Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, UC Berkeley
Research Professor of Political Science, Vanderbilt University

Cecilia Hyunjung Mo holds a Ph.D. in Political Economics and an M.A. Political Science from Stanford University; an MPA in International Development from Harvard University; and an M.A. Education from Loyola Marymount University. During the 2015-2016 academic year, she was a W. Glenn Campbell and Rita Ricardo-Campbell National Fellow and the Robert Eckles Swain National Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

Professor Mo specializes in behavioral political economy, comparative political behavior, the political economy of development, and social policy research. Her scholarly contributions can be broadly classified as being of two types.

First, she is interested in understanding democratic citizenship and the development of informed interventions aimed at meeting contemporary challenges. The health of a democratic polity rests upon the public possessing a sufficient level of trust in government, political efficacy, civic engagement, tolerance, and respect for human rights. Her research centers on how the norms and values of democratic citizenship can be cultivated; and on both understanding and responding to the following challenges to democratic citizenship: (1) group-based intolerance; (2) irrational political participation; (3) modern day slavery; and (4) poverty and inequality.

Second, Professor Mo sheds new light on important policy-relevant research by viewing actors as boundedly rational, the notion that in decision-making, the rationality of individuals is limited by the cognitive constraints of their minds, and the finite amount of time they have to make decisions. Her research integrates theories of bounded rationality like aspiration-based frameworks, prospect theory, and unconscious attitudes into models and empirical analyses of political and economic decision-making and institutions.

Professor Mo has published research in the American Journal of Political Science, the American Political Science Review, the Journal of Politics, the Journal of Theoretical Politics, Political Behavior, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and World Development. She is the recipient of the American Political Science Association (APSA)’s 2015 Franklin L. Burdette/Pi Sigma Alpha Award for the best paper presented at the previous year’s annual meeting and the 2016 Best Article in Political Behavior award from APSA’s Elections, Public Opinion and Voting Behavior Section. She has also been awarded over $1.6 million grant dollars to support her research agenda in the last three years.

Recent Media Mentions (Selected)

Get the Facts: Implicit Bias and the AAUW Implicit Association Test on Gender and Leadership, AAUW
Progress Isn’t Progress Unless It Happens For You, Vanderbilt News
The Hidden Toll Of Floods, NPR
Why Do We Think Poor People Are Poor Because of Their Own Bad Choices?, The Guardian
Many Americans Still Underestimate the Risks of Smoking, Stanford News
Teach For America Service Leads to Empathy, Vanderbilt News
Think You’re Not Biased? Think Again, Science News
Teach For America Could Be Exactly What America’s Schools Need to Reduce Implicit Bias, Education Post
Why We Should Make Our Politicians Filthy Rich – Really, OXY
Hillary Clinton Will Not Be Manterrupted, New York Times
Politics Not as Usual, Vanderbilt News
The Joy Cardin Show, Wisconsin Public Radio
How Monday’s England-Slovakia Soccer Match Just Might Influence Brexit, Washington Post (Monkey Cage)
Clinton Embraces `Woman Card’ But Needs More to Beat Trump, Bloomberg
The Challenges Hillary Clinton and I Face Every Day, Huffington Post
A Look at President Obama’s Final State Union, Wisconsin Public Radio
Women Candidates Face Implicit Bias Hurdle, Scientific American
How Gender Bias Plays a Role in Elections, Huffington Post
She Gets No Respect: Sexism Persists, Even Among the Enlightened, New York Times
Bad News for Hillary?, Daily Mail UK
Voters Still See Women as Poor Leaders (But Good Assistants), Wired
Hidden Bias Says Women Don’t Look Like Leaders, Futurity
Not Just Anti-Hispanic, Slate
Mark Mellman: The Rising US Asian Electorate, The Hill
Shifts in the Way Asian Americans Vote, Voice of America Podcast
Trump Thinks that Being Born in the U.S. Shouldn’t Make You a Citizen, Washington Post (Monkey Cage)
Can the Republican Party Thrive on White Identity?, Washington Post (Monkey Cage)
Why do Asian Americans Mostly Vote for Democrats?, Washington Post (Monkey Cage)
The Impact of the Asian American Vote, MSNBC (UP With Steve Kornacki)
How Voters Can Beat Special Interest Groups, Stanford Business Magazine
Would Voters Win if Politicians Got a Raise?, Futurity
Should We Pay Politicians More?, POLITICO
How Voters Can Beat Special Interest, Stanford Graduate School of Business
Blue Jay Game 3 and the Canadian Elections, CBC Radio (The Current with Anna Marie Tremonti)
Raises for Elected Representatives Could Lead to Better Representation, Vanderbilt News
Here’s Why Some Brazilian Politicians Could Want Their Team To Lose At The World Cup, Business Insider
Has Superstorm Sandy Chosen Who the Next US President Is?, Huffington Post
Sports Results Affect Voter Behavior, Scientific American
Will Ohio State’s Football Team Decide Who Wins the White House?, Slate
Football, Weather and Shark Attacks — The Irrational Voter’s Checklist, Washington Times
Vanderbilt Researcher Working to Fight Human Trafficking, Vanderbilt News
Vanderbilt Political Scientist Tapped To Help Find End To Human Trafficking, Nashville Public Radio
Vanderbilt Receives $1M Grant to Combat Child Labor, The Tennessean
USAID Announces Grants to Three Universities to Combat Human Trafficking, USAID
Bureau of International Labor Affairs Invests $11M to Strengthen Oversight and Effectiveness of Programs to Combat Child Labor and Forced Labor, US Department of Labor

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Contact Information

Cecilia Hyunjung Mo
Assistant Professor of Political Science and Public Policy & Education (by courtesy)
Office: 338 Commons Center
PMB 0505
230 Appleton Place
Nashville, TN 37203-5721
Phone: (615) 936-9795
Fax: (615) 343-6003