Henry C.W. Laurence

Associate Professor of Government and Asian Studies

Teaching this semester

GOV 2405. British Politics and Society

Comprehensive overview of modern British politics in historical, social and cultural context.Considers the historical formation of the United Kingdom and the development of the modern democratic state, but focuses on political developments after 1945. Analyzes party politics, the Welfare State, Thatcherism, and the contemporary political scene. Explores policy issues including healthcare, education, economic policy, and the role of the media.

GOV 3420. Governments Morals and Markets: Topics in Comparative Public Policy

Studies the relationship between governments and markets in policy areas such as health care, social welfare, education, media and the environment. Explores the moral and political dimensions of policy questions such as: What should or should not be for sale (e.g. drugs, healthcare, votes, pornography etc.) What justifies regulation of commercial activities? Under what circumstances, if any, should benefits such as flood insurance or tax relief for mortgages be provided with public funds? Should the government protect people from the consequences of their own choices? Cross-national case studies from the United Kingdom, USA, Japan and Europe.

Teaching next semester

ASNS 2320/GOV 2450. Japanese Politics and Society

Comprehensive overview of modern Japanese politics in historical, social, and cultural context. Analyzes the electoral dominance of the Liberal Democratic Party, the nature of democratic politics, and the rise and fall of the economy. Other topics include the status of women and ethnic minorities, education, war guilt, nationalism, and the role of the media.

ASNS 2321/GOV 2446. Global Media and Politics

Examines the interconnections between media, politics and society in cross-national perspective. Explores national differences in issues such as free speech policy; privacy rights; censorship and self-censorship; news production and consumption; and the role of public broadcasters such as the BBC and NHK. Also considers the role of pop culture in shaping national identities and creating diplomatic "soft power." Cases drawn primarily but not exclusively from the UK, Japan and the USA.

Henry Laurence is an associate professor of Government at Bowdoin College, Maine, U.S.A. where he has also served as director of the Asian Studies Program. He received a Ph.D. in Political Science from Harvard University and a BA from Oriel College, Oxford University. In 2007-2008 he was a Research Associate at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford University and a Senior Associate Member of the Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies at St. Antony's College, Oxford. He has also been affiliated with the Institute for Social Sciences at the University of Tokyo, and the U.S.-Japan Relations Program at Harvard University.

Dr. Laurence's current research is on media and politics in Britain, Japan, and the USA. He is working on a political history of public broadcasters including the BBC, NHK, PBS and NPR. He serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of the International Journal of Digital Television and is the author of Money Rules: the New Politics of Finance in Britain and Japan (Cornell University Press 2001).


  • M.A. and Ph.D., Harvard University ; Cambridge, MA, 1996
  • B.A., Oriel College, Oxford; Oxford, UK, 1985

PDF Curriculum Vitae

Publications and Media Appearances

Selected Syllabi

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