Director of the Institute for Research in Contemporary Political and Economic Affairs
The Waseda University Institute for Research in Contemporary Political and Economic Affairs was established in 1978 with the aims of pursuing interdisciplinary research and analysis of contemporary issues, and making policy proposals concerning people in all strata of society. As a research institute affiliated with the Faculty of Political Science and Economics, the Institute does not merely support and promote the research activities of the Faculty; it also serves as one of Waseda University’s key political and economic research institutions in its own right. Though primarily engaged in research on political and economic affairs, the Institute also carries on the University’s long tradition of involvement in journalism and mass communications. Indeed, analysis of and research into issues of contemporary mass communications and journalism from the standpoint of politics and economics have been objectives of the Institute since its inception.
In recent years, the Institute has broadened the scope of its activities. It is strengthening ties with other institutes to conduct joint research on the environment and energy, contribute to building the new field of Sustainability Science, pursue integrated EU studies, gather materials (including magazines, newspapers, and opinion polls) concerning the postwar period, and engage in systematic studies of postwar history.
The Institute is currently pursuing 23 research projects (with 11 research committees funded by the Institute and 12 receiving funding from outsidesources; two others involve special committees). All of them revolve around full-time faculty members from the Faculty of Political Science and Economics, as well as specially appointed researchers and cooperating researchers selected from a wide range of sources both inside and outside Waseda University.
Each research project entails study groups, seminars, public lectures, and symposia hosted by the Institute, and every effort is made to open these events to participants from inside and outside the University. Those wishing to participate are encouraged to contact the Institute to determine their eligibility. The projects also produce a plethora of results in the forms of working papers, research notes, and research series that researchers are welcome to make use of.
In addition, the Institute for Research in Contemporary Political and Economic Affairs offers an abundance of study resources, including Japanese and overseas academic journals and other sources of information on political and economic affairs, journalism and mass communications-related materials and opinion poll results, and newspapers from around the globe. The Institute is also home to an official, European Union-designated European Info (EUi) center that makes materials and data on the EU available directly from the source. All are welcome to make use of these resources.
More than 30 years after its establishment, this Institute continues to pursue new challenges, with the goal of becoming a central nexus of research on political and economic affairs not only for Waseda University but for Japan as a whole.