Dr. Hiroyuki Yamamoto
2010-2011 Postdoctoral Fellow; Visiting Lecturer, University of Washington

Hiroyuki Yamamoto joined the UCLA Political Science department and the Paul I. and Hisako Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies this fall as the 2010-2011 Terasaki Postdoctoral Fellow. Yamamoto received his PhD in 2009 from the University of Virginia and a spent a year teaching at the University of Richmond and then Washington and Lee University before accepting the postdoctoral position. He writes that he is happy to return to California, having first visited as an exchange student at Palm Springs High School and again as a graduate student at UC San Diego. Yamamoto taught an undergraduate course on International Relations for the political science department. “In my childhood, my grandmother used to tell me stories about her experience during World War II,” Yamamoto wrote in an email. When she related the hardships of living under a military dictatorship during the war, Yamamoto struggled to understand why the Japanese people did nothing to change it. 

His quest to understand this period of Japan’s history spurred his interest in political science and led to his dissertation topic, “The Origins of Democratic Breakdown in Interwar Japan.” Discontent with present approaches on the subject, which Yamamoto says are more suitable for European cases, he brings circumstances in Japan to the foreground. He also wants to make them part of comparative discussions of the survival of democracies. Yamamoto's research interests include interwar Europe, particularly the collapse of democratic regimes in Italy, Germany, and Austria in addition to Scandinavian cases. He is also interested in labor politics and economics in East Asia.