Robert Pekkanen

Robert Pekkanen



Robert J. Pekkanen is Professor at the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, Adjunct Professor of Political Science, and Adjunct Professor of Sociology at the University of Washington. He received his Ph.D. in political science from Harvard University in 2002. His research interests lie in electoral systems, political parties, interview methods, and nonprofits or civil society. He has published articles in political science journals such as The American Political Science Review, The British Journal of Political Science, and Comparative Political Studies, as well Asian studies journals including The Journal of Asian Studies and The Journal of Japanese Studies. He has published thirteen books in English on electoral systems, American nonprofit advocacy, Japanese civil society, and Japanese elections and political parties, and there are translations or Japanese versions of two of his books. His first book, Japan’s Dual Civil Society: Members without Advocates (Stanford: 2006) won the Masayoshi Ohira Prize in 2008 and also an award from the Japanese Nonprofit Research Association (JANPORA) in 2007.  The Japan Times also featured it as one of the “Best Asia Books” of 2006.  A Japanese translation appeared in 2008. Another book, The Rise and Fall of Japan’s LDP: Political Party Organizations as Historical Institutions, (Cornell: 2010; co-authored with Ellis S. Krauss), has earned praise in a wide range of reviews. A co-authored article in the Social Science Japan Journal won the 2014 ISS/ Oxford Prize for Modern Japanese Studies, awarded by the Institute of Social Science of the University of Tokyo and Oxford University Press. JANPORA also awarded the “Outstanding Research Award” in 2010 to Neighborhood Associations and Local Governance in Japan (in Japanese from Bokutakusha 2009 and in English from Routledge 2014) and in 2022 to his coauthored article “Distinguishing Providing Public Services from Receiving Government Funding as Factors in Nonprofit Advocacy” (Voluntas 32 (3), 2021). Pekkanen has co-edited four books on Japanese elections, most recently Japan Decides 2021 about the October 2021 Japanese general election. Pekkanen also co-edited The Oxford Handbook of Electoral Systems and The Oxford Handbook of Japanese Politics (featured in a UW News story here)He is coauthor of Party Personnel Strategies: Electoral Systems and Parliamentary Committee Assignments (Oxford, 2021).  Pekkanen’s research has been supported by the Mellon Foundation, Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission, Social Science Research Council, the National Endowment of the Humanities, and the National Science Foundation, among others.


  • Harvard University, Ph.D. Political Science, 2002

Selected Publications

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