Maria Thaemar C. Tana

Maria Thaemar C. Tana, PhD

Associate Professor
Graduate Program Coordinator

Dr. Maria Thaemar C. Tana is an Associate Professor of International Relations at the Department of Political Science, University of the Philippines Diliman. Her research focuses on Japanese foreign policy, Philippine foreign policy, human security, and peacebuilding. She obtained her Ph.D. at the National University of Singapore in 2019. Before joining UP, Dr. Tana was a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the Department of Japanese Studies, National University of Singapore, and a lecturer at the International Studies Department, De La Salle University, where she also obtained her master’s degree in International Studies.


  • Doctor of Philosophy in Japanese Studies, National University of Singapore, 2019
    • Modules: Graduate Research Seminar, Topics in Research Methods, NUS-IPSA Methods School – Case Study Analysis, Independent Study Module (Japanese Foreign Policy Perspectives), International Conflict and Security, Readings in Japanese Politics and Economics, Southeast Asia in the Global Economy
    • Thesis: Aid, Peace-Building, and Human Security: Japan’s Engagement in Cambodia, Iraq, South Sudan, and the Philippines (Mindanao), 1992-2017
  • Master of Arts in International Studies, De La Salle University, 2011
    • Curriculum Highlights: Contemporary Issues and Trends in International Relations, International Law, International Organizations, International Political Economy, International Security with Focus on East Asia, Theories of International Relations
    • Thesis: The Security Predicament of a New State: Philippine Policy Toward Japan, 1946-1956


  • 2024-2025 Japan Foundation-Global Japan Studies (JF-GJS) Fellowship, Institute for Advance Studies on Asia (IASA), University of Tokyo – September 2024-February 2025
  • 2023 University of the Philippines-Diliman Centennial Professorial Chair
  • 2022 University of the Philippines-Diliman Centennial Professorial Chair
  • Ph.D. Incentive Award – 2022 – University of the Philippines
  • NUS Research Scholarship (RS) – January 2015-January 2018
  • Visiting Researcher, International Studies Department, De La Salle University, Manila, Philippines – April-July 2017
  • Visiting Researcher, Institute of International Relations and Areas Studies (IIRAS), Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan – January-March 2017
  • Graduate Students’ Teaching Award, FASS, NUS – Semester 2, AY 2013-2014
  • Graduate Students’ Teaching Award, FASS, NUS – Semester 1, AY 2015-2016
  • Graduate Students’ Teaching Award, FASS, NUS – Semester 1, AY 2016-2017 (Honor Roll)

Research Areas

  • International Relations: theories of international relations, foreign policy analysis, strategic studies, geopolitics
  • Philippine External Relations: security relations, foreign policy, diplomatic history
  • Area Studies: Northeast Asia (South Korea and Japan), Japanese foreign and security policies, Japan-Southeast Asia relations
  • Qualitative Methods: case study analysis, interviews, content analysis, process-tracing


Journal Articles

Book Chapters

  • “Duterte’s Peace Legacy in Mindanao: Achievements, Challenges and Prospects.” In Hoang Thi Ha and Daljit Singh, Eds., Southeast Asian Affairs 2023, Singapore: ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, 2023. ISBN: 9789815104172 URL:
  • “Japan’s Foreign Relations with the Philippines: A Case of Evolving Japan in Asia” (co-authored with Dr. Yusuke Takagi, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies [GRIPS]). In James D. J. Brown and Jeff Kingston, Eds., Japan’s Foreign Relations in Asia, New York: Routledge, 2018. ISBN-13: 978-1138055445 / ISBN-10: 1138055441.

Other Publications

Ongoing Research Projects

  • University of the Philippines Center for Integrative and Development Studies (CIDS) – Book Editor: Interdisciplinary Development Perspectives on Public Policy (INDEPP) Book Series
  • Working Title (book) – Change and Direction: Philippines-Japan Relations in the 21st Century – Contributor: Peacebuilding in Mindanao: Japan’s Role in a Complex Conflict

Academic Conferences

  • 2024 Philippine Political Science Association (PPSA) International Conference (05/2024): Paper Presenter, “Manila’s Waltz: The Philippines’ Balancing Act Amid Evolving Alliances and Shifting Regional Security Landscape”
  • 2023 KIAS-BUFS International Conference (11/2023)
    Busan University of Foreign Studies, Busan, Republic of Korea
    Paper Presenter, “The MidStAR (Middle Power Strategic Alliance & Relations) Project: Exploring South Korea’s Partnerships and Prospects with Vietnam and the Philippines”
  • The 24th Asia-Pacific Programme for Senior Military Officers (APPSMO) (10/2023) S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore: Speaker, “The Limits of Hedging in the Indo Pacific”
  • De La Salle University Foreign Conference: Assessing the Marcos Administration’s Foreign Policy: Seeking the Balance in a Changing Indo-Pacific Region (07/2023), De La Salle University, Manila: Discussant, Panel 2: “The Philippines, ASEAN, and Japan
  • The Thirteenth Annual CSIS South East Asia Conference (07/2023) Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS), Washington, D.C., USA: Speaker, Panel 3: “Evolving Alliance Networks”
  • EU-ASEAN at 45: From Dialogue Partnership to Strategic Partnership (12/2022) \ Centre for ASEAN Regionalism Universiti Malaya (CARUM): Speaker, Session 3 – EU, ASEAN, and the Emerging Regional Order: Navigating Strategic Anxieties; Paper Presenter, “Europe’s Evolving Engagement in Asia: Prospects, Challenges, and Perceptions”
  • 35th Asia-Pacific Roundtable (APR) (07/2022) Institute of Strategic & International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia: Speaker, Session 3 – A Resurgent Europe in Asia-/ Indo-Pacific
  • 7th Biennial International e-Conference of JSA-ASEAN: “Southeast Asia and Japan: Bonds and Connections Towards 2030”: Paper Presenter, “Philippine-Japan Security Relations: Shared Interests, Challenges, and Prospects”
  • 10th Japan Association for Human Security Studies Annual Conference (11/2020) Chubu University (Online): Paper Presenter, “Changes and Continuities in Japan’s Peacebuilding in Mindanao”
  • 15th Asia Pacific Conference: “Global Perspectives in Changing Local Landscapes” (11/2017) Ritsumeikan Centre for Asia Pacific Studies (RCAPS), Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Beppu, Oita, Japan: Paper Presenter, “Aid, Peacebuilding, and Human Security: Japan’s Engagement in Cambodia, Iraq, and South Sudan”
  • Japan Foundation-De La Salle University Conference: “Japan and East Asia in the Midst of Change: Carving a Path for the Region” (09/2017) Hotel Jen, Manila, Philippines: Paper Presenter, “Japan’s Human Security Projects in Mindanao”
  • The 5th JSA-ASEAN International Conference: “ASEAN and Japanese Studies: Futures and Critical Approaches” (12/2016)
    Radisson Blu Hotel, Cebu City, Philippines: Paper Presenter, “Japanese Perspectives on Security and Cooperation”
  • 2016 Japan Foundation-De La Salle University Conference: “Tracing the Contours of a Rapidly Changing East Asia: Issues and Perspectives” (03/2016) The Bayleaf Hotel, Manila, Philippines: Paper Presenter, “The Philippines’ Post-War State-Building and the War Crimes Trials”
  • The 4th JSA-ASEAN International Conference: “State and Non-State Actors in Japan- ASEAN Relations and Beyond” (12/2014)
    The Institute of East Asian Studies, Thammasat University, Thailand: Paper Presenter, “Japan’s Human Security Policy: New Pressures, New Responses”
  • Philippine Political Science Association (PPSA) Annual International Conference: “Reimagining the Nation-State: Consensus and Conflict on Sovereignty and Autonomy” (04/2009), Family Country Hotel and Convention Centre, General Santos City: Paper Presenter, “The Foreign Policy of a New State: Philippine-Japan Relations, 1946-1956”


  • Department of Political Science, University of the Philippines-Diliman
    • Graduate Program Coordinator (2022–)
    • Member, Academic Personnel Committee (2023–)
    • Member, Graduate Program Committee (2021–)
    • Member, Research and Publication Committee (2020-2022)
    • Faculty Adviser, UP Politica, student organization for Political Science majors (2019-2020)
  • University of the Philippines – Center for Integrative and Developmental Studies (UP CIDS)
    • Co-Convenor, Strategic Studies Program (2023–2024)

Courses Taught

  • IA 202: Foreign Policy Analysis
  • IA 299: Research Methods
  • IA 290: Theories of International Relations
  • International Studies 203: The Geographical Context of International Affairs
  • International Studies 263: International Peace and Security
  • International Studies 290: Theories of International Relations
  • Political Science 183: International Organizations
  • Social Science 2: Social, Political, and Economic Thought