Professor of Political Science
Alisa Gaunder received her doctorate in political science, specializing in comparative politics and Japan, from the University of California, Berkeley in 2001. Her research interests include comparative political leadership, campaign finance reform in Japan and the United States and women in politics. She is the author of Political Reform in Japan: Leadership Looming Large (Routledge 2007) and the editor of The Routledge Handbook of Japanese Politics (Routledge 2011). Her current research focuses on the obstacles that face women running for national office in Japan.
PhD, University of California, Berkeley 2001
MA, University of California, Berkeley 1994
BA, Washington University, St. Louis 1992
Associate Professor of Political Science
August 01, 2008 - present
Assistant Professor of Political Science
August 01, 2002 - May 01, 2008
University of California, Berkeley
January 01, 2002 - July 01, 2002
Introduction to American Politics
My goal as a professor of political science is to motivate students to think critically -- to teach students to have opinions, to ground these opinions with evidence, to express these opinions, and thereby to take an active role as responsible citizens. This goal has guided me as I have developed my courses at Southwestern. All my courses emphasize critical thinking through writing, class discussion, and creative activities.
Courses: Spring 2014
Chinese Cultural Revolution
Women and Politics,
The Chinese Cultural Revolution,
Senior Seminar: Comparative Political Leadership
Comparative political leadership, campaign finance reform in Japan and the United States, and women in politics.
Political Reform in Japan: Leadership Looming Large. London: Routledge, 2007.
The Routledge Handbook of Japanese Politics. London: Routledge, 2011.
Refereed Journal Articles
"Reform Leadership in the United States and Japan: A Comparison of John McCain and Ozawa Ichiro." Leadership. 3.2 (May 2007): 173-189.
"WIN WIN's Struggles with the Institutional Transfer of the EMILY's List Model to Japan: The Role of Accountability and Policy." Japanese Journal of Political Science 12.1 (January 2011): 75-94.
"The DPJ and Women: The Limited Impact of the 2009 Alternation of Power on Policy and Governance." Journal of East Asian Studies 12.3 (Fall 2012).
Chapters in edited volumes
"Women Running for National Office in Japan: Are Koizumi's Female "Children" a Short-term Anomaly or a Lasting Phenomenon?" in Political Change in Japan: Electoral Behavior, Party Realignment, and the Koizumi Reforms, eds. Steven Reed, Kenneth Mori McElwain and Kay Shimizu. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution, 2009.
"The Institutional landscape of Japanese Politics." In The Routledge Handbook of Japanese Politics, ed. Alisa Gaunder. London: Routledge, 2011.
"Merging Teaching and Research through Faculty-Student Collaboration: An Exploration of Female Political Leadership in Japan." In Suzanne Wilson Barnett, ed. Luce Fund for Asian Studies Faculty Book. Under review.
Japan Transformed: Political Change and Economic Restructuring. By Frances McCall Rosenbluth and Michael F. Thies. Journal of Japanese Studies. 38.1 (2012): 201-205.
Decoding Boundaries in Contemporary Japan. Edited by Glenn D. Hooko. Journal of Japanese Studies, forthcoming.
"Bringing Scholarship to the Classroom." ASIANetwork Exchange: A Journal for Asian Studies in the Liberal Arts. 16.1(Fall 2008): 64-70.
"Political Parties in Democratic Japan." Education About Asia. 16.1 (Spring 2011): 50-53.
Works in Progress
"The Politics of Japan." Oxford Bibliographies Online. Under review.
"From Madonnas to Assassins to Girls: The Changing image of female politicians in Japan." Article in progress.
"The Effects of Party Organization on Women in the CDU and the LDP: Chancellors versus "Madonnas.'" Article in progress, co-authored with Sarah Wiliarty.
Honors & Awards
Competitive Faculty Development Grant, Southwestern University (three grants, 2009-2011)
ACS Mellon Foundation Grant ($5,000), 2009
Sam Taylor Fellowship ($1,500), 2008-2009
ASIANetwork Freeman Faculty-Study Collaborative Research Grant ($32,000), 2005-6
Mundy Faculty Fellowship, Southwestern University, 2005-6
Cullen Research Grant, Southwestern University, (six grants, 2003-2008)
Dissertation Write-Up Grant, Center for Japanese Studies, Berkeley, Fall 2001
Continuing Student Fellowship, Department of Political Science, Berkeley, 2000-4
Research Fellowship, Center for Japanese Studies, Berkeley, 1997-8; 1998-9
Sumner Intern Fellowship, Japan Local Government Center (CLAIR), 1996
Regents Fellowship, University of California, Berkeley, 1994-1995
Institute of East Asian Studies Fellowship, UC Berkeley, 1993-1994
Fulbright Fellowship, Japan, 1992-1993
John M. Olin Prize for Excellence in Economics, Washington University, 1992
Phi Beta Kappa