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Department of Politics and International Studies

Dr Kristin Surak



Kristin Surak
Department of Politics and International Studies

Senior Lecturer in Japanese Politics

Dr Kristin Surak
Email address:
+44 (0) 20-7898-4749
SOAS, University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Russell Square: College Buildings
Office No:
Office Hours:
Term 1: Tuesdays 2-4pm, Term 2: Fridays 1-3pm


Kristin Surak is a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Japanese Politics at SOAS, University of London who specializes in international migration, nationalism, culture, and globalization.  Her book Making Tea, Making Japan: Cultural Nationalism in Practice was published by Stanford University Press in 2013, and received the Outstanding Book Award from the American Sociological Association’s Section on Asia. Her articles on ethnic categorization, nation-building, symbolic power, capitalism and ethnicity, migration policies, and guestworker schemes have appeared in several prominent academic and intellectual journals, including the European Journal of Sociology, International Migration Review, Merkur: Zeitschrift für Europäisches Denken, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Lettre International, and the New Left Review.  For her scholarship, she has been named a Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles and a Fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Science.  She has received awards and fellowships from the Japan Foundation, Fulbright-Hays Foundation, European University Institute, Frankfurt University, the University of California Board of Regents, and the Sainsbury Foundation.  Her current research compares migration regimes and temporary migrant labor programs in East Asia and across the globe.  She received a PhD in sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles.


  • Nationalism and ethnicity
  • Japanese immigration policy
  • Labor migration in East Asia
  • Guestwork programs around the world
  • Symbolic politics of nation-formation


Authored Books

Surak, Kristin (2013) Making Tea, Making Japan: Cultural Nationalism in Practice. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Book Chapters

Surak, Kristin (2012) 'Migration Industries and Developmental States in East Asia.' In: Gammeltoft-Hansen, Thomas and Nyberg Sorensen, Ninna, (eds.), The Migration Industry and the Commercialization of International Migration. London: Routledge, pp. 89-110.

Surak, Kristin (2011) 'Making Tea Japanese.' In: Cox, Rupert and Brumann, Christoph, (eds.), Making Japanese Heritage. London: Routledge, pp. 21-30.


Surak, Kristin (2013) 'Guestworker Regimes: A Taxonomy.' The New Left Review (84). pp. 84-102.

Surak, Kristin (2013) 'Die Gastarbeiter.' Merkur: Zeitschrift für europäisches Denken (9/10). pp. 1024-1035.

Surak, Kristin (2012) 'Nation-Work: A Praxeology of Making and Maintaining Nations.' European Journal of Sociology, 53 (2). pp. 171-204.

Surak, Kristin (2012) 'Die Ethniztätsindustrie.' Lettre International (97). pp. 114-118.

Surak, Kristin (2011) 'From Selling Tea to Selling Japaneseness: Symbolic Power and the Nationalization of Cultural Practices.' European Journal of Sociology, 52 (2). pp. 175-208.

Surak, Kristin (2010) 'The Business of Belonging.' The New Left Review (63). pp. 151-159.

Surak, Kristin (2010) 'Family Reunification in Europe and East Asia.' EUI Review (4). pp. 17-18.

Surak, Kristin (2008) 'Convergence in Foreigners' Rights and Citizenship Policy? A Look at Japan.' International Migration Review, 42 (3). pp. 550-575.

Surak, Kristin (2007) '"Ethnic Practices" in Translation: Tea in Japan and the US.' Ethnic and Racial Studies, 29 (5). pp. 828-855.

Book Reviews

Surak, Kristin (2011) 'Review of "Japanese Women, Class, and the Tea Ceremony: The Voices of Tea Practitioners in Northern Japan".' Pacific Affairs, 84 (3). pp. 580-581.

Surak, Kristin (2010) 'Review of "Diaspora Without Homeland: Being Korean in Japan".' Pacific Affairs, 83 (4). pp. 797-798.

This list was generated on Sat Feb 28 00:33:25 2015 GMT.