I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Politics at New York University. My research uses Japan as a lens through which to address core questions in international relations and comparative politics. Current research concerns distributive politics and elections in contemporary Japan. You can view my CV here.
My first book, Electoral Reform and National Security in Japan: From Pork to Foreign Policy, published by Cambridge University Press in 2016, seeks to explain why Japanese politicians in the ruling party paid so much more attention to national security after 1997 than they did before 1997. It applies new tools for quantitative text analysis to a new collection of 7,497 Japanese-language candidate election manifestos, which I collected during fifteen months of fieldwork in Japan, as well as insights from more than one hundred interviews, first-hand observations of the campaigns fought by several politicians in the 2009 election, and months spent as an intern in the Liberal Democratic Party’s Tokyo headquarters to explain this puzzle. Other research has been published or is forthcoming in the American Political Science Review, The Journal of Politics, Comparative Political Studies. Foreign Policy Analysis, Politics and Policy, Japan Forum and Political Science.
I graduated with a Ph.D. from the Department of Government at Harvard University in 2011. I earned my B.A. Hons (First Class) in Political Science from Victoria University of Wellington in 2003 and my B.A. in Japanese and Political Studies from the University of Otago in 2002, both in my native New Zealand. I studied Politics and International Relations at the University of Tokyo from 2000-2001 on the AIKOM program, and again from 2003-2004 on a Japanese Ministry of Education scholarship, during which time I served as an intern for Japan's Liberal Democratic Party. I have taken almost a decade of training in the Japanese language and have spent five years in Japan.
More information about my research, data, publications, and teaching can be found by clicking the links above or reading my CV.