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.

Gaunder’s 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 her as she has developed my courses at Southwestern. All her courses emphasize critical thinking through writing, class discussion, and creative activities.




Dean of the Faculty