Current Institutional Affiliation
Asia Regional Chair /Adjunct Associate Professor, Foreign Service Institute / Asian Studies Program (ASP), US State Department

Apichai W. Shipper holds the Asia Regional Chair at the Foreign Service Institute of the U.S. Department of State and is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Asian Studies Program at Georgetown University. After receiving his Ph.D. in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University Program on U.S.-Japan Relations before joining the faculty at the University of Southern California with a joint appointment in the Department of Political Science and the School of International Relations. He has been a visiting researcher at Georgetown University, UCLA, University of Tokyo, University of Kyoto, Hitotsubashi University, and Stockholm University. He is the recipient of teaching awards from: Harvard University, University of Southern California, and the American Political Science Association. He has been an invited participant in programs of the Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs as well as an invited researcher at the Japan Institute of Labor Policy and Training and the Swedish Institute of International Affairs. He is the author of Fighting for Foreigners: Immigration and Its Impact on Japanese Democracy (Cornell University Press, 2008; paperback in 2016) and the guest editor of a Special Issue (2010) in Pacific Affairs on “Citizenship and Migration.” His publications have also appeared in Asian Politics & Policy, Critical Asian Studies, Journal of Japanese Studies, International Studies Quarterly, North Carolina Journal of International Law & Commercial Regulation, among others. He has received research grants from: the Social Science Research Council (SSRC-Abe Fellow Program), the Japan Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Japanese Ministry of Education, among others. He currently serves on the Executive Committee of Pacific Affairs as its Associate Editor for Japan and on the Cornell Alumni Board for Diversity (Mosaic).

Award Information

Abe Fellowship 2007
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Assistant Professor, Political Science and International Relations, University of Southern California
Immigration Politics in Japan, the U.S., and Sweden

Between May 2008 and January 2009, I will prepare a book manuscript, Immigration Politics in Japan, the U.S., and Sweden, which I hope to submit it to a university press. In this text, I ask: In what ways do the views of foreigners and/or the concepts of citizenship assumed by national immigration policymakers shape the scope and aims of immigration politics in Japan, the U.S. and Sweden? This study suggests that different kinds of policy assumptions provoke different kinds of activism: Japan’s “control policy,” which treats immigrants as workers provides the greatest impetus for local activism through informal democratic institutions, while the U.S. “assimilation policy” and Sweden’s “multicultural policy,” which treat immigrants as potential citizens, provide greater national activism through formal democratic organizations and processes. Furthermore, this study questions the traditional wisdom that immigrants undermine democracy in industrialized societies: instead, the data suggest that all three kinds of countries gain in democratic multiculturalism because immigrants stimulate public discussions, political participation of marginalized groups, and institutional experimentation in search for more just and humane treatment of foreigners. This finding holds true regardless of whether a country is newly opening up to immigrants, or has been traditionally open to immigrants. In fact (and surprisingly), it is illegal foreigners who appear to make the most institutional contribution to democratic multiculturalism, no matter what the country’s immigration policy is. Therefore, this study both provides theoretical innovation and questions the traditional wisdom regarding the impact of immigrants on the democracy of industrialized societies. Policy Implications: A major contribution of this book to existing immigration policy debates is whether the international migration of labor promotes or hinders democratic institutions and processes. My work finds that the influx of foreigners stimulates public discussions, political participation of marginalized groups, and institutional experimentation in search for more just and humane treatment of foreigners in the host country.