T. J. Pempel is the Jack M.
Forcey Professor of Political Science at the University of California,
Berkeley. He has been on the Berkeley faculty since 2001. He has also held
positions at Cornell University, the University of Colorado, the University of
Wisconsin and the University of Washington. From 2001 until 2006 he was the
director of Berkeley’s Institute of East Asian Studies. He is a presidential
appointee to the Japan US Friendship Commission. His research focuses on
comparative politics, Japanese political economy, and Asian regional issues. He
has published over 120 articles and 24 books. Recent books include Security
Cooperation in Northeast Asia (Routledge, 2012); The Economic-Security Nexus in
Northeast Asia (Routledge, 2013), and Japan in Crisis (ASAN, 2013) and, in
2015, a co-edited volume with Keiichi Tsunekawa entitled Two Crises; Different
Reactions: East Asia and Global Finance (Cornell UP). This last examines why
Asia was so badly devastated by the crisis of 1997-98 but in 2008-2009 did so
well compared to Europe and the US.
am requesting funding for two years of research support to pursue a project investigating the ways in which governments in the industrialized world have dealt with three interlinked problems: financial liberalization, foreign district investment, and domestic social protection. My principal focus will involve a comparison of Britain, the United States, Japan, and Germany. The central question concerns the extent to which financial liberalization and overseas investment have taken place in all four, as well as the extent to which these have, or have not, been accompanied by a decrease in social welfare provisions. In Britain and the United States all three trends have been linked for a decade or more. But in Germany, and many other continental European countries, there has been strong resistance to financial deregulation largely as a consequence of institutionalized commitments to social welfare and the political power of those reluctant to see them ended. Japan has made many moves toward financial deregulation and expanded overseas investment, and is currently considering even greater financial liberalization. The extent to which these moves will be carried out, combined with the degree to which social welfare provisions will or will not suffer, remain contested political issues. The differentiated responses of the four countries are the principal focus of my proposed work.