Short Bio


Leonard Schoppa is Professor of Politics in the Department of Politics at the University of Virginia.  He received his D.Phil in Politics from Oxford in 1989 and has been employed at the University of Virginia since 1990, with stints at Keio University (1993-1994) and the University of Tokyo (2000-2001) as a visiting researcher.

He is co-producer of a new documentary film “The Slow Way Home” (broadcast on PBS stations in 2016).  He is the editor of two books: The Evolution of Japan’s Party System (Toronto University Press, 2011); and Social Contracts Under Stress (Russell Sage, 2002).  And he is the author of three books: Race for the Exits: The Unraveling of Japan’s System of Social Protection (Cornell University Press, 2006); Bargaining with Japan: What American Pressure Can and Cannot Do (Columbia University Press, 1997); and Education Reform in Japan (Routledge, 1991). He has published refereed articles in International Organization (1993, 1999) and Comparative Political Studies (2002, 2013), as well as article for a more general audience in Foreign Affairs and Current History.

Prof. Schoppa was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University (1985-1988) and a Reischauer Institute Post-Doctoral Fellow at Harvard University (1989-1990).  He was the recipient of an Abe Fellowship (1993-1994), a Fulbright Research Grant (2000-2001), a Japan Foundation Short-term Research Grant (2002), and a Japan Foundation Book Grant (2004).  He served as Associate Dean for the Social Sciences at UVA (2012-2018) and served earlier as Associate Chair of the Politics Department; Director of the East Asia Center at the University of Virginia; Academic Dean on a round-the-world educational voyage of the Semester at Sea in the Fall of 2008; and dean for a similar round-the-Mediterranean voyage in the Summer of 2011.

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