Professor Akaha is the author of Japan in Global Ocean Politics (1985) and the editor/co-editor of The U.S.-Japan Alliance: Balancing Soft and Hard Power in East Asia (2010), which won a Masayoshi Ohira Special Prize in 2011; Crossing National Borders: Human Migration Issues in Northeast Asia (2005); The Future of North Korea (2002); Politics and Economics in Northeast Asia: Nationalism and Regionalism in Contention (1999); Politics and Economics in the Russian Far East: Changing Ties with Asia-Pacific (1997); International Political Economy (1991); and Japan in the Posthegemonic World (1990). He is also a member of the editorial board of International Relations of the Asia-Pacific.
He has contributed numerous articles to such journals as the American Political Science Review, Journal of Asian Studies, Asian Survey, Pacific Review, Pacific Affairs, Pacific Focus, Asian Perspective, Journal of East Asian Studies, Journal of Asian and African Studies, Ecological Law Quarterly, Millennium, Peace Forum, Peace and Change, Brown Journal of World Affairs, East Asia Review, Politique étrangère, Mongolian Journal of International Affairs, Journal of Asiatic Studies, and Journal of Human Security.
His current research focuses on international migration and human security issues in East Asia, regionalism in East Asia, Russia and regional integration in East Asia, and post-3/11 Japan.
Professor Akaha's objective is to help students develop skills required for critical analysis of international policy and area studies, particularly in the Asia-Pacific context.
Japanese foreign and security policy, international relations of the Asia Pacific, international political economy, Asian studies, Asia-Pacific development, East Asia security, globalization, human rights, human security, international migration, international relations theory, Northeast Asia and security issues, US-Asia policy
- Completed a year-long contract with the Open Society Foundations to serve as an International Scholar for Smolny College at St. Petersburg State University, Russia.
- Gave an invited lecture “Russia’s Pivot to East Asia,” at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs, Stockholm, Sweden, May 27, 2013.
- Organized the annual conference of Asian Studies on the Pacific Coast at the Monterey Institute, June 7-9, 2013.
- Submitted a book manuscript, co-edited with Professor Vassilieva, on "Russia and East Asia: Increasing but Informal Integration" to Routledge, UK, to be published in December 2013.
- Elected to serve as President of Asian Studies on the Pacific Coast for a one-year term, 2013-14.
- Published: “Russia’s Mixed Prospects in Regional Integration in East Asia,” in “Expert Opinion,” School of Regional and International Relations, Far Eastern Federal University, Vladivostok, Russia, July 2013. http://ifl.wl.dvfu.ru/8323
PhD, MA, International Relations, University of Southern California; BA, Political Science, Oregon State University; BA, Political Science, Waseda University, Tokyo
Courses offered in the past four years.
▲ indicates offered in the current term
▹ indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]
IPMG 8593 - GP&SColoquimEconDplm&StateCrft
GP&S Colloquium Economic Diplomacy & Statecraft looks at the changing world and how economic power and influence will be exercised across the globe in the 21st century. Economic Diplomacy reaches beyond traditional structure of trade and commercial integration: economic growth (jobs, supply chains,) environmental issues (carbon cap & trade), security matters (South China Sea), hot conflicts (Egypt, Tunisia), immigration (US-Mexico), and human security (Iran, human trafficking, Big Data). Economic statecraft and the diplomacy to resolve conflict across the growing swath of transnational economic issues will dominate global attention for the foreseeable future.ISPG 9593 is structured to bring to MIIS national and international experts in the practice of Economic Statecraft; individuals who will be making fundamental contributions to the policies that will be the basis for American economic statecraft for the next half-decade.
Spring 2013 - MIIS
IPOL 8505 - Global Politics
The course introduces students to key analytical concepts and normative views such as balance of power, unipolarity, multipolarity, unilateralism, multilateralism, etc., and major theoretical perspectives for analysis of international politics, as well as the major international events of the past century that have shaped the international system. Students will learn ways that international actors, including sovereign states and non-state entities such as multinational corporations, international organizations, and nongovernmental organizations, exercise power to pursue goals and influence international outcomes. Students will also learn how international institutions, norms, and structures of governance affect the exercise of power and other forms of influence and shape international outcomes. Students will also be introduced to some contemporary issues of national, international, and human security, including the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and terrorism, as well as issues of globalization, food security, the plight of the LDC’s, and human rights.
Fall 2009 - MIIS
IPOL 8550 - Japan in the World
This course will examine Japan’s role and policies regarding various global issues, including the UN, international peace and security (nuclear nonproliferation, arms control, terrorism), human security (human rights, international migration), the environment (climate change), development (development aid), and the global economy (WTO, regional and bilateral agreements). The objectives of the course are: (1) to gain a basic understanding of major global policy issues; (2) to study domestic and international discussion about Japan’s role; (3) to develop an ability to discuss the preceding issues; and (4) to develop and present opinions about Japan’s policy and role regarding the global issues examined.
Spring 2010 - MIIS
IPOL 8562 - Human Security Issues
Spring 2012 - MIIS
IPOL 8594 - Japan in Global Policy
This course will examine Japan’s policy and role regarding various global issues. More specifically, it will look into Japan’s policy and role in the UN, international peace and security (nuclear nonproliferation, arms control, terrorism), human security (human rights, international migration), environment (climate change), development (development aid), and global economy (WTO, regional and bilateral agreements). The objectives of the course are: (1) to gain a basic understanding of major global policy issues; (2) to study domestic and international discussion about Japan’s role; (3) to develop an ability to discuss the preceding issues; and (4) to develop and present opinions about Japan’s policy and role regarding the global issues examined.
Spring 2010 - MIIS
IPOL 8630 - Sem: Human Security
The concept of "human security" was first introduced in the 1994 Human Development Report by the United Nations Development Program. It has since attracted growing attention in the academic and policy communities around the world. The concept has also become part of official policy, particularly in Japan and Canada. In contrast to the traditional concept of "national security" with its focus on the security of the state against military threats, "human security" emphasizes the protection of individual citizens’ security not only from war and other forms of physical violence but also from threats of a political, economic, social, cultural, and environmental nature. At the most fundamental level, “human security” is defined as "freedom from fear" and "freedom from hunger," but beyond that there are competing approaches to it, as well as critical challenges to it both as a concept and as a guide for national or international policy. This seminar critically examines the concept of human security, its real-world applications, and implications for international policy. Through a series of panel discussions, debates, and case studies, students will develop a firm understanding of the conceptual significance, analytical utility, and policy implications of human security. There are no prerequisites for this course.
Spring 2011 - MIIS
IPOL 8649 - Sem: Regionalism in NE Asia
"Northeast Asia," including China, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, and Russia, has long been largely a geographic reference, not a political community, nor an economic unit. Historical factors and contemporary obstacles prevent the emergence of a regional identity among the peoples of this region. However, debate is intensifying among academic and policy communities in the region about the feasibility and desirability of building Northeast Asia as a region whose members share a common political, economic, and security agenda, as well as a collective identity. Some argue it is both desirable and possible, while others assert that it is desirable but not possible. Still others propose that Northeast Asian countries should become part of an East Asia community, which would include Southeast Asian nations, or part of an even larger Asia-Pacific community, including the United States and other North and South American countries on the Pacific rim. One of the central questions on which these arguments rest is the role of nationalism and regional cooperation over transnational problems in obstructing or fostering the development of a regional identity. This seminar will examine the critical tension between nationalism and regionalism in Northeast Asia, as well as the future architecture of the region.
Fall 2010 - MIIS, Fall 2012 - MIIS
IPSG 8501 / IPOL 8501 - Policy Analysis
This course introduces students to the theory and practice of policy analysis. Students will be introduced to the stages of the public policy process, including agenda setting, formulation, implementation, and evaluation. Students will also develop basic policy analysis skills, including problem structuring, stakeholder identification, summarization of current policy, development of policy options, elaboration of criteria for selection, and recommendation of course of action. These concepts are illustrated by examples policies that fall within students' range of interests. This course also introduces students to scientific methods that are used as a means for structuring policy inquiry. A series of research approaches and techniques are presented in the context of forecasting, monitoring, and evaluation for the analysis of domestic and international policies.
Spring 2012 - MIIS, Spring 2013 - MIIS
IPSG 8531 - East Asia: Politics & Security ▹
With the dramatically changed balance of power, historical issues continuing to color contemporary international relations, North Korea's nuclear and missile development seemingly unresolvable, and both the United States and Russia "pivoting" toward the region, East Asia today is a region in flux. This course will provide a review of the developments of major power relations and challenges facing political and security policy communities in the region. The course will include a scenario building exercise guided by competing theories of international relations. There are no prerequisites for this course.
Spring 2014 - MIIS
IPSG 8544 - Intro to HumanSecurity&Dvlpmnt ▹
The focus of this course is human security, the everyday security of individuals and the communities in which they live rather than the security of states and borders. The course explores how the lack of human security affects development, broadly defined. Approaches to human security in the course include conflict analysis, management and resolution, human rights, peacebuilding, legitimate institutions and good governance, rule of law and justice, and programmes and policies designed to improve human security and lower armed violence. The central theme of the course is how these approaches are integrated in practice. Examples of this approach can be found at the following:
http://www.un.org/largerfreedom/contents">In Larger Freedom<a>
http://wdr2011.worldbank.org/fulltext">Conflict, Security, Development. World Bank
http://www.peacestudiesjournal.org.uk">Conflict, Security and Development. Journal<a>
Spring 2014 - MIIS
IPSG 8560 / IPOL 8560 - Intro to Intl Migration ▲
This course will introduce students to migration as an object of policy studies, various aspects of migration as a social phenomenon, and policies designed to encourage, discourage, or otherwise affect the flow of people within and between countries. Among the issues to be addressed are: economic-development aspects of migration; human trafficking and relevant policy; gender and migration; public health issues associated with migration; demography-development link; migration as a factor in international relations; terrorism & border control issues relative to migration; refugee issues and policy; and the integration of migrants at destination. The course will also introduce students to international laws and other norms and frameworks dealing with migration and migrants, as well as to international organizations and non-governmental organizations actively involved with migration issues. Illustrative examples of problems of migration, migrants, and policy responses will be drawn from various countries and regions of the world. Students will begin developing skills in analyzing demographic, social, economic, and political factors in the migration process; dynamics of and policy responses to forced migration, the effectiveness of legal and policy instruments to regulate migration, and national and human security implications of migration.
Fall 2010 - MIIS, Fall 2012 - MIIS, Fall 2013 - MIIS
IPSG 8599 / IPOL 8599 - HumanSecurity:Concept & Policy ▲
The concept of "human security" was first introduced in the 1994 Human
>Development Report by the United Nations Development Program. It has
>since attracted growing attention in the academic and policy
>communities around the world. The concept has also become part of
>official policy in some countries, including Japan and Canada. In
>contrast to the traditional concept of "national security" with its
>focus on the security of the state against military threats, "human
>security" emphasizes the protection of individual citizens¹ security
>not only from war and other forms of physical violence but also from
>threats of a political, economic, social, cultural, and environmental
>nature. At the most fundamental level, ³human security² is defined as
>"freedom from fear" and "freedom from want," but beyond that there are
>competing approaches to it, as well as critical challenges to it both
>as a concept and as a guide for national or international policy.
>This course will critically examine: (1) "human security" as a concept;
>(2) opportunities and challenges in translating the concept into
>policy"; and (3) case studies of human security problems and policies
>from around the world.
Fall 2012 - MIIS, Fall 2013 - MIIS
IPSG 8632 - Sem: Integrated HSD ▹
Students ideally only take this course in their fourth semester of the Human Security and Development Track. Students spending their fourth semester doing IPSS, DPMI or the equivalent, can take this course in their third semester.
In this course students will map, review and connect the major theories they have studied. They will explore how the theories emerge and develop from the intersection of research and practice. At the same time, they will learn to understand the mutually reinforcing relationships between theory, research and practice. Through mapping and review of their own research and practice experiences, students will then develop their own theories of practice. By the end of the course, they will be able to present a portfolio of their informed approach to some of the global challenges, which they hope to tackle as they step into the ‘real’ world.
Spring 2014 - MIIS
IPSG 8640 / IPOL 8640 - Sem:Comprativ Migration Anlys
Migration takes various forms, ranging from unskilled and skilled labor migration, regular and irregular migration, legal and illegal migration, temporary and permanent migration, refugees and asylum-seekers, to trafficking in persons and people smuggling. This seminar is designed for students to develop a comparative framework for analyzing one or more of these types and aspects of migration in two countries in two different regions of the world and to use that framework for research. The aim of such analysis is to: (1) identify the historical, geographical, political, economic, social, and cultural factors shaping the current state of migration in the countries compared, (2) the various factors informing the countries' current policies to deal with the situation, and (3) explain the differences and similarities in their approaches. In addition to the comparative analysis, students will choose one of the countries compared and prepare a "country profile," which offers a succinct summary of (1) and (2) above and a policy recommendation to improve the migration situation. Each student will present his/her country profile as if speaking to a group of journalists who have just been assigned to visit the country you have described and report on its current migration situation.
Spring 2010 - MIIS, Spring 2011 - MIIS, Spring 2012 - MIIS, Spring 2013 - MIIS
JALA 8465 - Japan in the World
Spring 2010 - MIIS
JALA 8499 - Special Topic: ICC-Japanese
This is the Japanese section of the Monterey Model course on human security and as such, will meet in plenary four times with the other language (English, Spanish, and French) sections. Each plenary will include presentations by each language section as well as discussions based on those presentations. The objective of this course is to develop the student’s ability to discuss human security generally, to explore the human security policy of Japan as a concrete example, and to present his/her views on the topic.
Since “human security” was first introduced as a new concept in the UNDP’s Human Development Report (1994), it has attracted much attention in the academic circles and policymakers around the world. This concept has been adopted into the policies of some countries, particularly Japan and Canada. Fundamentally, “human security” is composed of the two elements of “human development” and “human dignity (human rights).” In contrast to the traditional concept of “national security,” which focuses on the protection of the state from military threats, “human security” focuses on the security of individual citizens and includes not only security from war and other forms of physical violence but also security from political, economic, social, cultural, and environmental threats. This course, with a particular focus on Japan’s human security policy, will examine how it is defined, how it is implemented, and what its significance and problems are.
Spring 2012 - MIIS