Director of Waseda Institute of political Economy (WINPEC)
Waseda Institute of Political Economy (WINPEC) 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 WINPEC affiliated with the Faculty of Political Science and Economics, we do not merely support and promote the research activities of the Faculty; it also serves as “one of hubs” for social science research with a focus on political science and economics, in Waseda University as a whole. WINPEC also carries on the University’s long tradition of involvement in journalism and mass communications and we have also focused on analyzing the contemporary issues in the media from the perspective of political science and economics.
In recent years, we have been conducting research that looks at “the present” and “the past” of the society of human being, with the aim of establishing a “future”-oriented sustainability studies, in collaboration with other research institutions inside and outside of Japan. As for the “present”, we are working on important issues that require a fusion of humanities and science as well as an interdisciplinary perspective, such as markets and democracy, social networks and social capital, environment and energy, medicine, development, education and human resources. With regard to the “past,” we have been developing a new historical research scheme from a global history perspective, based on traditional historical research such as the collection and analysis of a vast amount of post-war historical materials such as the Plunge Collection. For the further development and depth of its research, WINPEC is currently undergoing drastic reforms to contribute to the building of worldwide research networks within and outside of the university, the training of young researchers, and the improvement of their research capabilities.
The research activities of WINPEC have been mainly based on research projects sponsored by the full-time faculty of the Faculty of Political Science and Economics. To date, we have been involved in major projects, such as the MEXT Global COE Project “Political Economy of Institution Construction” (2008-2013), which aimed to create a new political economy with the participation of full-time faculty and graduate students, MEXT*-Supported Program for the Strategic Research Foundation at Private Universities “Center for Positive Political Economy (CPPE)” (2014-2019), and we are currently conducting various educational and research activities, by collaborating mutually with Super Global University (SGU) “Positive/Empirical Analysis of Political Economy Waseda Goes Global: A Plan to Build a Worldwide Academic Network that is Open, Dynamic and Diverse” (2016-).
WINPEC regularly organizes research seminars in fields like Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Empirical/Positive Political Science, Empirical Microeconomics, public lectures, symposia and workshops. Every effort is made to open these events to participants from inside and outside the University. Those wishing to participate are encouraged to contact us to determine their eligibility. The projects also produce a plethora of results in the forms of WINPEC working papers, research notes, and research series that researchers are welcome to make use of. In addition, WINPEC 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 40 years after its establishment, WINPEC 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. In collaboration with the Super Global University (SGU) “Positive/Empirical Analysis of Political Economy”, we would like to take on various research activities more than ever before, both in terms of basic research in political science and economics, and in terms of applied research that generates scientific evidence contributing to the real world.
September 21, 2020