Professor Arrington specializes in comparative politics, with a regional focus on the Koreas and Japan. Her research interests include law and social change, governance, civil society, social movements, policy-making processes, lawyers, the media and politics, and qualitative methods. She is also interested in the international relations and security of Northeast Asia and transnational activism.
Her first book was Accidental Activists: Victim Movements and Government Accountability in Japan and South Korea (Cornell, 2016). She has published articles in Comparative Political Studies, Law & Society Review, Journal of East Asian Studies, Law & Policy, Asian Survey, and elsewhere. With Patricia Goedde, she co-edited Rights Claiming in South Korea (Cambridge, 2021). Her current book project analyzes the legalistic turn in Korean and Japanese governance through paired case studies related to tobacco control and disability rights.
Her research has received support from numerous fellowships and programs. She is a core faculty of the GW Institute for Korean Studies (GWIKS) and President of the Association for Korean Political Studies. GW’s Office of the Vice President for Research awarded her the 2021 Early Career Research Scholar Award.