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Welcome! I am a Ph.D. student in Political Science at Washington University in St. Louis, majoring in comparative politics and political methodology. Substantively, I study media bias and media capture in both democratic and autocratic contexts. I am also interested in repression and autocratic politics in general. Methodologically, I am interested in text-as-data analysis and social network analysis. My research is published  in International Studies Quarterly.

Before coming to the United States, I obtained my M.Phil. in Social Science (fully funded) and M.Sc. in Global China Studies from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and B.Soc.Sc. (First Class Honours) in Government and International Studies from Hong Kong Baptist University (fully funded). I studied as an exchange student at Sciences Po Paris from 2016 to 2017 and worked as a research assistant at New York University Abu Dhabi in 2021. At WUSTL, I am affiliated with the Political Data Science Lab, and am currently working as an Editorial Assistant for the American Political Science Review. Outside of work, I enjoy photography and traveling around the world (I have been to 31 countries so far). 

You can follow me on Twitter @ruilinlai or email me at

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