Alexander Bukh

Dr Alexander Bukh profile picture

Senior Lecturer School of History, Philosophy, Political Science & International Relations


Teaching in 2019

Research interests

Japan's foreign policy and domestic politics, Russia's foreign policy and politics, territorial disputes in Northeast Asia


  • BL (Seinan Gakuin)
  • LLM (Tokyo)
  • PhD (LSE)


Alexander is a Senior Lecturer in International Relations. Alexander was born in Moscow, grew up in Israel and spent over 20 years living in Asia (mainly Japan but also Thailand and Korea) before moving to New Zealand in 2012. Prior to his current appointment at Victoria University, he was an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Tsukuba University, Japan.

Research interests

Alexander published numerous articles and book chapters on Japan's national identity and foreign policy. His first monograph examined the role of Russia in Japan's identity and foreign policy. Alexander's current research focuses on territorial disputes in Northeast Asia. This project seeks to explore the role of civil society groups engaged in territorial dispute related activism in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan in shaping their respective state's foreign policies. Alexander is also interested in the notion of soft power and currently is in the process of developing another research project that will examine Japan's and Russia's soft power strategies in Southeast Asia.

Thesis supervision

I am interested in supervising graduate research at both the Masters and Doctoral level in the following broad areas:

  • National identity and foreign policy in Northeast Asia
  • Japan's international relations
  • South Korea's international relations
  • Russia's international relations
  • Territorial disputes in Asia.

Recent publications

  • This Island is Ours: Defending Dokdo/Retrieving Takeshima, documentary film that focuses on territorial disputes related activism in Japan and Korea (co-director and producer), Seoul: Contented Production,2016, 52 minutes
  • Russia's Image and Soft Power Resources in Southeast Asia: Perceptions among Young Elites in Laos, Thailand and Vietnam,"Contemporary Southeast Asia: A Journal of International & Strategic Affairs, December 2016, 38(3), 445-475
  • "Korean National Identity, Civic Activism and the Dokdo/Takeshima Territorial Dispute,"Journal of Asian Security and International Affairs, August 2016, 3(2), 183-199
  • “Shimane Prefecture, Tokyo and the Territorial Dispute over Dokdo/Takeshima: Regional and National Identities in Japan”,Pacific Review, January 2015, 28(1), 47-70
  • “Revisiting Japan’s Cultural Diplomacy: A Critique of the Agent-Level Approach to Japan’s Soft Power”, Asian Perspective, August 2014, 38, 461-485.
  • 'Japan’s National Identity, Territorial Disputes and Sub-State Actors: Northern Territories/South Kuriles and Takeshima/Dokdo Compared', UNISCI Discussion Papers, May 2013, 32, 171-186
  • 'Constructing Japan’s "Northern Territories": Domestic Actors, Interests and the Symbolism of the Disputed Islands', International Relations of Asia-Pacific, August 2012, 12(3), 483-509
  • 'Russian Perceptions of Japan and China in the Aftermath of the Bolshevik Revolution: A Comparative Case Study of Boris Pil’niak’s Travelogue', Journal of Borderlands Studies, September 2012, 26(3), 345-355
  • 'Reception of the Revisionist Historical Manga in Japan', Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, September 2012, 1-16
  • Yaponia: Nazionalnaya identichnost’ i Vneshnya Politika: Rossiya kak Drugoe Yaponii (Japan’s Identity and Foreign Policy: Russia as Japan’s 'Other' in Russian), Moscow: Novoye Literaturnoye Obozrenie, 280 pp November 2012 
  • 'National Identity and Race in Post-Revolutionary Russia: Pil’niak’s Travelogues from Japan and China' in Demel and Kowner eds, Race and Racism in Modern East Asia: Western and Eastern Constructions, Leiden: Brill Modern East Asia in Global Historical Perspective series, 2012, pp.177-198


Teaching in 2019