Commonwealth Journal

A Production of WUMB and the University of Massachusetts Boston

Faculty & Staff

photo of Paul Watanabe

Paul Watanabe, PhD

  • Host, Commonwealth Journal Director of the Institute for Asian American Studies; Associate Professor of Political Science, College of Liberal Arts
  • Telephone: 617.287.5652
  • Office Location: Healey Library,10,0007C

Areas of Expertise

American foreign policy, American political behavior, ethnic group politics, and Asian Americans


PhD, Political Science, Harvard University

Additional Information

Paul Watanabe is currently the director of the Institute for Asian American Studies and associate professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He is a nationally recognized scholar. His principal research and teaching interests are in the areas of political behavior, public policy, ethnic group politics, Asian Americans, and American foreign policy. Watanabe is also passionate about political, cultural, and socioeconomic implications of the nation's growing diversity, shaped largely by immigration.

In addition to being a vital member of the UMass Boston faculty for the past 33 years, Watanabe demonstrates a deep, personal commitment to civic engagement. He serves four prestigious, nonprofit organizations as:

  • a member of the U.S. Census Advisory Committee on the Asian Population
  • president of the Board of Directors of the Nisei Student Relocation Commemorative Fund which awards scholarships
  • a member of the Committee on the Status of Asian Americans of the American Political Science Association
  • a member of the Board of Directors of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts

Watanabe is the author of Ethnic Groups, Congress, and American Foreign Policy and principal author of A Dream Deferred: Changing Demographics, New Opportunities, and Challenges for Boston. His scholarly articles have appeared in:

  • Amerasia Journal
  • Asian American Law Journal
  • Asian American Policy Review
  • Business in the Contemporary World
  • New England Journal of Public Policy
  • Political Psychology
  • PS: Political Science and Politics
  • Public Perspective
  • Western New England Law Review
  • World Today

National and local television, radio, newspapers, and newsmagazines regularly seek his commentary and analysis on voting behavior, elections, American foreign policy, the invisibility of Asian Americans and the immigration debate. Watanabe is of Japanese-American decent and received his PhD in political science from Harvard University. He is one of the hosts of Commonwealth Journal. He is also a facilitator for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI).

1 Brown Bag:
What’s Going On? Making Sense of the Presidential Race