Michael Donnelly

Michael Wade Donnelly

Professor Emeritus of Political Science, University of Toronto
Dr. David Chu Professor Emeritus of Asia Pacific Studies, University of Toronto




Professor Donnelly received his BS from the School of General Studies of Columbia University.  He continued his studies at Columbia in the Department of Public Law and Government as a Fellow of the Faculty of the Graduate School of Arts and Science. He undertook four years of dissertation research in Tokyo as a Foreign Area Fellow of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) and as a Research Fellow at the Institute of Developing Economies. He was awarded an MA and PHD in Political Science at Columbia as well as a Certificate from the East Asian Institute.

After a short period on the staff of SSRC, he began his teaching career at the University of Toronto.  His publications cover a wide range of academic topics, many concerning the political economy of contemporary Japan: Japanese politics, agricultural policy, elections, political corruption, nuclear power development, Japanese trade and foreign policy, Canada-Japan relations and Japan-American relations.  He has been a visiting researcher at Tsukuba University and the Institute of Developing Economies and visiting professor at four Japanese universities: Keio University, Meiji University, Japan Women’s University and Kwansei Gakuin University.

His research has been supported by the University of Toronto, the Japan Foundation, the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science, Meiji University, the Yoshida Foundation, the Asia Pacific Foundation, the Social Science and Humanities Research Council and Columbia University among other academic institutions and agencies. For many years he was involved in the organization of national academic studies of Japan and appointed to a number of government advisory committees.

He served as Director of the Joint University of Toronto and York University Center for Asia Pacific Studies. Later, he became Associate Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science of the University of Toronto including responsibilities in the areas of social sciences, international studies and advancement. As Associate Dean he helped establish what has become the Munk School of Global Affairs. He also took the lead in founding the Asian Institute and an undergraduate program in Asia Pacific Studies.

Professor Donnelly is the recipient of an Outstanding Teaching Award from the Faculty of Arts and Science. He was the founding Director of the Asian Institute and first holder of an endowed professorship, the David Chu Professorship of Asia Pacific Studies. In 2014 the Government of Japan conferred on Professor Donnelly the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon, for his contributions to teaching, scholarship, academic program development, and cultural exchanges linking Canada and Japan. He is currently studying Japanese literature while doing preliminary research on the political economy of contemporary Tokyo.


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