KEVIN M. DOAK

KEVIN M. DOAK

Nippon Foundation Endowed Chair, Professor of Japanese Studies, and Chair of the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Georgetown University

Kevin M. Doak is Nippon Foundation Endowed Chair, Professor of Japanese Studies, and Chair of the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at Georgetown University. The winner of the first Terada Mari Japan Study Award, he specializes in the study of nationalism and democratic thought and culture in modern Japan, as well as in the literary, cultural and philosophical expressions of public thought and values. Recently, he has served as co-editor of The Journal of Japanese Studies, and on the executive board of the Society for Japanese Studies. His writings in Japanese have been prominently published in major Japanese newspapers and journals, and cited by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in his book Atarashii Kuni E (2013). Professor Doak's current research focuses on issues related to politics and religion (especially Catholicism) in modern Japan, covering jurisprudence, fiction and literary works, and theology. His most recent book is Tanaka Kōtarō and World Law: Rethinking the Natural Law Outside the West (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019). He holds a Ph.D in East Asian Languages and Civilizations from the University of Chicago.

PUBLICATIONS

  • Tanaka Kōtarō and World Law: Rethinking the Natural Law Outside the West (Palgrave Pivot, 2019)

    Tanaka Kōtarō and World Law: Rethinking the Natural Law Outside the West (Palgrave Pivot, 2019)

    "This book explores one of the 20th century’s most consequential global political thinkers and yet one of the most overlooked. Tanaka Kōtarō (1890-1974) was modern Japan’s pre-eminent legal scholar and jurist. Yet because most of his writing was in Japanese, he has been largely overlooked outside of Japan. His influence in Japan was extraordinary: the only Japanese to serve in all three branches of government, and the longest serving Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. His influence outside Japan also was extensive, from his informal diplomacy in Latin America in the prewar period to serving on the International Court of Justice in the 1960s. His stinging dissent on that court in the 1966 South-West Africa Case is often cited even today by international jurists working on human rights issues. Above and beyond these particular lines of influence, Tanaka outlined a unique critique of international law as inherently imperialistic and offered as its replacement a theory of World Law (aka “Global Law”) based on the Natural Law. What makes Tanaka’s position especially notable is that he defended the Natural Law not as a European but from his vantage point as a Japanese jurist, and he did so not from public law, but from his own expertise in private law. This work introduces Tanaka to a broader, English-reading public and hopes thereby to correct certain biases about the potential scope of ideas concerning human rights, universality of reason, law and ethics."

EVENTS

  • Globalism and Natural Law

    Globalism and Natural Law

    March 3, 2020

    The Red Lounge, Stanford Faculty Club

  • Junior Fellowship, 2019-20: Politics and Transcendence

    Junior Fellowship, 2019-20: Politics and Transcendence

    2019-20

    By application

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