Melissa M. Lee is the Presidential Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania. She specializes in the study of statebuilding and state capacity, and much of her work investigates the influence of external actors on state development. She received her Ph.D. in Political Science from Stanford University (2015) and her B.A. in Political Science – International Relations from the University of California, San Diego (2008). She is the author of Crippling Leviathan: How Foreign Subversion Weakens the State (Cornell University Press, 2020).

Nan Zhang is the head of the Emmy-Noether research group Making Diversity Work at the Mannheim Center for European Social Research. Nan’s research spans both Sociology and Political Science, with a focus on the study of group relations, language and identity, social norms, and civic behavior. Major applications include research on immigration, ethnic diversity, and state- and nation-building. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Stanford University (2014), a J.D. from Stanford Law School (2011), and a double B.A. in Economics and Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley (2006).

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