Kevin Li

Postdoctoral Fellow

Kevin Li completed his PhD in History at UC Berkeley in 2020. He specializes in the history of modern Vietnam with particular interest in nationalism, decolonization, state-formation, and civil war. His book manuscript, titled "Entrepreneurs of Disorder: Gangsters, Revolutionaries, and Collaborators during the Decolonization of Vietnam (1945-1955)," examines the rise of erstwhile outlaws as leading political and military figures in the decade following World War II. It focuses on the emergence of a powerful political-military force in southern Vietnam called the Bình Xuyên, which came to play a key role on both sides of the First Indochina War—first as part of the communist-led Vit Minh insurgency, then as an anticommunist bulwark against it. In narrating the group's rise and fall, he explains why and how a putatively criminal group came to assume the guise of the state and the mantle of nationalism. A chapter of his work was published in the Journal of Vietnamese Studies

+ View more


HB 6048


  • B.A. UC Irvine
  • M.A. Yale
  • Ph.D. UC Berkeley