John Lie

John Lie

Distinguished Professor
Social Sciences Building 486
Research Interests
Social theory, political economy, East Asia

John Lie (pronounced "Lee") is Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley.

Lie's main scholarly interest is social theory. After working on a reconceptualization of "markets," he sought to rethink the categories of modern peoplehood - race, ethnicity, and nation - which was published as Modern Peoplehood (Harvard University Press, 2004). His longstanding interest in the environment has led him to write a book on sustainability - Japan, the Sustainable Society (University of California Press, 2021) - and our inattention to and inaction on the global environmental crisis (The Global Environmental Crisis, forthcoming). He is also working on a general book on social theory entitled The Consolation of Social Theory.

Lie has also devoted considerable energy to undergraduate teaching and academic administration. His interest in pedagogy has culminated in an introductory textbook, Sociology: Your Compass for a New Century (with Robert Brym, Wadsworth, 2003), which has been translated into many languages. From 2004 to 2009, he was the Dean of International and Area Studies at Berkeley.

Representative Publications


  • Zainichi (Koreans in Japan): Diasporic Nationalism and Postcolonial Identity2008 Zainichi (Koreans in Japan): Diasporic Nationalism and Postcolonial Identity, University of California Press
  • Modern Peoplehood2004 Modern Peoplehood Harvard University Press (paper ed by University of California Press)
  • Multiethnic Japan2001 Multiethnic Japan Harvard University Press
  • Han Unbound: The Political Economy of South Korea1998 Han Unbound: The Political Economy of South Korea Stanford University Press



  • 2009 UC Berkeley IAS Commencement Speech