Dr Andrew Levidis is a historian of modern Japan and a specialist on political history, history of international relations, and the modern historiography of war. He received his Ph.D. in History from Kyoto University, and has been a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies at Harvard University (2014-2015), Lecturer in the History Department at Harvard, and a Fellow in the Program on U.S.-Japan Relations at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard (2015-2016). His research focuses on Japanese politics and diplomacy in the 1930s, history of civil-military relations in prewar Japan, interaction of war and society since the nineteenth century, and the historical foundations of conservatism. In particular his research examines Japanese army factionalism in the 1930s, role of China experts in the army, and the relationship between the transformation in the shape of war, and changes in domestic politics and supreme command (tōsuiken) from World War I to the 1940s.
Dr Levidis’s doctoral dissertation, “War, Asianism and National Renovation: Kishi Nobusuke and the Politics of Conservatism, 1918-1944” is a study of Japanese conservatism and militarism through the life and career of Kishi Nobusuke (1896-1987), one of the founders of the Liberal Democratic Party, and premier (1957-1960) during one of the most tumultuous periods of modern Japanese history. This work fills the historiographical gap that has surrounded Kishi’s prewar and wartime career, and examines the roots of Japanese conservatism in the interwar era. Specifically it explores the depths of conservative reaction in the 1920s and 1930s, military and bureaucratic preeminence in the affairs of state, Kishi's role as one of the architects of Japan’s mobilization state and his ties to military officers, and the neglected continuities between Japan’s prewar and postwar rightwing. In addition, it highlights how Kishi's wartime political association blurred traditional distinctions between the kakushin right and traditional conservative elite.
As a research associate at the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Dr Levidis will prepare his manuscript for publication, and complete a scholarly article on the fall of General Tōjō Hideki cabinet and Japanese wartime parliamentary politics. He will also commence work on his next research project entitled “Conservatism and Japanese Army Factional Politics: Civil-military Relations in the Sino-Japanese War.” This study examines changes in the military control system in the 1920s and 1930s, China experts in the Japanese Army, Prince Konoe Fumimaro's restoration of the Imperial Way Faction following the February 26 incident, and the role of army factional politics in the expansion of the China incident in 1937. Specifically it offers a possible answer to one of the seminal questions of Japanese political and diplomatic history of the 1930s: Why did the Konoe cabinet pursue policies that lead to a war of political annihilation?
Subject groups/Research projects
Modern Japanese history: Political and Diplomatic history, Modern Historiography of War, History of International Relations, History of Civil-Military Relations in Prewar Japan, Historical rise of Japanese Conservatism, and the interaction of war and society since the nineteenth century.
Other Professional Activities
American Historical Association
Association for Asian Studies
Andrew Levidis, Kishi Nobusuke and the Roots of Conservatism: Modern Japanese War and Politics, 1918-1960. Book Manuscript to be submitted to Harvard University Asia Center Press in April 2017.
Andrew Levidis, “Kishi Nobusuke and the Disintegration of the Mobilization State: Parties without Liberalism, 1944-1945.” To be submitted to the Monumenta Nipponica in 2017.
Andrew Levidis, “The Realism of History: Abe Shinzō and the Politics of Conservatism, 1980-2015,” To be submitted to Modern Asian Studies in March 2017.
Andrew Levidis, “Kishi Nobusuke and the kakushin faction: A reconsideration of wartime parliamentary politics, 1941-1945,” Harvard University USJP Occasional Papers, Vol. 15 (June 2016), pp. 1-57.
Invited Conference papers and Lectures
“Demobilization and Repatriation of the Japanese Army, 1944-1949” as part of the panel “Phantoms of Japan’s Empire: Rethinking Transitions from World War to Cold War, 1945-1950” to be presented at the Association for Asian Studies (AAS), Toronto, March 2017.
“Conservatism and Japanese Army Factionalism, 1937-1941: The Case of Prince Konoe Fumimaro and Baron Hiranuma Kiichirō,” as part of panel “Rethinking Militarism and Conservatism in 20th Century Japan,” Program on U.S.-Japan Relations, Harvard University, November 2015.
“The Enemies of Conservatism: Kishi Nobusuke and the Wartime Roots of the Japanese Right Wing,” Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University, November 2015.
“The Conservatism of Japanese Radicals: Kishi Nobusuke, Kanokogi Kazunobu, and the Prewar Right Wing,” Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, Harvard University, February 2015.
“War, Empire, and National Renovation: Kishi Nobusuke and the Politics of Conservatism in Interwar Japan,” Asian Studies Conference Japan (ASCJ), Tokyo, June 2014.
Shimizu Yuichirō, “Politics and Youth in Modern Japan: Historical and Contemporary Views,” Conference Paper presented at the University Autonomy Madrid (UAM) (2016), 1-31.