Photo of Jack Jin Lee
  • Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology


As a globally oriented sociologist who works across the fields of the sociology of empire and colonialism, law and society, political sociology, as well as international migration and development, Lee’s research and teaching has examined the significance of politics, law and culture in processes of state-building and development. He is working on a book on the making of "direct rule" in the nineteenth century British Empire. This project contributes to the sociology of colonialism, law and the state through the following questions: First, how does a liberal imperial state govern foreign territories and their inhabitants from afar? Second, why was nineteenth century British colonialism marked by the authoritarian rule of multi-racial colonies? Focusing on the concurrent founding of “direct rule” in Jamaica and the Straits Settlements (Singapore, Penang and Malacca), Lee’s research examines the institutionalization of Crown Colony government as the standardized mode of colonial rule and imperial control for racially diverse societies. Also, he has studied the politics of migration and multiculturalism in industrialized Asia. In this area, he has completed several projects, including a forthcoming article on Singapore’s admission and uses of guest workers. Notably, his dissertation on Crown Colony government in the modern British Empire recently won the University of California, San Diego’s 2018 Chancellor’s Dissertation Medal (Social Sciences).

For information on my publications and teaching, please see my website: 

Fall 2018
  • SOCI 145. Intro Soc: Inquiry Past/Present
  • SOCI 255. Bureaucrats/Classes/Democracy
  • SOCI 451. Imperial Control & Transform