Welcome! I am an M.Phil. Social Science student from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. I study the domestic and international politics of authoritarian rules. Substantively, I am interested in leaders, elites, and their roles in driving political development, regime personalisation and militarisation, as well as international forms of influence on the domestic political landscape. My methodological interests include causal inference with observational data, machine learning, and Social Network Analysis. My academic advisor is Prof Jean Hong.

I hold an M.Sc. in Global China Studies from HKUST (2019) and a B.Soc.Sc. (First Hons) in Government and International Studies from Hong Kong Baptist University (2018), where I was admitted with a prestigious full scholarship. I also received academic training from Sciences Po Paris (Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris) (2016-2017) and the ICPSR Summer Program in Quantitative Methods of Social Research (2019), with the support from EITM Institute. 


If you want to know more about my research projects, email me at ruilin.lai@connect.ust.hk. 

Follow me on Twitter @ruilinlai