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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien

Chris Winkler

Head of Social Science Section
Japanese Studies, Political Science
Since December 2010
(Senior Research Fellows, December 1, 2010 - August 31, 2015)

Chris Winkler received his PhD degree from the Department of East Asian Studies at the University of Munich in 2009. His doctoral research was about “Constitutional Reform as a Symbol for Postwar Conservatism”. Following a stint as visiting researcher at Chuo University’s Faculty of Policy Studies, he joined the German Institute for Japanese Studies (DIJ) in December 2010. At the institute, his main research interest is related to how political parties have historically dealt with the topic of happiness.

DIJ Projects

Completed DIJ Projects

Happiness in Japan: Continuities and Discontinuities

How to make voters happy? The promise of happiness by Japan’s political parties between continuities and discontinuities

Selected Publications


[With: Klein, Axel; Winkler, Chris] Analyse politischer Systeme: Japan. DIJ Publications. Schwalbach: Wochenschau Verlag. 208 p.


[With: Tiefenbach, Tim] Contemporary Japan 26, No. 1. Contemporary Japan. Berlin and New York: de Gruyter. 169 p.


Between Pork and People: An Analysis of the Policy Balance in the LDP’s Election Platforms
In: Journal of East Asian Studies. 14:3. pp. 405-428.
Right Rising? Ideology and the 2012 House of Representatives Election
In: Reed, Steven R.; Pekkanen, Robert; Scheiner, Ethan (Ed.) Japan Decides. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 197-215.
Neue Führer – alte Politik? Die Präsidentenwahlen von DPJ und LDP und ihre Auswirkungen auf Japans Politik (New Leaders - Old politics? The leadership elections of DPJ and LDP and their implications for Japanese politics)
In: Perspective - FES Tokyo.
The evolution of the conservative mainstream in Japan
In: Japan Forum. 24:1. pp. 51-73.
Consistent Conservatism in Changing Times: An analysis of Japanese conservative intellectuals' thought
In: Social Science Japan Journal 2011. (Winter 2012) 15 (1). pp. 93-110.
Die Unterhauswahl 2009: Als der Wandel nach Japan kam!? (The Lower House election 2009: When change came to Japan!?)
In: Chiavacci, David; Wieczorek, Iris (Ed.) Japan 2009: Politik, Wirtschaft, Gesellschaft. Vereinigung für sozialwissenschaftliche Japanforschung. pp. 47-62.
Der G-20 Gipfel von Pittsburgh: Die Japanische Perspektive (The G20 Summit of Pittsburgh: The Japanese Perspective)
In: Wahlers, Gerhard (Ed.) Erwartungen an den G20-Gipfel in Pittsburgh. Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung. pp. 43-44.
Die Japanische Innenpolitik 2007/2008 und Japans Parteien (Japanese domestic politics in the years 2007/08 and Japan's political parties)
In: Pohl, Manfred; Wieczorek, Iris (Ed.) Japan 2008: Politik, Wirtschaft, Gesellschaft. Vereinigung für sozialwissenschaftliche Japanforschung. pp. 27-42.
In: Katō, Shūichi; et al. (Ed.) 法学館憲法研究所双書:憲法9条・新鮮感覚. Kadensha. pp. 95-98.
Die japanische Videospielindustrie (The Japanese Videogame Industry)
In: Walke, Anja; Moerke, Andreas (Ed.) Japans Zukunftsindustrien. DIJ Publications. Berlin, Heidelberg, New York: Springer Verlag. pp. 225-248.
In: 北海道大学留学生センター (Ed.) 日本語日本文化研修コース研究レポート2004年8月版. pp. 45-58.
The Japanese Videogame Industry – An Overview
In: Waldenberger, Franz (Ed.) Japan Analysen Prognosen (No. 187).

Academic Awards


July 1, 2015
A comparative perspective on Japan’s ‘turn to the right’. Japanese Studies Association of Australia Conference 2015, LaTrobe University.

June 23, 2015
Partnership, Profit or Peril? Changing Depictions of China in the LDP’s Election Platforms. AAS-in-Asia Conference 2015, Academia Sinica.

May 17, 2015
世界の中の日本の政党 ―政党公約コーディングによる国際比較. Japanese Association of Electoral Studies Conference 2015, Kumamoto.

July 18, 2014
Getting the Right Drift: Japanese Elites’ Move to the Right: Fact or Fiction?. AAS-in-Asia Conference 2014, National University of Singapore.

August 21, 2014
The Promise of a Happy Family between Materialism and Modernity: An Analysis of Japanese Party Manifesto. 13th Conference of the International Society for Utilitarian Studies, Yokohama National University.

August 8, 2014
The Promise of a Happy Family in the LDP’s election platforms 1956 through 2013. European Association of Japanese Studies (EAJS) International Conference 2014, University of Ljubljana.

July 29, 2014 - July 30, 2014
Major Political parties’ promise of happiness between materialism and post-materialism – Observations from cross-country manifesto analysis. Improving the people’s lot? Different conceptions of well-being between promises and reality.

July 29, 2014 - July 30, 2014

February 6, 2014 - February 7, 2014

February 19, 2014
Blast from the Past? A Closer Look at the Rise of Japan’s Political Right. , Temple University Japan Campus.

February 6, 2014 - February 7, 2014
Who is Right on the Right? The Zaitokukai and the “Old” Right. Hate Speech and Japanese-Korean Relations: Ideology, Implications and Origins.

November 13, 2013
Der Geist steht Rechts? Rechtsruck in Japan zwischen Realität und Fiktion. , Deutsche Gesellschaft für Natur- und Völkerkunde Asiens (OAG). Tokyo..

November 1, 2013
日独比較で観た選挙とメディア. Symposium Politics and Elections in the Digital Media Age – The Present State of Democracy in Japan, Science Council of Japan.

June 30, 2013
Making Voters Happy? LDP’s election platforms between clientelism and post-materialism. Asian Studies Japan Conference 2013, Oberlin University, Tokyo.

May 19, 2013
国際比較・時系列比較可能な政策コーディング法とその応用. , Kyoto University, Kyoto.

August 29, 2012
Wähler im Glück? Das „Glück der Wähler“ in den Wahlprogrammen von Japans LDP (Happy voters? „Voters’ Happiness“ in the LDP’s election platforms). 15th German Japanese Studies Conference, Zurich, Switzerland.

March 30, 2012
3.11 and the Politics Behind Nuclear Energy. Presentation to visiting students from Copenhagen University, DIJ Tokyo.

April 14, 2011
Constitutional Reform as a Symbol for Postwar Conservatism. Conference: Is the Japanese Constitution Suitable for the 21st Century?, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

November 21, 2011 - November 22, 2011
How to make voters happy? An analysis of political parties’ promise of happiness made in election manifestos. Happiness – Does Culture Matter?.

November 21, 2011 - November 22, 2011

Curriculum Vitae

Since December 2010
Senior Research Fellow at the German Institute for Japanese Studies, Tokyo

Research into intellectual conservatism in postwar Japan as visiting researcher at the Chuo University’s Faculty of Policy Studies

2006 – 2009
Doctoral course at the University of Munich’s Department of East Asian Studies with a major in Japanese Studies and a minor in Political Science. Topic of the doctoral dissertation: “Constitutional Reform as a Symbol for Postwar Conservatism”. From 2007 until 2009 visiting research fellow at the Graduate School of Law, Keio University in Tokyo as a recipient of a MEXT post-graduate scholarship

2000 – 2006
M.A. course majoring in Japanese Studies with minors Political Science and Chinese Studies (both minors) at the University of Munich. One-year language training at the University of Hokkaido funded by MEXT

Born in Munich, Germany