The Top Global University Project aims to enhance the international competitiveness of higher education in Japan. At the beginning of this academic year, Waseda University launched the Global Asia Research Center, the newest addition to the existing six education and research model units which receive priority funding from the Project.
Creating new knowledge towards reconciliation and sustainable development
Interests toward Asia have been increasing due to the growing ASEAN markets, North Korea, and the Japan, China and Korea-related political issues. The Global Asia Research Center was established to disseminate the results of interdisciplinary scholarship on reconciliation and sustainable development from Asia to the world. Since its founding in 1882, Waseda University has welcomed many students from Asia and has recognized world history and social problems as crucial issues to address. Following the University’s traditions, this Center offers global academic knowledge from Asia’s point of view.
The Center pursues research through the dual perspective of global history and global governance, integrating three spheres of knowledge: peace and security, economics and development, and society and culture. They include studies in history, international relations, conflict resolution, developmental economics, media studies, and so on. The target of research is not limited to the Asian region, and more importantly, the goal of the Center is to create new knowledge and globally disseminate significant scholarly findings from Asia.
Global history and global governance are already well-established fields of study, but they have not yet developed a distinctively East Asian perspective. For example, in issues related to post-war reconciliation, research on conflict resolution has been carried out based on preceding examples from Europe and the United States. However, a critical reexamination of war responsibility and colonialism which are unique to East Asian history are necessary. Furthermore, Waseda University has been conducting high-quality research on Asia, but its results were only disseminated within Japan and neighboring countries. This Center brings together scholars from Waseda and in and outside of the Asian region to globally disseminate important scholarly research. Moreover, it also undertakes the development of academia to lead conflict resolution of various problems in Asia, as well as the development of Asia leaders who will contribute to addressing such problems.
Because the fields of study taking place are diverse, many scholars across various disciplines are affiliated with the Center. While pursuing research in their own specialized fields, the goal of the Center at the moment is to bring these researchers together for building an academic and interdisciplinary network to discuss the current state and future of the world. In addition, the Center intends to hold monthly gathering and weekly lunch meetings to form basic grounds for collaborative research, and it will be dedicated to building a framework for research dissemination to globally offer policy suggestions in the future.
Although many students may not have a bright outlook toward the future in a time of turmoil in international affairs, the Global Asia Research Center hopes to offer new and creative solutions for conflicts by fully leveraging the University’s environment where anyone can freely participate in discussion as it is located at Waseda University, an institution that has traditionally played crucial roles in connecting Asia with the rest of the world, in the country of Japan, which has great responsibility as an Asian nation.