Yifei Li

Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, NYU Shanghai

Global Network Assistant Professor, NYU



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

(Credit: Adele Purdy)

My new book, co-authored with Judy Shapiro, China Goes Green: Coercive Environmentalism for a Troubled Planet (Polity, 2020), 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 Environmentalism Of, By, and For the Chinese State.

I am deeply grateful for the critical acclaim my work has received from popular and academic presses alike. Featured stories have appeared in NPR’s The World show and The Economist’s Chaguan column. Organizations from Harvard’s Fairbank Center to the Berlin Contemporary China Network have hosted my research seminars. My interviews have been programmed into chart-topping podcasts such as The Economist’s Babbage and SupChina’s Sinica

When I procrastinate, I garden, cook, eat, and compost – not always 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. The short answer is 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 the longtime use of that alias since childhood. I answer to both!


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

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