Areas of Expertise

Michael Cucek is an expert in Japanese Politics, with an emphasis on media messaging and social policy.

Teaching Interests

Professor Cucek teaches courses in Japanese history, Chinese history, the history of racism, international politics, Japanese politics and U.S. relations with East Asia.


Professor Cucek is studying the dichotomy between an unfair and captured electoral system returning a single party to power and the relatively humane and decent policies nevertheless pursued by successive Japanese governments. He also writes on the use of humor in Japanese political communication.

Representative Publications

  • "Harpooning the Gordian Knot." Tokyo Review, 1 February 2019.
  • "Constitutional Revision by 2020? Don't Count on It." East Asia Forum, 13 September 2018.
  • "Abe's uncertain grip on power." Nikkei Asian Review. 24 October 2017.
  • 小池刺客劇場の危うい幕開け [Koike shikyaku gekijo no ayaui kaimaku - The Assassin Style in Japanese Politics]. ニュスウィーク日本版 [Newsweek Japan], 17 October 2017. (in Japanese)
  • 2050年、政治家はつらいよ [Seijika wa tsurai yo - The High and Low of Politics in 2050]. ニュスウィーク日本版 [Newsweek Japan],15-22 August 2017. (in Japanese)
  • "Abe and press oppression: guilty, not guilty or not proven?" In J. Kingston (Ed.), Press Freedom in Contemporary Japan (pp. 76-90). Abingdon, Oxon, UK; Routledge, 2017.


B.A. Stanford University

Previous Appointments

  • Adjunct Professor, Temple University, Japan Campus (2016-2019)
  • Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Social Science, Waseda University (2015-2020)
  • Adjunct Professor, Political Science, Sophia University (2015)

Professional Associations

  • Japan Economic Network (JEN), SOAS, London