My name is Austin, and I’m a rising sophomore in the School of Foreign Service planning on majoring in International Politics with minors in Asian Studies and Chinese. I live about 45 minutes north of Atlanta, Georgia. I’m a super avid runner and biker, and I love waking up super early to run along the National Mall and by the Potomac. I also love thrifting and shopping at vintage and antique stores, and I’m trying to explore some more in the DMV area. I love consuming media too, I just finished reading Babel and the Succession finale took me out. Academically, I am super interested in Asia policy, especially US-China relations and Southeast Asia, and I hope to work in the region at some point, either through public service or private work.
My research is actually a neat intersection of that subject area. I will be studying public perception in Southeast Asian countries of Chinese and US influence, both domestically, regionally, and globally. I plan on using public opinion data from a survey conducted every 3-4 years, from 2013 to 2021, to compare how public opinion about the influence of both China and the US has changed over that span of time. I will also compare that with Chinese and US foreign policy and actions in the region to develop a better understanding of how and why public opinion in Southeast Asia has changed over time. In addition, I will utilize news articles to help give greater contextualization of various events. I may choose to narrow my focus a bit more and center it around one specific country depending on how my research goes. However, I am excited because this will give me the chance to study empirical datapoints and contribute to the existing literature already surrounding this region. As Southeast Asia swells in population, wealth, and geopolitical importance, it will become an essential part of the growing US-China competition; hopefully my research can help increase our understanding of the complex geopolitical relationships in the region and how public opinion may affect foreign policy.