Jan. 20, 2021

UCalgary Political Science interviews our own Dr. Kim-Lee Tuxhorn

On getting interested in the politics of trade via US beef protests, the behavioural revolution in International Relations, testing micro-foundations and climbing at Acephale
Dr. Kim-Lee Tuxhorn
Dr. Kim-Lee Tuxhorn

Dr. Kim-Lee Tuxhorn is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Calgary


Your work is broadly on different dimensions of international political economy. How did you become interested in this area?

During my graduate school years in South Korea, the Korean government and the US were negotiating KORUS, the Korea-US bilateral free trade agreement. The import of US beef to the Korean market was highly controversial at the time. Why the beef?

I watched mass protests against trade, observed how different societal groups overcame problems of collective action and learned about the distributional effects of trade. The politics of trade has intrigued me ever since.

Can you tell us about the research projects you have been working on?

Why do individuals support (or oppose) trade? Why do some support trade deals with some trade partners and not others? Do voter preferences accord with the micro-foundations assumed in existing international political-economy models? My primary research aims to answer these questions. Broadly, I contribute to what is now called the “Behavioral Revolution in International Relations”. This revolution tests the micro-foundations of existing theories uses empirical research on preferences to modify our assumptions about voters and presents alternatives to rationalist explanations.

Dr. Kim-Lee Tuxhorn

What’s the next big thing you’re thinking about?

Through my research interests in fiscal preferences and pro-immigrant sentiment, I have joined a research team consisting of researchers trained in accounting, anthropology, law, and political science from Canada, Germany, and the UK. Our objectives are to 1) improve our understanding of fiscal citizenship; 2) examine how migration may influence willingness to pay taxes, and 3) explore how these issues vary across different countries. To support this ambitious project, we received a three-year Open Research Area (ORA) grant funded by SSHRC (Canada), the Deutsche Forschungs-gemeinschaft (Germany), and the Economic and Social Research Council (UK).

Finally, people might not know, but you are also a very accomplished rock climber. Tell us about that! What are some of your favourite climbs?

I love the outdoors. For me, rock climbing is the most enjoyable way to interact with nature. The Bow Valley offers spectacular climbing and I’m just getting to know the area. In the summer, you can find me up at Acephale wearing a down jacket and trading burns on my latest project.

Thanks to Dr. Kim-Lee Tuxhorn for sharing with us!

To learn more, visit Dr. Tuxhorn’s profile.