The 35th Masayoshi Ohira Memorial Prizes

“Federalism and the Separation of Powers: Waiver Authority and the Growth of Presidential Power in the United States”(Tokyo University Press, 2018)

Hana Umekawa(Department of Political Science, Faculty of Law, Komazawa University)

 I am both greatly honored and very excited to be a winner of the Masayoshi Ohira Memorial Prize. I deeply appreciate the recognition of the Masayoshi Ohira Memorial Foundation, the Board of Directors, and the Selection Committee. I would especially like to thank my advisor Fumiaki Kubo for guiding and supporting me over the years, the University of Tokyo Press for publishing Federalism and the Separation of Powers: Waiver Authority and the Growth of Presidential Power in the United States and everyone who has supported this book.  This book investigates the historical development of federalism and the separation of powers in the United States. Previous studies tend to regard these mechanisms as being independent of each other. However, we can see that state governments have participated in conflicts between the President and the Congress in recent years. When presidents (from Reagan to Obama) face serious opposition from the Congress, they often work with state governments to change federal policy. This book reveals how presidents in cooperation with state governments have acquired and developed a new way to change federal policy without relying on the Congress and its new legislation.  This book focuses on “waiver authority”. Originally, it allowed the Executive Branch to provide states with an avenue to challenge new approaches in welfare, health care, and education that differ from what is required by federal statute. It provides states considerable flexibility in how they operate their programs, beyond what is available under current law. However, this book shows that presidents have used waiver authority as a means to directly intervene and, thus, bypass the Congress and change federal policy.  The Masayoshi Ohira Memorial Prize both encourages and motivates me to work on the next phase of my research. Thank you all very much.

1984: Born in Fukui, Japan 2008: B. A. in Liberal Arts, University of Tokyo, Japan 2010: M. A. in Political Science, University of Tokyo 2016: Ph. D in Political Science, University of Tokyo 2013-2014: Fox International Fellow, MacMillan Center for International & Area Studies, Yale University 2014-2015: Exchange Scholar, Department of Political Science, Yale University 2015-2016: Research Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science(PD) 2016-present: Lecturer (Full-time, Tenured), Faculty of Law, Komazawa University


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