Emergent Ad Hoc Coordination Groups

New research on the effectiveness of emergent ad hoc coordination groups in public health emergencies was just published in Risk Analysis. http://doi.org/10.1111/risa.13751

Abstract. Whether emergent groups positively or negatively influence a disaster response remains inconclusive in the literature. We analyzed the effect of an emergent group on two interorganizational networks for information communication and resource coordination during a public health emergency response. Using the 2015 Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) Coronavirus in Korea as a study case, we identified an ad hoc entity that appeared in both networks. This emergent group, which consists of government officials and public health specialists, directed and coordinated organizations at the center of the response networks. We found that the emergent group positively contributed to efficient information communication but had no effect on the resource network's efficiency. Our interpretation is that the ad hoc entity was filling relational gaps in the information network, but was redundant in the resource network.

Environmental Justice and Policy: Systems Thinking

I lectured on environmental justice and policy research in various university classes. In this lecture, I overviewed environmental justice research in the U.S. and introduced my study on states' environmental justice policy adoption published in 2016. The overarching goal of this lecture was to think about how systems thinking can contribute to our understanding of complex problems such as environmental justice and policy.

  1. Speaker for Brain Korea (BK) Seminar, Graduate School of Public Administration, Seoul National University, April 14, 2021

  2. Speaker, PAF7317 Social Inquiry & Public Policy, School of Public Administration, University of Central Florida, March 18, 2021

  3. Speaker, SOS/SOLS/SHESC/PAF/SGSUP 494/591 Introduction to Urban Sustainability Science, Arizona State University, February 24, 2021

EJP 2021.pdf

U.S. COVID-19 Policy; MPSA/APSA 2021

Professors Karen Mossberger, Elisa Bienenstock, and I received ASU's Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR) seed grant to hire three graduate students who will help us analyze 50 states' COVID-19 policy. We planned to review and analyze the existing policy literature to identify or develop a framework that can help us conceptualize policy complexity related to COVID-19 policies and messages in the United States. November 17, 2020.

Chan Wang, doctoral student in SPA and I present our research on US state COVID-19 policy in two academic conferences in 2021

  1. Political ideology and COVID-19 policy stringency: Exploring causal heterogeneity, American Political Science Conference, September 30-October 3, 2021

  2. Political ideology and COVID-19 policy stringency: Exploring causal heterogeneity, Midwest Political Science Conference, April 14-17, 2021

MERS to COVID-19 in Korea

  1. Guest Speaker, “Supporting government decisions in times of crisis,” The World after COVID-19, The Visiting International Professional Program at Michigan State University funded by the Korean Ministry of Personnel Management, December 2, 2020.

  2. Guest Lecture, “2015 MERS-CoV response in Korea,” TNDY408C: COVID-19 and Health Systems in the USA and Around the World, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA, November 5, 2020.

  3. Panel Speaker, “MERS-COV and COVID-19 in Korea: Planning and organizing for national public health crises,” Rethinking Crisis Management and International Cooperation amidst COVID-19, Center for Interdisciplinary Research on China at Kookmin University, Korea, September 10, 2020 (Covered by 15 Chinese and 4 Korean news outlets).

  4. Panel Speaker, “From uncoordinated patchworks to a coordinated system: MERS-CoV to COVID-19 in Korea,” COVID-19 and Public Policy and Management Workshop, ASU Center on Technology, Data, and Society, Phoenix, AZ, May 1, 2020



CGU 2020.11.05.pdf


MSU 2020.12.02.pdf


APPAM 2020 Virtual Conference

"From Cases, to Configurations, to Improving Environmental Justice Policies"

Racial and ethnic minorities in the U.S. have suffered from both too many disamenities and too few amenities. Much evidence on disproportional exposure to environmental disamenities has been accumulated. Evidence is developing with regards to the inadequacy of urban environmental amenities such as green spaces in minority communities. However, environmental amenities are not provided in isolation, but are embedded in cities’ and communities’ efforts to renovate and revitalize polluted, segregated, and low-income neighborhoods. Trying to tackle environmental injustice without understanding neighborhood changes that result from the addition of ameliorative amenties can lead to unintended consequences that aggravate social injustice more broadly. This paper clarifies the analytically separable concepts of gentrification and displacement, identifies crucial factors that involve neighborhood change, and suggests a research approach to gain insight into the clusters of key factors relevant to different types of neighborhood change. We hope that such a nuanced understanding can help cities achieve growth without causing severe justice problems.

ASPA 2020 William Petak Award

"Planned, But Not Planned Effectively: Public Health Emergency Response in Korea"

Chan Wang, doctoral student in SPA, Dr. S.S. Oh at Hanyang University and I submitted a paper on the effect of emergency response plan on actual response in the context of Korea's 2015 MERS outbreak to the American Society for Public Administration conference. The work was selected for 2020 William Petak Award by the Emergency and Crisis Management section.

Environmental Injustice in Southern California

This study revisits the concept of environmental inequity in Southern California using the California Environmental Protection Agency’s most recent data and spatial models. Empirical studies in the late 1990s documented the existence of environmental inequity among disadvantaged populations in the area, and we still found evidence of environmental inequity. However, our findings were more nuanced and subtler than previous results: at present, some Hispanic communities enjoy better environmental conditions than do ethnically mixed communities, but the risk of being exposed to pollutants still increases with an increase in the percentage of Hispanics in a census tract. If policy needs to be developed and updated accordingly to reflect changing environments, this new evidence directs urban environmental inequity research to pay attention to ethnically mixed communities as well.

U.S. State Environmental Justice Policy

Over two decades have passed since the federal policy on environmental justice (EO 12898) was issued. However, empirical evidence indicates that injustice persists and that US states vary in their adoption of the terms of the environmental justice (EJ) policy. Moreover, studies of the explanations for the variation in states’ adoption of EJ policy are rare and have yielded puzzling findings—e.g., environmental interest groups are not associated with states’ EJ policy adoption, or the severity of problems is associated inversely with their adoption. We examined the progress and variation in states’ EJ policy adoption as of 2005 using fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis. Our analysis showed first that a strong environmental interest group presence, combined with high racial diversity and low problem severity, is sufficient for a high level of EJ policy adoption, especially in Western states. Second, when environmental interest group presence is weak, if it is combined, again, with high racial diversity and the presence of a more liberal state government, a high level of EJ policy adoption also occurs. This is observed in the East coast, Midwestern, and Southern regions of the USA. Environmental politics and policy research can benefit from a configurational approach, especially when there is no guiding theory on the conjunctional effects of key factors.

  • Kim, Y., & Verweij, S. (2016). Two effective causal paths that explain the adoption of US state environmental justice policies. Policy Sciences, 49(4), 505-523.