Melissa Lee

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Lightning Scholar

Melissa Lee, an Assistant Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University’s Department of Politics and the Woodrow Wilson School, is the 2020-2021 Lightning Scholar. Lee studies foreign subversion, alongside the international and domestic politics of statebuilding and state capacity. Much of her work examines how external actors disrupt political order and shape the development of the state. Lee’s first book, Crippling Leviathan: How Foreign Subversion Weakens the State, was published in 2020. Lee received her Ph.D. in Political Science from Stanford University and B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego. In 2016, she received the American Political Science Association's Helen Dwight Reid award for best dissertation in the field of international relations, law, and politics.

Expertise: International Relations; Power & Security

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