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The Clough Center for the Study of Constitutional Democracy

The War on Japan's Pacifist Constitution
Panel Discussion

Close-up of Japanese Soldier's uniform, focusing on shoulder patch of the country's flag
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Wednesday, November 5
12:00 p.m.
Barat House, Boston College Law School

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  • Tom Ginsburg, Leo Spitz Professor of International Law and Professor of Political Science, University of Chicago
  • Tokujin Matsudaira, Associate Professor of Law, Kanagawa University
  • Franziska Seraphim, Associate Professor of History, Boston College  

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about the speakers


Tom Ginsburg is the Leo Spitz Professor of International Law and Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago. He is primarily known as a scholar of international and comparative law, with a focus on constitutions and East Asia.

Professor Ginsburg holds a B.A. in Asian Studies, a J.D., and a Ph.D. in Jurisprudence and Social Policy from the University of California at Berkeley. Before entering legal academia, he worked for the Asia Foundation, served as a legal advisor at the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal in The Hague, and consulted with international development agencies and foreign governments on democratic governance.

Professor Ginsburg has served as a visiting professor at the University of Tokyo, Kyushu University, Seoul National University, the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Trento. He currently co-directs the Comparative Constitutions Project, a National Science Foundation-funded effort to analyze the constitutions of all independent nation-states since 1789. His books include Judicial Review in New Democracies (2003), which won the C. Herman Pritchett Award from the American Political Science Association for best book on law and courts; The Endurance of National Constitutions (2009); Constitutions in Authoritarian Regimes (2014); and Law and Development in Middle-Income Countries (2014).

Tokujin Matsudaira is an Associate Professor of Law at Kanagawa University. Professor Matsudaira received his BA in Law from the University of Tokyo, and an LL.M. in Asian and Comparative Law from the University of Washington School of Law. He also completed the PhD program from the University of Tokyo Graduate School of Law and Politics.

Professor Matsudaira is a member of the International Society of Public Law, the Japan Public Law Association, and the Japan Association for Studies of Constitutional Law.  He also serves as the coordinator of the Comparative Constitutional Law Forum for Young Scholars.

Franziska Seraphim is an associate professor of history at Boston College. A historian of modern and contemporary Japan, her work has focused on the contested place of Japan’s empire and war in Asia in postwar politics, society, and culture.

Professor Seraphim holds a Asian Studies from the University of California at Berkeley and an M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. in Japanese History from Columbia University. Since joining the Boston College faculty, she has offered several courses on Japan, Asia, and World War II, including surveys of modern Japan and topical courses on the Asia-Pacific War and Japanese society since 1945. Her seminars have focused on the Allied Occupations of Japan and Germany, the place of memory in history, and comparative and transnational history writing.

Professor Seraphim’s publications include War Memory and Social Politics in Japan, 1945-2005; “Relocating War Memory at Century’s End: Japan’s Postwar Responsibility and Global Public Culture,” in Ruptured Histories: War and Memory in Post-Cold War Asia; and “Japan,” in Encyclopedia of Genocide and Crimes against Humanity. Currently, she is researching questions of rehabilitation and citizenship in the politics of social integration and exclusion after World War II in Japan and Germany.