Wenyan Deng

Ph.D. Candidate

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Welcome! I am a PhD candidate in Political Science at MIT. My research focuses on comparative and international political economy. I am interested in trade and immigration policy formation, as well as the social consequences of authoritarian politics.

As part of this research agenda, my dissertation examines how varying levels of power centralization in authoritarian regimes impact the ways in which leaders respond to pressures from the elite and the public, and how the attempt to balance these pressures affects trade policy outputs. In 2020, my co-authorship, Latinization of Organized Labor and Democratic Immigration Positions, won the Best Paper Award from the Political Organizations and Parties (POP) Section of the American Political Science Association. My other ongoing projects examine the influence of authoritarian power centralization campaigns on interpersonal trust, as well as the effect of re-introducing the market, after decades of command economy, on political and social attitudes.

Methodologically, my work combines statistical, including web-scraping, content analysis, and spatial analysis, with qualitative interviews.

I received a MA in International Relations from The University of Chicago and a BA from Wellesley. Prior to MIT, I was a Junior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Data Manager at the Chicago Project on Security and Threats.