I'm Huchen Liu, a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Political Science, University of California, San Diego. I specialize in American politics. My research interests include interest groups and lobbying, the presidency, presidential-congressional relations, and appropriations politics.
At the intersection of interest group politics and national institutions, my dissertation examines the lobbying activity of lobbyists who once held positions in government as officeholders or staffers. The increasing dominance of these revolving-door lobbyists has worried many with its potential to confer outsize influence on special interests at the expense of the public interest. My dissertation, however, suggests quite the opposite: By socializing professional advocates in public office and then exporting them to interest groups, the revolving door in fact compounds the principal-agent problem in lobbying and constrains rather than enhances groups’ policy influence. Specifically, I argue that revolvers’ primary advantage over conventional lobbyists is their ability to think and claim credit for lobbying outcomes like politicians, to clients’ disadvantage.
I have also produced and published research on the presidency and its relations with Congress. My teaching and mentoring experience at UCSD is likewise extensive and growing. As instructor of record, I have taught Introduction to American Politics as well as the Presidency. I have mentored multiple undergraduate students in political science research.