Our faculty’s entrance exams, education, and research have not been able to escape the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19), and this has caused considerable inconvenience for everyone. In all likelihood, we may face various restrictions for another year or two. Members of the faculty will continue to do our utmost to ensure that the quality of our education and research is not compromised. We are grateful for your understanding and cooperation.
We have no choice but to confront the many serious problems facing society going forward. The emergence of the COVID-19 can be traced back to the changing relationship between humans and nature, and climate change is also a problem that forces us to re-examine the relationship between the two. Japan has been experiencing more disasters such as the flooding of rivers and landslides, while the rest of the world is also suffering from huge impacts such as the increase in the number of starving people. As for society, the widening economic and social disparities that have continued since the 1980s have contributed to the rise of populism and the weakening of liberal democracy around the world. Despite the fact that infectious diseases and climate change are both problems that cannot be addressed without sustained international cooperation, politicians and business leaders who promote short-term, inward-looking optimization continue to be in power. Problems such as racial discrimination and sexism also remain unresolved, deepening divisions in society.
There is no doubt that the pandemic we are currently experiencing will not lead to our society going back to its previous state, and we are now faced with the question of how we will envision and restructure society after the COVID-19 situation ends. It is certain that such an envisioning will require collaboration on an intellectual level so we can fundamentally reexamine where the problems were before in our social institutions and norms. How can studying political science and economics contribute to that search?
To this day, our faculty has produced many alumni who play leading roles in such collaborative searches, but we are working to further improve the educational and research environment so we can send more people out into society who have the ability to be global leaders. Based on our ideals of education consisting of “Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) ,” the School of Political Science and Economics offers interactive, small-group studies each year in the form of basic seminars, academic literacy seminars, pre-seminars, specialized seminars, etc. before guidance on the graduation thesis, with Public Philosophy, Introduction to Political Analysis, Introduction to Microeconomics, Introduction to Macroeconomics, and Statistics compulsory in all departments. We also restructured our curriculum to offer most subjects in a hybrid format of both Japanese and English. These changes have already paid off, with students gaining the ability to have a deeper understanding of political and economic developments from a broad perspective, discover problems in institutions and norms, and to take the lead in improving such problems. Our faculty will continue to improve the environment both in hard and soft terms, but I believe the most important is for students and faculty members to gain inspiration and power from each other, inherit an open-hearted culture of continuous study, and to develop this further.
Even as society likely goes through drastic change in the future, our faculty will not lose sight of the fundamental question: “What is fair and sustainable social cooperation that spans across generations?” I would like to foster the ability to respond to the various challenges that global society faces.
We would appreciate your continued understanding and support.
Senior Dean, Faculty of Political Science and Economics
Dean, School of Political Science and Economics