Mayumi Fukushima

Photo of Mayumi Fukushima
Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow
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Ph.D. in political science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; M.A. in public administration / public policy, Harvard University; M.A. in international relations, Sciences-Po Paris; B.A. in international law, Keio University

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Mayumi Fukushima is a Stanton nuclear security postdoctoral fellow at the RAND Corporation. Her research interests include international security issues in East Asia, international security alliances, and nuclear nonproliferation. She has been trained in security studies, international relations, and international political economy.  

Prior to RAND and MIT's Ph.D. program, she had a long experience of serving as a fast-track career diplomat (deputy director) at the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs primarily responsible for U.S.-Japan cooperation to address various security challenges in Asia and beyond. She was also a Smith Richardson Foundation predoctoral fellow at Yale University's International Security Studies Program in 2018-19 and a visiting scholar at the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Command and Staff College in 2016-17.

Her academic research has been supported by various organizations including MIT's Center for International Studies and Political Science Department, the Stanton Foundation, the Smith Richardson Foundation, Yale University’s International Security Studies Program, the Murata Science Foundation, and the Ito Foundation for International Education Exchange.

Fukushima earned a Ph.D. in political science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in September 2020. Her Ph.D. dissertation, "Exploitative Friendships: Manipulating Asymmetric Alliances," explains the origin of different strategies junior allies employ to "manipulate" their materially superior security partner into offering assistance they seek. It contributes to the literature by proposing a new paradigm for understanding alliance behavior and assessing costs associated with offering security commitments to other states.  

Previous Positions

Deputy Director, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan; Teaching Assistant, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University; Visiting Scholar, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Command and Staff College; Teaching Assistant, Department of Political Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Smith Richardson Foundation Predoctoral Fellow, Yale University International Security Studies Program

Selected Publications

Mayumi Fukushima & Richard J. Samuels, "Japan’s National Security Council: Filling the Whole of Government?" International Affairs, 94(4), 2018

Mayumi Fukushima, "Japan's Dance with the Dragon and the Bear: Sino-Russian Relations and Their Implications for Tokyo," MIT Center for International Studies, 2016

Mayumi Fukushima, Accessing the Diplomatic and Military Archives in Japan, H-Diplo Archive Report, 2015

Mayumi Fukushima, Yūsaku Horiuchi, Daniel Smith, Teppei Yamamoto, "衆院総選挙、緊急解析!データが明かした有権者の本音 (Analysis of the recent general election in Japan; revealing voters' true policy preferences)," Nikkei Business Online, 2014

Mayumi Fukushima, Richard Rosecrance, and Yuzuru Tsuyama, "The Rising Sun in the New West," The American Interest, (5), 2012


English; French; Japanese