Faculty Research Director
Project Team Leads
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine massively disrupted international business and raised the risks of operating there. All multinational corporations (MNCs) that were doing business in Russia found themselves operating in a jurisdiction now engaged in an aggressive interstate war. A bloc of Western states has imposed increasingly harsh sanctions on Russia and restricted the ability of MNCs from their jurisdictions to do business in Russia. Another set of states, including China and other emerging markets that are increasingly home to MNCs, have not. Against this backdrop, MNCs have also faced an unprecedented amount of worldwide attention in their decisions over whether to continue investing in Russia after 24 February 2022. All of this raises a critical question: under what conditions do MNCs divest, and how? Or, from the point of view of MNC home states: under what conditions can home states rely on MNCs as tools of economic statecraft?
In the 2022-23 academic year, our team collaborated with researchers from Penn State to code 45,228 firms extracted from the Factiva database. IPD researchers read through articles and coded whether the extracted entity was a firm or a non-firm. In addition to this process, the IPD team has also constructed a web interface for the articles, utilized ChatGPT to translate Orbis firm names from various languages to English, and worked together to construct a codebook. In AY2023-24, project members will finish the data cleaning and processing stage, and work together to code MNC subsidiaries’ (non)actions following the invasion of Ukraine.
Project Team Co-Leads
IPD Project Team Leader
Rachel Jeon is a PhD student in the Department of Government and leads the Exiting Russia team at IPD. Her research interests broadly concern topics in international political economy and international institutions. Most recently over the summer of 2023, she conducted her first fieldwork in Vietnam. Prior to coming to UT, Rachel earned her BA in International Studies at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, South Korea. She also briefly worked for a NGO providing for North Korean defectors. For the 2023-2024 academic year, Rachel will continue to lead the Exiting Russia team. When she’s not hanging around in the many caves of the IPD labs, she’s probably learning how to jump on horseback or working on her foodie Instagram account.
Artem is a second-year Government PhD student at the University of Texas at Austin. His interests lie at the intersection of international security and international political economy. Before coming to UT, he worked as a Junior Research Fellow at PIR Center, where he focused on international security and arms control issues. He also did internships at UNDP Eurasia and Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He holds BA and MA degrees from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University).
Yunyi (Erica) Huang
Erica (Yunyi) Huang leads the Renewable Energy team at IPD. Her research interests lie at the intersection of international political economy (trade, investment, and development finance) and environmental politics in the context of emerging markets. She is particularly interested in the domestic determinants of China’s outward economic activities, and the underlying political mechanisms. Prior to UT Austin, Yunyi earned her Bachelor of Laws from Peking University and Master of Arts from Johns Hopkins SAIS. She worked as a Policy Analyst for NGOs in international environmental negotiations. In her spare time, she enjoys swimming and musical plays.
Keerthi is a freshman pursuing a BA in Government, Economics, and Plan II Honors. Her primary interest lies in exploring the interconnection between economics and politics, with a special interest in researching the role of international institutions in maintaining global stability. Through IPD, she hopes to gain a more nuanced understanding of the war in Ukraine through its implications for multinational corporations and the global economy. Outside of IPD, she is a policy debater on the Texas Debate team and enjoys reading philosophical works.
Vedanth is a third-year undergraduate student majoring in Government and minoring in Business and Public Policy. Vedanth has been part of the Exiting Russia IPD team for over a year and is excited to see what direction the project goes in during the 2023-2024 year. Vedanth hopes to go to law school following his graduation from UT and is currently studying for the LSAT.
Naisha Singh is a third-year Government and IRG double major. She is also minoring in Chinese and Economics. She has been with IPD since January of this year. She was introduced to IPD via Professor Rachel Wellhausen’s IPE class (which also inspired her to study abroad in Spring 2024 in Switzerland surrounding the topic of sustainability and banking).
Asmita is a graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin, pursuing a masters degree in Computer Science.
Vilasini is an undergraduate student at the University of Texas at Austin. She is double majoring in music and government.
Amuda is currently pursuing a BA at the University of Texas at Austin. She is majoring in Government and is in the Plan II program.
Kavin is an undergraduate student at the University of Texas. He is double majoring in Economics and Math.
Harshita is a student at the University of Texas at Austin pursuing a BA in Sociology.