Research interests:law, sociology, 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.
Ya-Wen Lei 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 Review, Law & Society Review, Political 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).
她的第一本专著《抗争的公共领域：法律，媒体与中国的威权统治》在2018年由普林斯顿大学出版社出版。她的文章刊登于美国社会学期刊，美国社会学评论，法律社会学评论，政治传播，中国季刊，Sociu,与工作，就业与社会。她目前正在完成与普林斯顿大学签约的第二本专著Upgrading the Nation: Promise and Peril of Techno-Developmentalism in China。
Winner of the 2018 Distinguished Book Award, Sociology of Law Section of the American Sociological Association
Winner of the 2018 Gordon Hirabayashi Human Rights Book Award, Human Rights Section of the American Sociological Association
Edited Special Issues
Hoang, Kimberly Kay, Jessica Cobb, and Ya-Wen Lei (2017). De-centering ‘Globalized’ Asia, positions: asia critique, Duke University Press.
Articles and Book Chapters
Lei, Ya-Wen. 2021a. "Delivering Solidarity: Platform Architecture and Collective Contention in China’s Platform Economy." American Sociological Review, 86 (2), 279-309.
*2021 Best Paper Award, Communication, Information, Technologies, and Media Sociology Section (CITAMS) of the American Sociological Association
* Covered by The Stanford Social Innovation Review, Il manifesto, The Rest of the World, Initium Media (端傳媒), and The Paper (澎湃新聞)
Lei, Ya-Wen. 2021b. "Upgrading China through Automation: Manufacturers, Workers and the Techno-Developmental State." Work, Employment and Society: 1-19. https://doi.org/10.1177/0950017021999198
* Covered by The Wire China and the Blog of the Montreal AI Ethics Institute
Lei, Ya-Wen. 2021c. "Publics, Scientists, and the State: Mapping the Human Genome Editing Controversy." The China Quarterly, 246, 400-427.
Lei, Ya-Wen. 2020. "Revisiting China’s Social Volcano: Attitudes toward Inequality and Political Trust in China." Socius 6:1-21. doi: 10.1177/2378023120915382.
Lei, Ya-Wen. 2018. "Social Protest under Hard Authoritarianism." China Leadership Monitor, 58(4), 1-10.
Lei, Ya-Wen. 2018. "What Should We Know about Public Opinion in China?" Pp. 43-50 in The China Questions: Critical Insights into a Rising Power, edited by M. Szonyi and J. Rudolph. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Hoang, K. K., Cobb, J., & Lei, Y. W. 2017. "Guest Editors' Introduction: Inter-Asian Capital Circulations, Cultural Transformations, and Methodological Positions. " positions: east asiacultures critique, 25(4), 633-644.
Lei, Ya-Wen. 2016. "Freeing the Press: How Field Environment Explains Critical News Reporting in China." American Journal of Sociology, 122(1), 1-48. Lead Article.
*2017 Best Research Paper Award from the Asia and Asian American Section of the American Sociological Association
*2017 CITAMS Paper Award Honorable mention, Communication, Information, Technologies, and Media Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association
*2012 Outstanding Student Paper Award, The Section on Communication and Information Technologies, American Sociological Association
*2012 Graduate Student Paper Award, The Section on Human Rights, American Sociological Association
*2012 Katherine Luke Graduate Student Paper Award, Department of Sociology, University of Michigan
Lei, Ya-Wen, Zhou, D. Xiaodan. 2016. "Embedding Law into Politics in China’s Networked Public Sphere." Pp. 106-128 in The Internet, Social Media, and a Changing China, edited by Jacques deLisle, Avery Goldstein, and Guobin Yang, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Lei, Ya-Wen, Zhou, D. Xiaodan. 2015. "Contesting Legality in Authoritarian Contexts: Food Safety, Rule of Law, and China's Networked Public Sphere." Law & Society Review, 49(3), 557-593. Lead Article.
Lei, Ya-Wen. 2011. "The Political Consequences of the Rise of the Internet: Political Beliefs and Practices of Chinese Netizens. " Political Communication, 28(3), 291-322.
* Winner of the First Prize in the Graduate Student Paper Competition of the 37th Research Conference on Communication, Information and Internet Policy.