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James Lee

James Lee is a postdoctoral research associate for the project on great power competition at IGCC. His research is on U.S. grand strategy in Europe and East Asia, with a focus on the Taiwan question in U.S.-China relations. At IGCC, he is working on a project on how Taiwan’s semiconductor industry relates to the United States’ strategic interest in the security of Taiwan. He received his Ph.D. in Politics from Princeton University in 2018, and he was a fellow in the Max Weber Program for Postdoctoral Studies at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy in 2018-2019. He also previously served as the Senior Editor of Taiwan Security Research (TSR) from 2017-2020.

Lee’s research interests are at the intersection of international security, international political economy, and international history. He studies grand strategy and great power politics in periods ranging from the Peloponnesian War to the Cold War to the present day. He is particularly interested in geoeconomics and economic statecraft. His academic research has been published in the Journal of East Asian Studies, the Journal of Strategic Studies, and the Journal of Chinese Political Science. He is currently working on a book that compares the United States strategy toward economic reconstruction and development in Western Europe and East Asia during the Cold War. His research connects the creation of the East Asian developmental state to the history of the Marshall Plan.

Lee is also interested in public policy. He has served as a contributor for East Asia Forum, with opinion pieces on Taiwan’s security. At IGCC, he has published a policy brief on 5G and U.S. national security. At the European University Institute, he published a policy brief on the Taiwan question in U.S.-China relations and its implications for the European Union.

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Recent Publications

Why the U.S. Should Prioritize Security in Its 5G Roll Out
May 12, 2021 | IGCC Policy Brief
Policies related to the rollout of 5G in the United States have tended to focus on mitigating security risks, but does protecting security come at the cost of expanding U.S. global influence—or does it simply cost too much? This policy brief by IGCC postdoctoral research associate James Lee analyzes the three main criteria for deciding what a “good” 5G policy should look like, and recommends that the United States’ 5G strategy prioritize security first, influence second, and efficiency third.

Taiwan's Semiconductor Industry and the Geoeconomics of Great Power Competition
May 10, 2021 | IGCC Expert Presentation
IGCC postdoctoral research associate James Lee presents on a panel hosted by UC Berkeley on the Taiwanese economy. His presentation explores Taiwan's semiconductor industry and the geoeconomics of great power competition, and is based on research done as part of IGCC’s project on Great Power Competition in the 21st Century.

The Political Economy of Great Power Competition: An Interview with James Lee
July 29, 2020 | Lindsay Morgan interviews James Lee
In this interview, James Lee, a postdoctoral research associate at IGCC, talks about U.S.-China relations, Taiwan’s position in the region, and the implications of China’s new security law for Hong Kong. Lee received his Ph.D. in Politics from Princeton University in 2018, and was a fellow in the Max Weber Program for Postdoctoral Studies at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy.

  • U.S. grand strategy
  • U.S.-Taiwan relations
  • Europe and East Asia
  • Developmental state
  • Political economy of national security
  • Great power politics
  • Cold War
  • Thucydides and the Peloponnesian War
Great Power Competition