Yoonkyung Lee

Yoonkyung Lee

Director, Centre for the Study of Korea
Associate Professor, Department of Sociology
Korea Foundation Endowed Chair of Korean Studies




Room 342, 725 Spadina Avenue


Yoonkyung Lee is a political sociologist specializing in labour politics, social movements, political representation, and the political economy of neoliberalism with a regional focus on East Asia. She earned her Ph.D. in political science from Duke University and was associate professor in Sociology and Asian and Asian-American Studies at State University of New York-Binghamton (2006-2016) before joining the Department of Sociology at the University of Toronto in 2016. She is also the director of the Center for the Study of Korea (2019-2022).

Yoonkyung Lee is the author of Militants or Partisans: Labor Unions and Democratic Politics in Korea and Taiwan (Stanford University Press, 2011) and Between the Streets and the Assembly: Social Movements, Political Parties, and Democracy in Korea (University of Hawaii Press, forthcoming). Her recent publications include “Cold War Undercurrents: The Extreme Right Variants in East Asian Democracies” (Politics and Society, 2021), “Seoul as a Site of Labor Resistance: The Spatial Representation of Inequality and injustice” (European Journal of Korean Studies, 2021), and “Neoliberal Methods of Labor Repression: Privatized Violence and Dispossessive Litigation in Korea” (Journal of Contemporary Asia, 2019).


Recent courses Professor Lee has offered include Theories of Social Movements (graduate), Research Practicum (graduate), Comparative Political Sociology (undergraduate), Social Movements (undergraduate), and Transnational Asia (undergraduate).

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