Yen-Ting Hsu

Yen-Ting Hsu
  • 9500 Gilman Dr
    Mail Code: 0533
    La Jolla , California 92093

Curriculum Vitae

MA: Columbia University, Sociology, 2016

BBA: National Taiwan University, International Business, 2013

Research Interests: Participatory Democracy, Political Sociology, Fiscal Sociology, Political Culture, Expertise


Yen-Ting Hsu is a Ph.D. student in Sociology and the Science Studies Program. In his master’s study, he analyzed the implementation of the participatory budgeting (PB) program in New York City through an actor-network-theoretic approach. Using Michel Callon’s notion of “translation,” he demonstrated how PB made possible the assemblage of the network of certain elected officials, some public engagement professionals, and representatives from civil society organizations between the year of 2005 and 2011.

His current research project continues to speak to the participatory democracy turn in our era. While we would expect to see local governments adopt diverse and innovative participatory mechanisms in the time of legitimacy crises, we know little about how local governments decide to do public participation in one form but not the other. To bridge the intellectual gap, an empirical study on two Californian bankrupt cities of Vallejo and Stockton constitute a matched pair for a comparative-historical analysis. Vallejo launched a city-wide participatory budgeting process, a format of what he calls the decisional model of public participation, whilst Stockton formulated a citizen’s oversight committee, a format of what he calls the consultative model of public participation. If we treat the divergence of the public participation models as outcome, then the goal of this study is to identify the factors which would explain the qualitative difference. Through a comparative study, Hsu seeks to improve our understanding of participatory budgeting and contribute to the studies of public policy and urban politics more generally.

In addition to his academic training, Hsu has a background in public deliberation and civic engagement. He served as a local PB practitioner in Taiwan and designed several civic forums on Taiwan’s community empowerment policy before coming to UC San Diego. He actively engages with Taiwan’s public participation professionals.