• Linda Hasunuma
Assistant Professor of Government



Office: HARRIS 210



I received my Ph.D. in Comparative Politics from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2010.  In my dissertation and publications, I analyzed the politics of Japan's decentralization reforms, and their implications for Japan's local governments, regional and income inequalities, and the electoral fortunes of Japan's political parties. In my new  and ongoing research agenda, I am investigating the politics of Japan's gender equality institutions and policies, and women's activism since the disasters of 3/11.  

From 2012-2014,  I was a member of the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation's US-Japan Relations Network for the Future, Cohort II.  Before coming to Franklin and Marshall College in 2010, I taught at the University of California, Los Angeles; Loyola Marymount University,  Los Angeles; and Pepperdine University. 


  • Ph.D. 2010, University of California, Los Angeles (Comparative Politics). Dissertation was on the politics of decentralization in Japan, filed July, 2010.  http://www.polisci.ucla.edu/
  • B.A. 1997, University of California, Los Angeles. Magna Cum Laude.


East Asia,  gender politics, decentralization, and Japan-Korea relations

Advanced Japanese and native Korean speaker.

Grants & Awards




  • 2012-2014, The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation, US-Japan Network for the Future Fellow, Cohort II.
  • Spring 2012: Grant from Franklin and Marshall College to develop an interdisciplinary Foundations Seminar, "Imagining Asia" during the summer of 2012. 
  • Spring 2011: Hackman Fellowship with student Abigail Heller. Research collaboration on British and Japanese coalition politics. We gathered data and analyzed the coalition agreement and policy tradeoffs of the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government. Student is currently enrolled in a doctoral program for comparative politics. 




Professional Service:

Reviewed articles for the "Journal of Politics", "Democratization", "Party Politics" and "The Journal of East Asian Studies."  Reviewed a book manuscript for Routledge. Invited to give feedback for a revised edition of a textbook on gender and politics for CQ Press/Sage Publications.





  •  US-ROK-Japan relations and the Comfort Women issue (with Mary McCarthy)
  • Book manuscript on Women and Politics in Japan (working with a publisher)


  • "Womenomics, Gender Gaiatsu, and Japan's Gender Equality Institutions" (forthcoming, fall 2015 in the US-Japan Women's Journal)
  • "Crisis and Women's Activism in Japan: the Role of NGOs, NPOs, and Transnational Networks" (under review)
  • "A Comparative Analysis of Japan and South Korea's Gender Equality Institutions"



  • Paper presentation for a Panel on Gender and Contemporary Politics in Japan (Japan Studies Group) for the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association (APSA) in San Francisco, September 3-6, 2015. (September 3, 10:15am to 12:00pm)
  • Chair and discussant for a panel on Decentralization and Redistribution for the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association (APSA) in San Francisco, September 3-6. 2015 (Division 14: Comparative Politics of Advanced Industrial Societies, Saturday, September 5, 10:15am to 12:00pm).



  • "Cities, Citizens, and Japan's Regional Relations with South Korea and Russia," the International Studies Association Annual Convention in San Francisco, CA, April 3-6, 2013.
  • "Local Actors and Regional Economic Integration", the Western Political Science Association Annual Meeting, March 28-30, 2013 in Hollywood, CA.
  • Invited to present at Southern Methodist University in Houston, Texas for an international conference  on Japanese Politics and Economic Reforms During the Koizumi Years, November 7-8, 2012. http://blog.smu.edu/towercenter/events/sunandstar/
  • Discussant for a panel on Japanese politics at Columbia University, April 28, 2011. (Discussed a book project on redistributive politics and the Japanese case).
  • Paper presentation at the Annual Association for Asian Studies Meeting, Honolulu, Hawaii, March 31-April 3, 2011.
  • February 4-5, 2011, "Political Change in Japan II: One Step Forward, One Step Back," Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, Stanford University.
  • November 19-20, 2010 Deutsche Institute for Japan Studies, conference for an edited volume on Religion and Politics in Japan (LDP-Komeito coalition), Tokyo, Japan.
  • "The Politics of Mercy: the Costs of Coalition for the Soka-Gakkai and Komeito" (panel on the Komeito) for the British Association for Japanese Studies, September 9-10, 2010, Study for Oriental and African Studies, London.

Student Collaborations




  • 2015-16: advisor for a Marshall Scholar project on devolution to Scotland and British politics (student applied for and received a summer fellowship to conduct research in Scotland in summer of 2015).
  • Chair for four independent projects for 2012-13: 1) gender and the law/politics, 2) international law and Africa, 3) Chinese nationalism, and 4) Government, business, and the internet.
  • Faculty Advisor on a Faculty-Student collaboration, Hackman Fellows research project on the British coalition, Summer 2011. (Student is now in a Ph.D. program for comparative politics).
  • Faculty Advisor for an independent study on US businesses in China; Spring 2011.
  • Faculty Advisor for an independent study on Turkish politics, Fall 2011.
  • Chair for an honors thesis on the institutionalization of ASEAN (2010-11). Student presented his research at an international conference on ASEAN. He currently works for the ASEAN in Washington, DC and has published in The Diplomat. 
  • Served on two honors defense committees in the spring of 2011 and 2012.
  • Overseeing two internships in the summer of 2012.


Campus and community activities:





Course Information

GOV 120, Comparative Politics 

GOV 130, International Politics

GOV 272, Gender and Politics from a Global Perspective

GOV 324, Asian Politics 

GOV 472, Senior Seminar on Post-War Japanese Politics and Society 

(Received a summer grant in 2012 to develop a Foundations course, Imagining Asia, which may be offered as a Connections course in the future).