Assistant Professor of Politics and International Affairs

3-S-4 Green Hall
Julie Newton
External Website:


  • statebuilding
  • State capacity
  • Sovereignty
  • International intervention
  • political development
  • Foreign aid


Melissa M. Lee is Assistant Professor of Politics and International Affairs in the Department of Politics and the Woodrow Wilson School for Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.

Lee specializes in the international and domestic politics of statebuilding and state capacity. Much of her work examines how external actors shape the development of the state and disrupt political order. Her research interests also include the historical and domestic origins of state capacity and the politics of territorial change.

Lee's first book, Crippling Leviathan: How Foreign Subversion Weakens the State, will be available in April 2020 from Cornell University Press. Her research has also been published or is forthcoming in the American Journal of Political ScienceJournal of Politics, International OrganizationWorld Development, and Governance. Her work has received the American Political Science Association's Helen Dwight Reid Award (now Merze Tate) and Perry World House's Emerging Scholar Global Policy Prize

Lee received her Ph.D. in Political Science from Stanford University and her B.A. in Political Science - International Relations from the University of California, San Diego.

For more information, visit Lee's website or view her Google Scholar page.