Yoshihiro Francis Fukuyama (born October 27, 1952)
is an American political scientist, political economist, and author. Fukuyama is known for his book The End of History and the Last Man (1992), which argued that the worldwide spread of liberal democracies and free market capitalism of the West and its lifestyle may signal the end point of humanity's sociocultural evolution and become the final form of human government. However, his subsequent book Trust: Social Virtues and Creation of Prosperity (1995) modified his earlier position to acknowledge that culture cannot be cleanly separated from economics. Fukuyama is also associated with the rise of theneoconservative movement,from which he has since distanced himself.
Fukuyama has been a Senior Fellow at the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law at Stanford University since July 2010. Before that, he served as a professor and director of the International Development program at the School of Advanced International Studies of the Johns Hopkins University. Previously, he was Omer L. and Nancy Hirst Professor of Public Policy at the School of Public Policy at George Mason University
Francis Fukuyama was born in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago. His paternal grandfather fled the Russo-Japanese War in 1905 and started a shop on the west coast before being interned in the Second World War. His father, Yoshio Fukuyama, a second-generation Japanese-American, was trained as a minister in the Congregational Church, received a doctorate in sociology from theUniversity of Chicago, and taught religious studies. His mother, Toshiko Kawata Fukuyama, was born in Kyoto, Japan, and was the daughter of Shiro Kawata, founder of the Economics Department of Kyoto University and first president of Osaka City University.Francis grew up in Manhattan as an only child, had little contact with Japanese culture, and did not learn Japanese. His family moved to State College, Pennsylvania in 1967.
Fukuyama received his Bachelor of Arts degree in classics from Cornell University, where he studied political philosophy under Allan Bloom. He initially pursued graduate studies in comparative literature at Yale University, going to Paris for six months to study under Roland Barthes and Jacques Derrida, but became disillusioned and switched topolitical science at Harvard University. There, he studied with Samuel P. Huntington and Harvey Mansfield, among others. He earned his Ph.D. in political science at Harvard for his thesis on Soviet threats to intervene in the Middle East. In 1979, he joined the global policy think tank RAND Corporation.
Fukuyama has been affiliated with the Telluride Association since his undergraduate years at Cornell, an education enterprise that was home to other significant leaders and intellectuals, including Steven Weinberg, Paul Wolfowitz and Kathleen Sullivan.
Fukuyama was the Omer L. and Nancy Hirst Professor of Public Policy in the School of Public Policy at George Mason University from 1996 to 2000. Until July 10, 2010, he was theBernard L. Schwartz Professor of International Political Economy and Director of the International Development Program at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University in Washington, D.C. He is now Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow and resident in the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University.