Assistant Professor of Leadership
TWU Richmond - Lansdowne
+1 (604) 513-2193 ext. 3192

Department(s) or Program(s)


"I am keen to explore and understand how human beings become subjects in different spheres of life."

Dr. Li was born and raised in the People's Republic of China. He received his BA in English at Yantai University, China in 2002. Then he worked as an English teacher at Beijing New Oriental School for five years. From 2007 to 2008, Gang attended Cardiff University in the United Kingdom, completing an MSc in Education with distinction as a Chevening Scholar. In 2020, he received his PhD in Educational Studies at the University of British Columbia, Canada.

Dr. Li's fields of interest include contemporary Continental theories in relation to conceptions and practices of democracy and those of international mobility in higher education. He has a particular interest in Chinese people's becoming political subjects in and through their engagement with discourses, practices, and institutions associated with the Western model of liberal democracy.

At the moment, Dr. Li is collaborating with other scholars in the China Innovative Urban-rural Governance Research Network to advance academic research and policy studies on urbanization and local governance transformation in China. 

Research & Scholarship

Dr. Li frequently shares his research ideas at international conferences. Below is a list of his selected conference presentations:

Li, G. (2019, April). Reimaging Chinese globally mobile students: Political subjects in the making. Paper presented at the 63rd annual conference of Comparative and International Education Society, San Francisco, United States.

Li, G. (2016, July). Shaping Chinese citizens in the United States: A case study of Chinese students’ international education experience from a political perspective. Paper presented at the 9th International Conference of the International Society for the Study of Chinese Overseas, Vancouver, Canada.

Li, G. (2015, March). Mapping the interplay between Canada’s International Education Strategy and Chinese students: A governmentality perspective. Paper presented at the 59th annual conference of Comparative and International Education Society, Washington D.C., United States.

Li, G. (2014, December). Overseas Mainland Chinese students' engagement with democratic discourses and practices in Canada and the United States. Doctoral research presented at the international conference "China in the Global Academic Landscapes. New Horizons: Topical and Structural Challenges for 2020", Volkswagen Foundation, Hannover, Germany.

Li, G. (2014, June). Metaphor matters: Studying Chinese political culture from the perspective of conceptual metaphors. Paper presented at the annual conference of Asian Studies on the Pacific Coast, Bellingham, WA, United States.

Li, G. (2013, May). Qualitative research on China's democratization in the context of neoliberal international higher education. Paper presented at the 9th International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, Champaign-Urbana, IL, United States. 


  • PhD in Educational Studies. University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
  • MSc in Education (Distinction). Cardiff University, Cardiff, United Kingdom
  • BA in English. Yantai University, Yantai, China 

Awards & Honors

  • UBC Four Year Doctoral Fellowship 2010-2014
  • UK Government Chevening Scholarship 2007-2008 

Recent Publications

Li, G. (2020). Reimaging Chinese globally mobile students: Political subjects in the making. In U. Gaulee, S. Sharma, & K. Bista (Eds.), Rethinking education across borders: Issues and insights on globally mobile students. Singapore: Springer.

Li, G. (2016). Politically sensitive Chinese students' engagement with democracy in Canada: A case study. Journal of Chinese Overseas, 12(1), 96-121. doi:10.1163/17932548-12341318

Ruitenberg, C., Knowlton, A. & Li, G. (2016). The productive difficulty of untranslatables in qualitative research. Language and Intercultural Communication, 16(4), 610-626. 

Affiliations & Memberships

  • Collaborator, China Innovative Urban-Rural Governance Research Network
  • Member, Comparative and International Education Society of Canada (part of the Canadian Society for the Study of Education)
  • Member, Comparative and International Education Society (US) 


  • Leadership
  • Subjectivity
  • International Mobility in Higher Education
  • Democracy
  • Democratization
  • Governance
  • Case Study Research 

Courses Taught

  • LDRS 300 Leadership as Service
  • LDRS 302 Historical Concepts and Theories of Leadership
  • LDRS 330 Leadership in Organizations and Small Groups
  • LDRS 410 Communication: Methods of Persuasion and Positive Influence
  • LDRS 503 Results Based Leadership
  • LDRS 611 Organizational Behaviour