Lucie Lu (陆璐)

Ph.D. Candidate in University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Research Interests:

  • International cooperation
  • Comparative political communication
  • Chinese foreign policy
  • Political methodology (especially text as data)
  • Authoritarian politics

Contact me at lul3@illinois.edu

I am an IR scholar with research interests in international cooperation and human rights, computational social science, political communication, and Chinese foreign policy.

My research addresses how authoritarian leaders use innovative propaganda strategies to improve the public’s perceptions of home government performances and counteract international naming and shaming. Autocrats’ narratives in media draw the boundaries of “us” and “them,” constructing the public’s perceptions of their government and the international community in an adversarial relationship.

My first line of research explores how modern autocrats reinvigorate the persuasive roles of state-run media to win the hearts and minds of their citizens on social media, focusing on China. My second line of research examines under what conditions international naming and shaming backfire in authoritarian regimes, looking into the roles of local news media that shape the narratives of the shaming events to lower people’s incentives to mobilize against their leaders. I use China and selective cases in authoritarian regimes to test this mechanism.

In several collaborative projects, I examine Chinese foreign aid and development through the lens of its outward-facing media strategy, the role of media in conflict diffusion in DR Congo, and leaders’ non-violent strategy in pre-empting regime challengers in Africa.

In most of my work, I combine text as data and machine learning methods to classify and analyze topical schemes, sentiment, media framing for social media posts and news articles.