Department of International Relations
154 Bay State Rd, Rm. 400
(mailing address: 152 Bay State Rd)
Boston, MA 02215
(617) 353-9290 (fax)
I am the Chair of the Department of International Relations at Boston University, where I am also a Professor of International Relations and Political Science and previously served as served as Associate Chair and Director of Graduate Studies in International Relations. I have taught at BU since 1996 and received tenure in 2003. In 2008, I helped to found the Boston University Center for the Study of Asia, and served as its first Director until 2010. I have also been active in the Japanese studies community at Harvard, where I am affiliated with the Program on US-Japan Relations and Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies and served for nine years as the faculty coordinator of the Reischauer Institute’s Contemporary Japanese Politics Study Group.
The main focus of both my research and teaching is East Asian political economy. My interest in the region was first sparked when I moved to Tokyo, Japan with my family at the age of 13. I attended the American School in Japan for four years, then returned to the United States to attend Yale University, where I majored in East Asian Studies, while spending my summers back in Tokyo. After another year back in Tokyo, during which I studied Japanese and had part-time jobs in the office of Representative Kazuo Aichi (a Dietmember from Sendai) and at the research institute of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, I entered graduate school at Princeton University, earning an MPA in International Relations (with a focus on economics) and a PhD in Politics. I spent another year in Japan during that time, doing fieldwork on my dissertation (“From the Plaza to the Bubble: Japan’s Response to International Economic Policy Coordination, 1985-88”) at the University of Tokyo, the research institute of the Ministry of Finance, and the Foundation for Advanced Information and Research. Since then, I have returned to Japan regularly for research, conferences, and invited lectures. All in all, I figure I have spent about eight years there. In addition to Japan, I lived for a summer doing research for the US Embassy in the Philippines and have traveled widely throughout East Asia.
I used to have hobbies, including skiing and traveling, but I have had to put them temporarily on hold since the birth of my daughter in 2002. I also have a son, born in 2005. My wife, Melinda Stanford, is a singer, songwriter and vocal coach. After living in Cambridge, Massachusetts for five and a half years, we moved to Brookline in 2001.