Graduate School of Public ManagementWaseda University

About the School

From the Dean

Graduate School of Public Management
Dean:Takahiko Tanaka


Welcome to the website of the Graduate School of Political Science at Waseda University.

My name is Takahiko Tanaka. I became the dean of the graduate school in September 2018.

Is there no limit to the tumult and decline in Japanese society and the international community? Many years have passed by with many coming to feel this sense of hopelessness. Both domestic society and the international community are now rampant with political and diplomatic leaders who brazenly take stances of pursuing selfish gains, placing the needs of only their immediate communities first. What ill effects will the omnipresence of such attitudes have on the global community? They do not think seriously about such issues. This tide of selfishness and self-righteousness appears to be becoming entrenched around the world.

Finding a way of turning this tide may be the most pressing problem that the international community—including society here in Japan—now faces. After all, the single-minded pursuit of self-interest in the international community gives rise to hard-to-heal rifts, such as inequality and nationalistic clashes, which risk triggering destructive, earthshaking changes to the world order.

Furthermore, it is an undeniable fact that there has been a striking spread of moral hazard among the organizations and individuals that are tasked with carrying out work on behalf of the public. There are countless examples not only in Japan but also in the broader international community of official documents being altered and of political leaders and other wielders of power distorting, falsifying, and attempting to rewrite truth itself.

What appears to have been lost from the public realm of politics today is a sensitivity toward the idea of public value. What is this public value, which must never be taken lightly in a democracy? And what must individuals and organizations do to protect this value? It appears that there has never been a time when it has been as crucial as it is now to continue pressing sincerely for the answers to these questions.

Even if all individuals and countries strive only to capture the greatest benefit for themselves—without thinking about how they can preserve and improve the larger structures of which they are parts—the “invisible hand” will act to maintain harmony: It is already clear that this outdated way of thinking is not sound. Today, the international community is more interdependent and complex. In such a world, actions and thinking indifferent to the public benefit and value of all society will backfire and plunge the global community into existential crisis.

The Major in Public Management will provide you a place where you can gain the academic knowledge required to generate public value and to seek out the ways that you can best put that knowledge into practice. To that end, we have arranged collaborations between experts in advanced theories and practitioners with real-world accomplishments. Here, under their guidance, students will strive together with, and learn from, one another to achieve their academic goals. The faculty will work to foster this beneficial interaction among students and, along with them, will search for paths toward putting what they have learned into practice in the field.

The “intellectual and practical collaborative body” that is the Major in Public Management of Waseda University’s Graduate School of Political Science is becoming all the more significant precisely because of the era of tumult in which we find ourselves. Won’t you bring your passion and study with us to help sustain a fair and democratic global community?

GraduateSchool of Public Management
Associate Dean: Haruko Noguchi

It has been over a decade since the April 2003 establishment of the Waseda University Graduate School of Public Management, which was Japan’s post-graduate institution for fostering public-policy professionals. Looking at the Graduate School of Public Management through the lens of the more than 135-year history of Waseda University—founded in 1882—the graduate school may be a new organization. And yet, it almost goes without saying that the school is built on the foundation of Waseda University’s history and tradition of study in the areas of political science and economics.

 Public management consists of analysis of its target subject of issues affecting the modern world. This analysis uses a diverse range of academic disciplines, including the study of political science, public administration, economics, public finance, public law, management, sociology, and data science. At the same time, public management is a theme of academic pursuit which must never turn its gaze from human social and economic behavior and the actual society that is the totality of that collective behavior. Its true calling is to serve as a bridge between the acts of theorizing and verification and the work of actual practice. To meet these requirements, the Graduate School of Public Management’s faculty includes both researchers who stand at the forefront of the field academically and practitioners with mastery of public administration based on real-world experience.

   Assembled at the Graduate School of Public Management are those who seek to involve themselves in public administration from various standpoints—as national and local public servants and politicians, businesspeople, activists working at non-governmental/non-profit organizations, thinktank researchers, and consultants—as well as those who are already active at the leading edges of these fields of service and aim to gain new knowledge and mastery and to even better prepare themselves to face new challenges. Perhaps the most appealing aspects of the Graduate School of Public Management are the dynamism that gives rise to this diversity of perspectives and the opening of new horizons of possibility.

 In the art of haiku, there is the concept of the seemingly opposing ideals of “immutability and fluidity.” To us, immutability means that there is a “verity,” or truth, that remains the same even as the times change; fluidity refers to the rules that shift along with the times. As conditions in Japan and around the world change at a dizzying pace, what is needed today is to study the unchanging truth while discerning the rules that are ever in flux based on the era and the environment and then to foster the ability to solve the problems and issues that real-world society faces. Immutability and fluidity are thus not to be thought of as separate things in mutual opposition.

 The Waseda University Graduate School of Public Management thus offers a research environment that allows students to learn the methods and procedures for applying theory and verification to real-world society through the systematic study of the academic disciplines needed to achieve the goal outlined above, as well as through training in field studies, case studies, the analysis of real data, and other methodologies. We can hardly wait for all of you with strong wills and desires regarding public affairs to come join us in helping to improve the social and economic environment that encompasses us all.

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