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Vision 150: Waseda University’s Educational and Research Strengths -Part 6- Empirical Analyses of Political Economy

Aiming to become a world-leading center for positive political economy research

 

Positive/Empirical political economy and corporations

Positive Political Economy International Network

Since the beginning of the 21st century, political scientists and economists at Waseda University’s School of Political Science and Economics and the related graduate schools have been working together with the aim of uniting political science and economics from a global perspective. As part of these efforts, we have established the Center for Global Political Economy at Waseda University based on the 21st Century COE and Global COE programs launched by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT,).  In addition, having received a MEXT Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (S) and four Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (A), we have been able to nurture young researchers with the ability to compete on the world stage. The results of this have been the creation of a “political economy experiment” and the development of the world’s first nationwide opinion poll (CASI survey) using a laptop computer, as well as the continued implementation of internationally high-level public opinion polls and experimental polls.

Next, we plan to create a learning environment where students can learn from leading international professors. We have also constructed a unique database of Japanese corporate governance and finance with the work of the university’s School of Commerce, and School of Finance, Accounting and Law, as well as Waseda Institute for Advanced Study (WIAS) at its core. This consists firstly of a database of the ownership and fiscal structure of Japan’s major corporations over the course of 100 years, and secondly of a comprehensive database of all Japan’s listed companies since the 1980s. Using these databases, we have published positive and/or empirical analyses internally and externally.

We are also participating in the development of the Corporate Governance Evaluation System (CGES) together with Nikkei Inc., and, building on our existing work, we will be expanding the scope of our database to cover Europe, America, and Asia, and developing a unified format for analysis.

Implementing political economy and business education in a global environment and from a global perspective

The recently constructed political economy lab in building 3

At Waseda University’s Faculty of Political Science and Economics, Faculty of Commerce, and WIAS, we have created a center of learning for students from around the world by implementing a system where bachelor and master’s degrees, as well as Ph.D. programs, can be completed entirely in English. Furthermore, at our WIAS, we have implemented a dynamic faculty resources policy, introducing open international recruitment and a tenure track system—firsts for the university.

In order to nurture future cutting-edge political economy researchers, we are working together with Princeton University, Johns Hopkins University, the University of California, Tilburg University (Netherlands), and London University’s LSE. Furthermore, in order to nurture researchers who will carry out positive and/or empirical analyses of corporate governance and corporate activity, we are cooperating with research institutions worldwide, including Oxford University’s Said Business School, France’s School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS), University of British Columbia, and Free University of Berlin.

At the same time, WIAS has become a hub within the university: researchers connected to the Faculty of Political Science and Economics as well as the Faculty of Commerce have gathered there to start a project that aims to clarify the characteristics and features of Japan’s corporate governance structure through comparison with those of Asian and European countries. In the future, we plan to collaborate with researchers working in positive and/or empirical corporate analysis from the abovementioned institutions, as well as from institutions across Asia including Seoul National University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Nankai University, and Chulalongkom University, in order to build shared data and advance analytical work using common methods.

Creating a cutting-edge center for both education and research

In the short-term, we will be developing a more dynamic visiting professorship system, while in the long-term, we will be establishing joint appointment agreements with top-class universities from around the world. By doing these, we will be able to develop human resources who will carry out world-leading political economy research, help implement global governance, and carry the torch for corporate economics. In terms of research, in order to realize institution building and policymaking in line with the needs of citizens worldwide, we will be developing world-leading public opinion polls (CASI surveys) and so forth. By further evolving the political economy experiments that form the basis for these, we will aim to become an international center for political economy research and education. As for positive corporate analysis, we will be expanding the subject of our analysis from corporate governance and finance to include corporate structure and strategy development, as well as accounting behavior, aiming to also become a worldwide center in all of these fields.

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