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Gaea Morales 

Gaea (GAY-yah)
Morales (Mo-RAH-les)

I am a PhD Candidate in Political Science and International Relations at the University of Southern California. I am a doctoral affiliate of the USC Security and Political Economy (SPEC) Lab, and recently served as a Grand Strategy Predoctoral Fellow (2022-23) at the USC Korean Studies Institute and Sonosky Fellow for Environmental Sustainability Research (2022-23) at the USC Wrigley Institute for Environment and Sustainability.  

I am motivated by questions on why and how global norms translate into local action and lived realities. I interrogate the motivations of city government bureaucrats to "localize" international agreements, and by extension, these processes' material impacts. Much of my research covers topics at the intersection of global and local governance, including international organizations, international law, and (sub)state capacity, with thematic focus on the political economy of the climate and the environment. I am interested in developing in-depth case studies of cities in Southeast Asia, and currently conducting fieldwork in Manila, Philippines; Jakarta, Indonesia; and Bangkok, Thailand.

I received a BA in Diplomacy and World Affairs and French Studies, with a minor in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies from Occidental College.

Prior to graduate school, I have cumulated work experience in international and local agencies, including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Philippines, United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) New York, and the Los Angeles Mayor's Office of International Affairs.

In between teaching, researching, and conferencing, I am an avid chorister, café hopper, stress baker, and forever on the hunt for Los Angeles' best Southeast Asian food offerings and Metro Manila's best pastries. 

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