James Lee

Ph.D., Princeton University


I am a scholar of international relations with research interests at the intersection of international political economy and international security. My research, which has been published in the Journal of Chinese Political Science and the Journal of Strategic Studies, examines the United States’ historic and contemporary strategies for responding to the challenge of great power rivalry in East Asia. I have a particular interest in the United States’ Taiwan policy in the context of U.S.-China relations.

I received my Ph.D. in Politics from Princeton University in 2018. I wrote my dissertation on the geopolitics of U.S. foreign aid during the Cold War and the role of U.S. grand strategy in the creation of the developmental state in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. I am currently working on turning my dissertation into a book manuscript that examines the strategic determinants of the United States’ approach to the postwar reconstruction of Europe and East Asia. The book explores the historical connection between the East Asian developmental state and the Marshall Plan, and it will apply its historical findings toward contemporary U.S. strategy in East Asia.

I am currently a postdoctoral research associate at the University of California Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, which is based at the School of Global Policy and Strategy at the University of California, San Diego. I have previously held a fellowship in the Max Weber Program for Postdoctoral Studies at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. I also serve as the Senior Editor for Taiwan Security Research, an academic website that aggregates news, commentary, and scholarly analysis on the economic and political dimensions of Taiwan’s security.