Yifei Li

Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, NYU Shanghai

Global Network Assistant Professor, NYU

Residential Fellow (2020-2021), Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society


Welcome! I am a sociologist by training, environmentalist by nature, and Dodger fan by accident.

(Photo Credit: Adele Purdy)

My new book, co-authored with Judy Shapiro, China Goes Green: Coercive Environmentalism for a Troubled Planet, is now available for purchase, review, and adoption. In the book, we provide an innovative, evidence-based analysis of China’s exercise of environmental power at home and overseas. Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you are interested in this topic. I am now working on my next book, which is tentatively titled Down to Earth: Making Environmentalism Work in Authoritarian China.

When I procrastinate, I garden, cook, and eat – ideally in that order. I also like to flip through random back issues of old magazines and journals, especially when they age so well that they give off this amazing faint vanilla scent. I collect Coke cans, bottles, and crates. (Don’t judge.) 

Some people don’t know how to pronounce my name. Perhaps this is the right place to clear that up. It’s e-fay lee. That’s the standard Mandarin pronunciation, and also how most people call me. However, there has been some confusion when people see my online alias, yeefeelee, which Romanizes the sound of my name in the Shanghai dialect: e-fee lee. That’s how most people from Shanghai call me. I was born and raised in this magnificent city of neon lights, hence longtime use of that alias since childhood. So, if you are in a Shanghai state of mind, call me e-fee!


yifei.li@nyu.edu  |  +01 608 616 0417  |  yifei.li

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