Dr. Andrew Levidis is a historian of modern Japan with a primary research interest in 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 miltiarism through the life and career of Kishi Nobusuke (1896-1987). 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, Kishi’s emphasis on bureaucratic preeminence in the affairs of state, role as one of the architects of Japan’s mobilization state, ties to military officers of the control faction, and the neglected continuities between Japan’s prewar and postwar rightwing. In addition, it highlights Kishi’s role in the wartime prliamentary politics, and how his 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 situates Japanese wartime policies toward China, the outbreak of the China incident in 1937, and Japan’s relations with the great powers in the era of the Prince Konoe Fumimaro (1891-1945) and Baron Hiranuma Kiichirō (1867-1952) cabinets, squarely in the context of divisions within elite conservatism and army factional politics. Specifically the project will investigate changes in the military control system in the 1920s and 1930s, the role of China experts in the Japanese Army, 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.
Modern Japanese History, Political and Diplomatic History, Military History from the nineteenth century, History of Civil-Military Relations in Prewar Japan, Historical rise of Japanese Conservatism, Japanese Right Wing in the Taishō and Shōwa periods, and the origins of the Cold War in East Asia.