of China at the University of Oxford’s School of Global and Area Studies and held a China Public Policy Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Ash Center of the Harvard Kennedy School. Jaros earned a PhD and MA in political science from the Department of Government at Harvard University, and an AB in public and international affairs and a certificate in Chinese language and culture from Princeton University. He also holds a graduate certificate in Chinese studies from the Hopkins-Nanjing Center for Chinese and American Studies. 

Sharon Yoon

Yoon is an ethnographer who has spent many years conducting in-depth fieldwork in Korean diasporic communities in Seoul, Beijing, and Osaka. Her first book, The Cost of Belonging: An Ethnography of Solidarity and Mobility in Beijing’s Koreatown (Oxford University Press, 2020), analyzes how the rise of transnationalism has affected the social and economic lives of Korean migrants searching for wealth and stability in Beijing’s Korean enclave. Her second book is based on seven years of participant observation, following the lives of postcolonial Korean (“zainichi”) social activists who sought to outlaw the surge of extremist hate parades targeting the Koreatown in Osaka between 2013 and 2015.

Yoon earned her PhD in sociology from Princeton University and graduated magna cum laude from Dartmouth College. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the James Joo-Jin Kim Center for Korean Studies at the University of Pennsylvania in 2012 and at the Graduate School of Human Sciences at Osaka University in 2013.

Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Blakemore-Freeman Foundation, the Korea Foundation, the Japan Society for the Promotion of Sciences, and the Social Science Research Council. Her most recent article can be found in the Journal of Contemporary Asia.

Before coming to Notre Dame, Yoon was an assistant professor at Ewha Womans University in Seoul. In addition to her academic research, she has worked with think tanks such as the Korea Economic Institute and the Asan Institute for Policy Studies, local grassroots organizations such as the Korea NGO Center and the Center for Multiethnic Human Rights Education in Osaka, and mainstream media outlets such as NPR and KBS World Radio. She speaks fluent Korean and Japanese, and is proficient in Mandarin.