Ph.D., Mass. Institute of Technology
B.S., Georgetown Univ.
Reo Matsuzaki is a scholar of statebuilding. In his book, Statebuilding by Imposition: Resistance and Control in Colonial Taiwan and the Philippines (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2019), he examines the role societal intermediaries play in the construction of modern states through a comparative analysis of Japanese colonization of Taiwan and the U.S. colonization of the Philippines. In his current project, he challenges dominant understandings of how modern states are forged through an analysis of Japan during the Meiji period (1868-1912).
As in his research, the comparative method is the underlying approach of Matsuzaki’s courses. Students will discuss why various historical events occurred as they did, and whether alternative outcomes were possible, by comparing similar as well as dissimilar cases. Through classroom discussion, presentations, and written assignments, students will learn how to dissect social scientific arguments, challenge existing accounts of historical interpretation, and evaluate the merits of theoretically founded policy prescriptions.
He was a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, where the managed the Governance Project, before joining the Trinity faculty in 2013. He is an Associate-in-Research at Harvard University’s Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies and Program on U.S- Japan Relations, as well as at Yale University’s Council of East Asian Studies.