Research Interests:

  • Modern East Central Europe
  • The First World War
  • Welfare State
  • Democratization and Bureaucracy
  • Nationalism in Multinational Empire
  • Citizenship
  • Disability

Why do people think the state owes them something: services, money, or acts of symbolic recognition? Why do the state and its officials believe they have the power and even duty to intervene in people’s lives? What leads to such expectations and assumptions? And what are the implications of these expectations and assumptions for the meaning (or should we say the “content”) of the state and citizenship, especially at critical moments when one side’s very survival was dependent on the other? These are the main questions that motivate my research in the history of the late Habsburg Empire and post-WWI East Central Europe.

Two other research projects are underway. One is about refugees who claimed to be "Austrians" at the end of the Second World War--what and who made them "Austrians"? The other is about political asylum and law and order in revolutionary Vienna. Growing up in Taiwan, receiving graduate education in the U.S., and doing research in Europe, I am also very interested in the rise of social insurance systems in Europe and East Asia from a transnational perspective. My fascination with baseball as a subject of international and transnational history is growing as well.


  • 19th century
  • 20th century
  • Global History
  • Russian and Eastern European History
  • Citizenship and Belonging
  • Military History and Warfare
  • Politics and Constitutional History
  • Social and Revolutionary Movements
  • State Violence and Human Displacement


  • 19th Century
  • 20th Century
  • Austria
  • Eastern Europe
  • Nationalism
Russian, History
PhD, University of Chicago, 2013