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Ji-Young Lee

Assistant Professor
School of International Service

  • Dr. Ji-Young Lee’s research focuses on East Asian international relations, security, and diplomatic history. Her first book examines Chinese hegemony in early modern East Asia and is currently under review. Her second project investigates how China’s rise impacts the American-led international order, specifically through the lens of the U.S.-ROK alliance and China. At SIS, she teaches courses on Asian international politics, Korean politics and foreign policy, and North Korea and international security. Prior to AU, she was an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Politics and East Asian Studies at Oberlin College, where she also taught as a visiting assistant professor. She was a POSCO visiting fellow at the East-West Center and a non-resident James Kelly Korean Studies Fellow with the Pacific Forum Center for Strategic and International Studies. Currently, she is a Korea Foundation-Mansfield Foundation scholar of the U.S.-Korea Scholar-Policymaker Nexus program.
  • Degrees

    PhD, Government, Georgetown University; MA, Security Studies, Georgetown University; MA, Political Science, Seoul National University; BA, Political Science and Diplomacy, Ewha Womans University

  • SIS-School of Intl Service
  • SIS - 339

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Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Research Interests

Dr. Lee’s research focuses on East Asian security, Korean politics and foreign policy, the diplomatic history of East Asia and international relations theory. Her current book project examines the concept of hierarchy in international relations by exploring the nature of East Asian regional order under the Chinese empire in the early modern period. Her other areas of research focus on the dynamics of U.S.-ROK alliance and China, Japan-Korea relations, and the U.S.-Japan-ROK trilateral relationship.


Selected Publications

Honors, Awards, and Fellowships

  • The Korean Studies Grant 2013 (Competitive Research Grant), the Academy of Korean Studies, 2013-2014.
  • The East Asia Institute (EAI) Fellowship, 2013-2014.
  • A Korea Foundation-Mansfield Foundation Scholar, the U.S.-Korea Scholar-Policymaker Nexus, 2013-14.
  • Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in Politics and East Asian Studies, Oberlin College, 2009-11.    
  • The East-West Center POSCO Visiting Fellowship, 2009.
  • The Jill Hopper Memorial Fellowship, Georgetown University, 2008-09.
  • James A. Kelly Korean Studies Fellowship (Nonresident), Pacific Forum CSIS, 2010-2011.

Professional Presentations

  • "The Chinese World Order in Practice," the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) Conference on Inter-Asian Connections, 2-5 October 2013, Istanbul. 
  • "Understanding Hierarchy in International Relations," the annual convention of the International Studies Association, 3-6 April 2013, San Francisco.
  • "Transforming the U.S.-ROK Alliance in an Uncertain Asia," the annual six university conference, 18 October 2012, Seoul.
  • "In the News Roundtable: North Korea," Mortara Center for International Studies, Georgetown University, 18 January 2012.
  • “Japan and South Korea: the Role of US Alliances in Northeast Asia” & “China, the United States and Solving the Security Challenges on the Korean Peninsula,” The Geneva Center for Security Policy, 17-18 May 2011, Geneva.
  • “Unpacking Hierarchy of the Chinese World Order,” University of Southern California and American University, 4-5 March 2011.
  • “Serving Korean Interests by Serving the Great,” Roundtable on the Nature of Political and Spiritual Relations among Asian Leaders and Polities from the 14th to the 18th Centuries, University of British Columbia, 19-21 April 2010.    
  • “Back to the Future? The “Chinese World Order” and the rise of China today,” the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, 3-6 September 2009, Toronto.
  • “The Chinese System of International Relations in Pre-modern East Asia,” the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, 28-31 August 2008, Boston.
  • “Why No NATO in Asia?” the annual convention of the International Studies Association, 28 February- 3 March 2007, Chicago.