Institute for Advanced Social SciencesWaseda University

About us

Greeting from the Director

Director's Message

Director Ayu Washizu

Many answers are required from modern social sciences.

Social science is necessary to find global solutions to the growing problems of social inequality and discrimination. Social scientists are involved in uncovering measures urgently needed to mitigate climate change, as well as changes to adapt unavoidable climate change. Social sciences are at the front of the human response to the ever-evolving information and communication technology (ICT) that will cause digital transformation (DX) by fundamentally changing lifestyles and ways of doing business. During such large societal changes, the question “Is our society what it should be?” should be clearly answered by the social sciences.

The Institute for Advanced Social Sciences (IASS) aims to address these questions by accumulating important social science research in all fields and disseminating the results. That research is then promoted with keywords fusion at the border areas of social science (interdisciplinary), cooperation between research activities and social practice (practicality), and global orientation toward the international community (internationality).

IASS was established in March 2016 and is the newest affiliated research organization at Waseda University. Taking advantage of the institute’s youth and drive, we are now tackling the most important and fascinating issues faced by social science.

The IASS has four divisions, some of which consist of several additional project research groups.
The Division of Global Issues has project research groups devoted to four areas: exploring the formation of social science, along with philosophy, history, and ideological history in Europe since the early modern period; discussing measures to address the economic aspects of environmental problems in collaboration with related sciences; collaborating on data science in various fields on computer platforms; and empirical analysis of the mechanism behind political decision-making processes.
The Division of Social Design has five project research groups with the following foci:: practical countermeasures for various transformations in society as a whole or in a community; how the legal system can be used to eliminate social discrimination; how data can be used to support public interest while protecting personal information; and the discussion of research ethics centered on medical research and the development of educational programs.
The Division of Contemporary Japanese Studies is conducting research that reconsiders Japanese history and cultural studies from the perspective of Asia as a whole.
The Division of Integrated Social Sciences plays a role in integrating research that is likely to fall into specialized differentiation.

We will continue to contribute to society by tackling the most needed cutting-edge social science issues at any given time, including interdisciplinary, practical, and international work. We aim to create a base that can send out excellent human resources who will lead the next generation all over the world.

Associate Director's Message

Associate Director Akao Ken-Ichi

Greetings and thank you for visiting our Institute for Advanced Social Sciences website. Our institute aims to be a platform for our 98 research staff and 10 research project groups to make advancements in the social sciences and academic disciplines as well as make practical social contributions.

Our daily activities involve inviting researchers from domestic and overseas research institutes to participate in the 30 or so symposia and seminars we hold annually and making publications of the Waseda Review of Socio-Science which is an outlet for our interdisciplinary research.

In the 2 years since its establishment, in terms of academic exchanges, we have signed academic agreements with the National Taiwan University Center for Japanese Studies and Nara prefecture. While in terms of collaborative research done with local administration and enterprises, we have established 13 partnerships.  As for our research funding, since the 2017 fiscal year the amount of external funding has tripled.

So what makes the Institute for Advanced Social Sciences unique? It is the diversity of our research fields and our integration of these diverse fields together in our research. Not only do we have researchers from the traditional social sciences (such as political science, economics, business administration, law, and sociology) conducting experiments and research together.  We also have researchers in history, philosophy, cultural anthropology, literature, biology, physics, urban planning, operations research, and engineering involved as well.

In terms of research type, we cover research from the analytical and philosophical to the practical, reactive that was started in response to urgent social issues such as conflict resolution or disaster recovery.

It is the goal that our institution be a research center that continuously disseminates research results and make academic contributions to the social sciences domestically and internationally. As well as be an institution with a good research environment, where researcher can conduct their work with efficacy and plenty of support. Research in the social sciences is labor-intensive and this makes securing ample funds is just as important as securing ample research time.  We understand this and hope that we can help increase the research time for our staff members so they can have ample time to devote themselves to their research.

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