Assistant Professor of Government



Office: HARRIS 210


Dr.  Hasunuma works on gender politics, womenomics, women in civil society in Japan and South Korea, and the Comfort Women issue. She has published on the topics of decentralization, the Komeito's policy influence, and gender politics in Japan.

Dr. Hasunuma is part of the 2012-2014 cohort of the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation's U.S.-Japan Network for the Future Fellows program, and at UCLA received fellowships from the Social Science Research Council, the Sasakawa Foundation, the Aratani Foundation, and the Title VI (FLAS) US Dept. of Education Foreign Language Award. She has been an invited speaker at Yale University, the University of Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins University, Haverford College, the University of Zurich, and the World Affairs Council; and served as discussant at workshops on Japanese politics at Columbia University, the US-Japan Research Institute, and the Sasakawa Peace Foundation.  She has been interviewed on CBS Philadelphia, WBEZ Chicago (NPR affiliate),  Channel News Asia, and was quoted in The Japan Times. She has also published an Op-Ed on gender equality in the The Asahi Shimbun.  

Interview on WBEZ Chicago radio (NPR affiliate) for their Worldview show, March 28, 2017 and then included in their weekend show on April 1, 2017.

Quoted in The Japan Times, March 25, 2017.





  • Ph.D. 2010, University of California, Los Angeles. 
  • B.A. 1997, University of California, Los Angeles, magna cum laude.



East Asia,  decentralization, and gender politics.

Advanced Japanese and native Korean speaker.






Under Review

  • “Beyond Formal Representation: Women's Empowerment in Civil Society in Japan”  

Out for consideration:

Book chapter draft: "The Politics of Care and Community." Prepared for an edited volume, Beyond the Gender Gap, Gill Steel, Editor (the book proposal is out for consideration with the University of Michigan Press as of March 1, 2017).


For more information about the French Institute of International Relations:

  • "Japan Tries to Promote Women's Rights, But Cultural Norms Get in the Way" Commentary (Q and A with the editor) for World Politics Review. Published on-line Oct. 12, 2016.
  • "Gender Gaiatsu: An Institutional Perspective on Womenomics" in the US-Japan Women's Journal,  October/November 2015 issue, volume 48.
  • "Empowering the Executive: Koizumi and the Council for Economic and Fiscal Policy" Book chapter for an edited volume on Koizumi's reforms. Forthcoming (under contract with Routledge). 
  • Op-ed on Womenomics published August 31, 2014 in The Asahi Shimbun. 
  • "Womenomics and Women's Empowerment: Can Abe be the Women's Prime Minister?" for the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation, Policy Report (June 2014).                            
  • "Komeito in Coalition" with Axel Klein for a peer reviewed edited volume, "Komeito: Religion and Politics in Japan," Steven Reed, Axel Klein, George Ehrhardt, and Levi McLaughlin editors  (November, 2014).



          For more information about the IEAS at Berkeley:

Upcoming work:

As of May 5, 2017, our proposed special issue on the Administrations of Memory was accepted to the International Journal of Politics, Culture and Society.

Professional Service

Reviewed articles for

At F&M

  • American Political Science Review  (2016)
  • Political Research Quarterly (2016)
  •  The Journal of East Asian Studies (2012, 2016)
  •  Reviewed a book proposal for Routledge (2016).
  • Journal of Women, Politics & Policy (2015)
  • Party Politics (2013)
  • Journal of Politics (2013-14)

Other service to the profession:

Invited to give feedback for a revised edition of a textbook on gender and politics for CQ Press/Sage Publications (2014).

Invited to contribute my syllabus to the Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights (2015-16).

Democratization (2010-2011) and Routledge book manuscript (2008).








Upcoming Presentations (2016-17)


  • Invited lecture, Johns Hopkins University, East Asian Studies Speaker Series, "Womenomics and Women's Equality in Japan."  (April 4, 2017 from 12 to 1:30pm)
  • Invited lecture, University of Zurich,  (December 8, 2016, noon to 2pm) on my research on women and civil society in Japan and South Korea
  • Invited to speak about Womenomics on a panel , "Harnessing the Global Power of Women" for the 13th Annual Lockheed Martin Women's Impact Network Leadership Forum, 2016 at the Center for Global Excellence in Bethesda, MD.  On a panel with Ambassador Catherine Russell, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, U.S. Department of State; Ambassador Marcelle Wahba, President of The Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington; and Her Excellency Kirsti Kauppi, the Ambassador of Finland to the United States on November 3, 2016, 10:30am.



  • Accepted for participation in a roundtable discussion at the upcoming American Political Science Association, Annual Meeting, August 31-September 3, 2017, San Francisco, CA. DIVISION 11: COMPARATIVE POLITICS. Roundtable: Gender Equality Policies in the Post-Millennium: Achievements and Setbacks. I was asked to speak about these policies in Japan and South Korea. 
  • Accepted for presentation at the upcoming American Political Science Association, Annual Meeting, August 31-September 3, 2017, San Francisco, CA. DIVISION 31: WOMEN & POLITICS RESEARCH. Panel: Conservative Parties and Women's Substantive Representation.


  • "How the Comfort Women Issue Became a Korean American Issue" with Mary McCarthy at the Association for Asian Studies in Asia meeting in Seoul, South Korea, June 24-27, 2017. Co-organizer for the panel: "New Perspectives on the Comfort Women Issue: Local and International Dynamics and the Prospects for Reconciliation. "
  • Paper presentation, “Gendering Civil Society: Women and the Politics of Care in Japan” on a panel titled The Evolving Japanese Voter: Women, Participation, and Electoral Choice in the Abe Era” for the Annual Meeting of the Association for Asian Studies in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, March 16-19, 2017. 
  • Conference participation in AL1GN: Alliance for the Low Income and First Generation Narrative, March 31-April 2, 2017 at Barnard College.
  • Conference acceptance  and participation: Women of Color in the Academy hosted by Stanford University, March 9-11, 2017.  National networking, mentoring, and professional development conference. 
  • Paper presentation (with Mary McCarthy, co-author) at the Administrations of Memory Interdisciplinary Workshop of  the International Political Science Association in Paris, France, December 9, 2016. Our paper was on the politics of memory and the Comfort Woman issue.
  • Accepted to a book workshop to plan our chapters for the edited volume, The Public and the Private: Women and Politics in Contemporary Japan in Kyoto (The volume is now titled: Beyond the Gender Gap).  I did not have funding as of Oct. 3, so could not attend, but did submit my paper to the workshop  for discussion.
  • Accepted to give two presentations at the Joint East Asian Studies Conference (JEAS), September 7-9, 2016  at the Study for Oriental and African Studies at the  University of London.  
  • Invited by the American Political Science Association's Professional Development Program to be on a roundtable, “First Year(s) on the Faculty: Advice for Early Career Success,” at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, September 2, 2016. Also serving as discussant for a panel on migration and civil society on September 3, 2016.  
  • Invited speaker, F&M College Prep Summer Program, July 12, 2016 (about my experiences as a first generation student, immigrant, Pell Grant recipient, and Asian American woman in the profession).



  • Discussant for the Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA's educational Speaker Series on "Gender Equality in Japan and the Impact of Womenomics, " April 27, 2016, Washington, DC.                                                                          
  • Invited lecture (research presentation), Yale University: Japanese Politics and Diplomacy Program, Friday, February 19, 2016 from 12 to 1:30pm.
  • Invited lecture (paper presentation) for "Issues in Contemporary East Asia Colloquium Series" at the University of Pennsylvania, Center for East Asian Studies on Thursday, October 29, 2015 from 4:30-6pm. 
  • "How the Comfort Women Issue Became a Korean American Issue: Grievance Politics and the Korean American Electorate" for The Multiple Contours of Asian American Politics panel at the  2016 Western Political Science Association Annual Meeting in San Diego, California, March 24-26, 2016. Co-authored/co-presenting  with Mary McCarthy.
  • "Gender and Disaster: Women and Post-Fukushima Activism, Civil Society, and Democracy in Japan" for the  2016 Western Political Science Association Annual Meeting in San Diego, California, March 24-26, 2016.
  • 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 co-discussant with Francesc Amat  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).


  • "What has the Abe Government Achieved for Women? Womenomics and Women's Rights" (Panel co-organizer with Liv Coleman). Paper prepared for the annual meeting of the Association for Asian Studies in Chicago, March 26-29, 2015. 
  • "Transnational Actors and Networks: NGOs, NPOs, and Women's Empowerment after 3/11." Paper prepared for presentation at the Annual Meeting of the International Studies Association, Feb. 18-21, 2015 in New Orleans. Panel FA76: The Political Economy of Women's Movements in Transnational Spaces" Friday, February 20, 8:15am-10am.  
  • Discussant for "Women and Foreign Workers: New Stakeholders of Abenomics", a public workshop presented by the USJI and Ritsumeikan University (September 8, 2014, Washington, D.C.). 
  • Panel presentation "Womenomics, Gender Gaiatsu, and Japan's Gender Equality Institutions" for the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association in Washington, DC, August 28-31, 2014.  
  • Invited public lecture on Gender Inequality and Women's Activism in Japan at Haverford College, Wednesday, April 16, 2014 (class visit on April 17 to talk about fieldwork and women's activism in Japan post 3/11). 


  • "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.
  • 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.


  • Live media interviews for Channel News Asia

           8/27/15  on womenomics in Japan

           9/19/15  on the passage of the new security bills in Japan

            11/1/15  on the trilateral summit meeting in Asia

  • 2011: CBS Philadelphia radio interview regarding 3.11

Grants & Awards



Solomon Wank Memorial Fellowship for Peace and Human Rights with student, Yealin (Lynn) Im to conduct research on the Comfort Women and civil society activists. Student received funding for fieldwork in Seoul.

Accepted to and participated in  the Women of Color in the Academy Conference hosted by the Vice Provost's office at the University of Stanford, March 9-11, 2017.  

  • 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. 

Student Collaborations


  • Advising Elah Horwitz on a Marshall scholarship for travel and study in Tokyo, Japan on Womenomics, Women in Business, and Work-Life Balance Policies in Corporate Japan.
  • 2016-17: Advising two independents on South Korean politics, a directed reading on gender and politics, and an independent on US-Japan-South Korea relations.
  • ​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 six  honors defense committees (2011, 2012, and 2016).
  • Supervised two internships in the summer of 2012.

Course Information


GOV 120, Comparative Politics 

GOV 130, International Politics

GOV 272, Gender and Politics from a Global Perspective (now GOV/WGSS 226)

GOV 324, Asian Politics 

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

GOV 476, Senior Seminar, The Politics of Gender

CNX (to be developed) on the Asian American Experience 

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

Served on the International and Off-Campus Studies commitee for two years; currently serving on the Women, Gender, and Sexualities Studies committee and the Provost's Diversity Committee.


Campus and community activities: