Welcome! I am a Ph.D. student in Political Science at Washington University in St. Louis, majoring in comparative politics and political methodology. My research mainly applies computational methods (web scraping, text-as data analysis) and statistical inference to study political control (broadly defined): How do democratic and autocratic governments manipulate domestic and foreign media? How does the state capture the judiciary for repression? Currently, I am also working on topics related to Project Finance, a commonly used funding method for domestic infrastructure construction.


Prior to joining WUSTL, I obtained an M.Phil. in Social Science (2022) and an M.Sc. in Global China Studies (2019) from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and a B.Soc.Sc. (First Hons) in Government and International Studies (2018) from Hong Kong Baptist University (2018), where I was admitted with a full scholarship. I have 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 a scholarship from EITM Institute). In 2021, I was based in Abu Dhabi and worked as a full-time Research Assistant at New York University Abu Dhabi. At WUSTL, I am affiliated with the Political Data Science Lab.

If you want to know more about my research, email me. You can also follow me on Twitter @ruilinlai.