Global Studies

Message from the Director

Picture of Dr. MIZUNO

It is no exaggeration to say that the world is now in the midst of chaos. The disappearance of the Cold War structure in the 1990s has brought about various changes all over the world. Advances in science and technology such as the internet have spurred the emergence of an advanced information society, and the phenomenon of globalization has led to the expansion and deepening of mutual exchanges that transcend racial, ethnic, religious, and national borders. At the same time, however, the reality is that conflicts and frictions due to differences in race, ethnicity, religion, political and social systems, and economic factors have repeatedly occurred all over the world. Globalization has brought the benefits of economic development to many countries and regions, but it has also caused problems such as the extreme maldistribution of wealth. As a result, nor can we overlook the rise of anti-globalism and the changing dynamics of international relations. The emergence of AI and the evolution of digital technologies are bringing about drastic changes in the very fabric of human society.

In these circumstances, humanity may be questioned about how we should live as individuals and as a group. While it is a part of human nature for people to seek their own happiness and prosperity, it is also not right for us to focus solely on the pursuit of self-interest. As Shibusawa Eiichi has said, “As a member of society and a citizen of a nation, every person must be prepared to take ownership of his or her country and homeland.” I believe we are required to think and act with the awareness that we are a member of society and a nation, and a member of the global community.

This program offers courses on multinational and interregional relations, the functions and roles of international organizations and institutions, and various global issues, beginning with the history, culture, society, politics, and economy of various countries and regions. We aim to nurture highly capable individuals with the ability to think and act based on interdisciplinary knowledge, who can contribute not only to their own countries but to human society at large.

Dr. Norihito MIZUNO,
Director of the Global Studies Program / Professor


Feature 1: Cultivate logical thinking, cultural sensitivity, and analytical skills based on extensive background knowledge

Logical thinking and creative ingenuity based on a wide range of background knowledge are indispensable in surviving this era of globalization. The GS program invites students to enroll in diverse courses on the history, culture, society, politics, and economy of various countries and regions, as well as in classes of multinational and multi-regional relations, the functions and roles of international institutions and organizations, and global phenomena and issues. Students will strive to accumulate and deepen their knowledge and refine flexible thinking and analytical skills without being confined to conventional ideas and values through active participation in learning activities.

Feature 2: Global Society, Political Science and International Relations, and Sustainability Studies Clusters

The GS program includes the Global Society, Political Science and International Relations, and Sustainability Studiesand Economics Clusters. Students take courses from the clusters according to their interests, formulate their research theme in the capstone seminar, and, as a final output, submit a research paper (graduation thesis).

Global Society Cluster

Amid globalization, humanity faces diverse issues such as poverty, disparity, migration, discrimination, and human rights, as well as frictions caused by differences in religion, ideology, and culture. This cluster covers a wide range of issues spanning from the problems in local communities to matters on a national, regional, and global scale.

Political Science and International Relations Cluster

Students will take various courses spanning multiple fields such as political science, geography, history, and international relations in this cluster. They will learn about the laws, political systems, international institutions, and roles of institutions in Japan and countries in East Asia, Southeast Asia, North America, Europe, and other countries. International relations, such as Japan-U.S. relations and Japan-China relations, as well as regional and global security issues, will also be discussed.

Sustainability Studies Cluster

Globalization and advances in science and technology have helped many countries and regions achieve economic development in this post-Cold War world. On the other hand, various environmental and resource-related issues are requiring urgent attention. As seen in the adoption of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, by the United Nations in 2015, we must now take concrete actions toward sustainable development. In this cluster, students study the major issues that humanity faces, such as the construction of a sustainable environment, economy, and community, and attempt to find the ideal form of society for humankind from multiple perspectives.

Feature 3: Capstone Seminar

Under the guidance of supervising faculty members, students select themes for their graduation thesis according to their area of interest.

Example of Themes
  • Regional Promotion and Inbound Tourism in Akita
  • The Rise of China and the Japan-U.S. Security System
  • Comparison of Multiculturalism in the United States and Canada
  • Comparison of National Laws regarding Citizenship and Naturalization
  • Comparison of Social Acceptance of Foreign Workers in Japan and Taiwan
  • Restrictions on Expression and Freedom of Speech in the Media
  • Acceptance of Korean Pop Culture in Japan
  • Government and Non-Government Perspectives in International Environmental Policies
  • Resilience in Sustainable Cities