From Revolutionaries to Statebuilders: PRC's 1950s land reform and the historical legacies of extractive power
Kevin Luo is currently a 4th year Ph.D. candidate researching on authoritarian politics, with a focus on China and East Asia. In his dissertation, he will be examining early challenges within the state-led land redistribution campaign in 1950s PRC, as a window into understanding how authoritarians coordinate regime agents to engage in large-scale state building endeavors from initial positions of organizational weakness. Utilizing a mixed-methods approach and based on rare archival sources, he argues that these early legacies of state building have profound implications for comprehending how the Chinese state evolved and embedded itself into local society over time. Additionally, he is also interested in the political legacies of land reform outside of China, and whether massive redistribution campaigns have helped to construct or destruct governing structures in the long run.
State capacity in authoritarian regimes, East Asia and China, historical and mixed methods
M.A., Harvard University
B.A. (Honors), University of Chicago