Ya-wen Lei

Associate Professor of Sociology


Ya-Wen Lei (雷雅雯) is Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at Harvard University, and is affiliated with the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. She grew up in Taipei, Taiwan. Trained in both law and sociology, she holds a J.S.D. from Yale Law School and a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Michigan. After graduating from Michigan in 2013, she was a Junior Fellow at the Society of Fellows at Harvard University between 2013 and 2016, She is the author of The Contentious Public Sphere: Law, Media and Authoritarian Rule in China (Princeton University Press, 2018). Her articles have appeared in the American Journal of Sociology, the American Sociological ReviewLaw & Society ReviewPolitical Communication, Socius, and Work, Employment and Society. Currently, she is finishing her second book entitled Upgrading the Nation: Promise and Peril of Techno-Developmentalism in China (under contract with Princeton University Press).

Research Interests: Sociology, law, political sociology, law & society, economic sociology,  sociology of media and information technologies, sociology of work, labor and labor movements, science and technology studies, development, and Chinese studies.

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