HANSSEN Ulv(Lecturer)


Specialized field International relations in East Asia, particularly Japan-North Korea relations; Japanese security policy; Japanese national identity; North Korean politics and society; discourse analysis.
Classes Special lectures 1 (Border studies); Special lectures 3 (Law and politics in Japan); Special studies in general education 1 (North Korean politics and society); GLP English A
Research theme International relations, security policy, identity politics, othering, the abduction issue, discourse analysis.

Application for coverage


2011: M.A. in Asian and African studies at the University of Oslo.
2011-2012: Trainee and political affairs officer at the Norwegian Embassy in Tokyo.
2012-2013: Trainee and research assistant at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs.
2017: Ph.D. in Japanese studies at the Graduate School of East Asia Studies, Freie Universität Berlin.
2017: Research fellow at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs.
2017-2018: Research fellow at the European Institute of Japanese Studies.
2018-: Lecturer at Soka University.

Research details

I explore how postwar Japanese identity is constructed in relation to various other countries, and how this identity, in turn, has effects on Japanese security policy. I am also interested in the apparent decline of pacifism/anti-militarism in Japan since the end of the Cold War. Finally, I analyze how North Korea’s abductions of Japanese citizens have influenced the national security debate in Japan. 

Major papers / writings

Hagström, Linus and Ulv Hanssen (2016) ‘War is peace: the rearticulation of “peace” in Japan’s China discourse’, Review of International Studies42 (2): 266 – 286.
Hagström, Linus and Ulv Hanssen (2015) ‘The North Korean abduction issue: emotions, securitisation and the reconstruction of Japanese identity from “aggressor” to “victim” and from “pacifist” to “normal”’, The Pacific Review 28 (1): 71 – 93.

Affiliated association

Associated research fellow at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs.


My advice to the students is to try to broaden your field of interest as much as possible. Being interested in a topic makes it much easier to learn. So the bigger your field of interest, the greater the potential for learning. One important step on the way to learning is, therefore, identifying how the topic can be of interest to you. How can you link it to topics you are already interested in? Once you have found that connection, learning becomes much easier and more fun. Stay curious!