Professor Leigh Jenco

Professor Leigh Jenco

Professor of Political Theory

Department of Government

+44 (0)207 107 5253
Room No
CBG 4.25
Office Hours
Thursdays 14:00 - 15:00 and Fridays 14:30 - 15:30
Connect with me

Dutch, English, Mandarin
Key Expertise
Chinese Thought, Taiwan, Political Philosophy, Global Intellectual History

About me

Leigh Jenco (BA, Bard College; MA and PhD, University of Chicago) joined LSE in 2012, after teaching at the National University of Singapore. She has held visiting positions at the Institute of Modern History, Academia Sinica, Taiwan; the Department of History, National Taiwan University; and the University of Heidelberg. She currently serves as associate editor of the flagship journal American Political Science Review and principal investigator for the Humanities in the European Research Area grant project "East Asian Uses of the European Past," funded by the European Commission.

Her current book project, Cosmologies of Difference on the Taiwan Frontier: Chinese Colonial Discourse in Comparative Perspective, works across the disciplinary platforms of political theory, global intellectual history, and Asian studies to examine how Chinese and Dutch writers grounded distinctive justifications for colonial rule on the island in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.


Research interests

  • Chinese political thought (Ming, Qing and Republican periods)
  • Comparative and postcolonial political theory
  • Global intellectual history
  • Taiwan studies
  • Discourses of empire in East Asia

Teaching responsibilities

  • GV4H1: Chinese Political Thought
  • GV4K2: Postcolonial and Comparative Political Theory

Selected publications

  • The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Political Theory (New York: Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2019). Co-edited with Murad Idris and Megan C. Thomas.
  • “Can the Chinese Nation Be One? Gu Jiegang, Chinese Muslims, and the Reworking of Culturalism,” Modern China, February 2019.
  • Changing Referents: Learning Across Space and Time in China and the West (New York: Oxford University Press, 2015).
  • “Histories of Thought and Comparative Political Theory: The Curious Thesis of ‘Chinese Origins for Western Knowledge,’ 1860-1895,” Political Theory vol. 42 no. 6 (December 2014): 658-681.
  • Making the Political: Founding and Action in the Political Theory of Zhang Shizhao (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010).