CHUA Lynette J.

Assistant Professor

Ph.D. (UC Berkeley), M.A (UC Berkeley), LL.B. (NUS), B.Sc. (Ohio)

Executive Committee, Centre for Asian Legal Studies
Email Address:;
Office Tel: (65) 6516-5416 
Office Fax: (65) 6779-0979 
Office Address

Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore
Eu Tong Sen Building
469G Bukit Timah Road
Singapore 259776
Research Interests

Law and society
Socio-legal studies
Law and social change
Law and social movements
Qualitative, empirical scholarship

Subjects Taught

Sociology of Law
Law and Social Movements
Understanding Law and Social Change
Constitutional and Administrative Law

Brief Biodata

Lynette is a law and society scholar with research interests in law and social change, and law and social movements. She is conducting fieldwork and writing on the emergence of sexual minority rights mobilization in Myanmar at a time of political transition. She is examining how Burmese sexual minority rights activists deploy human rights to attract participants and to foster a new political community, as well as collecting narratives from movement participants and leaders to analyze how their sense of self, their social relationships, and political consciousness changed over time as they engage in human rights discourse (or abandoned it, in some instances).

Lynette has also conducted ethnographic study on Singapore's gay and lesbian movement to analyze the emergence, development, and strategies and tactics of the movement, and explore the complex role of law and meanings of rights. Her book, Mobilizing Gay Singapore: Rights and Resistance in an Authoritarian State, received the 2015 Distinguished Book Award from the Sociology of Law Section of the American Sociological Association, and was selected as a finalist by the Socio-legal Studies Association for the 2015 Hart Socio-legal Prize for Early Career Academics.

In addition, Lynette is working in collaboration with various scholars to develop NUS Law into a center for law and society research on Southeast Asian societies. She co-organized a workshop on Southeast Asian-based socio-legal research on 10-12 December 2012, bringing together leading law and society scholars and regional researchers to examine the intellectual possibilities and challenges, articulate potential research themes and directions, and define a research agenda. On 15-16 December 2014, she co-organized a second conference entitled, Researching State and Personhood: Law and Society in Southeast Asia, to follow up on one of the themes identified in 2012. Some of the papers from the 2014 conference will appear in a special issue in the Asian Journal of Law & Society. Lynette's essay, "The Law & Society Association and Its International Future," which draws from her ongoing work in this project, was awarded the 2014 Law & Society Association 50th Anniversary Junior Scholars' Essay Competition Honorable Mention.

Lynette currently holds a Humanities and Social Sciences Research Grant and an Academic Research Fund Tier 1 grant. In 2013 and 2014, she was awarded the Teaching Incentive Fund for her teaching performance by the NUS University Scholars Programme, where she holds a joint appointment. Lynette was also a Fulbright Scholar and held grants from the Social Science Research Council and the U.S. National Science Foundation.

Representative Publications

1. Mobilizing Gay Singapore: Rights and Resistance in an Authoritarian State (2014). Philadelphia: Temple University Press. (2015 Distinguished Book Award, Sociology of Law Section, American Sociological Association; 2015 Finalist, Socio-legal Studies Association Hart Socio-legal Prize for Early Career Academics).

2."The Vernacular Mobilization of Human Rights in Myanmar's Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Movement" (2015) Law & Society Review, Vol. 49(2): 299-332.

3. "Sexual and Gender Minorities in Transition: LGBT Rights and Activism in Myanmar" (with David Gilbert) (2015) Human Rights Quarterly, Vol. 37(1): 1-28.

4. "Pragmatic Resistance, Law, and Social Movements in Authoritarian States: The Case of Gay Collective Action in Singapore" (2012) Law & Society Review, Vol.46(4): 713-748. (Law & Society Association Honorable Mention for Article Prize, 2013)

5. "Rights Mobilization and the Campaign to Decriminalize Homosexuality in Singapore" (2014)
Asian Journal of Law & Society 1(1): 205-228.

Publication List