What you’ll consider in this area
In the 21st century, the regions and countries of the world face various problems. Pandemics of infectious diseases such as SARS, new forms of influenza, and the novel coronavirus threatening our lives and livelihoods, while the rise of China and other emerging economies is changing the distribution of global and regional wealth and power. In addition, while globalization is driving worldwide economic integration, disparities between countries and regions and widening. Such issues are new problems that we in the modern world should tackle, but at the same time, they are old problems that have accompanied us throughout human history, as becomes clear from Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel. In this area, you will investigate the causes of these old, yet new problems being faced by humanity and be taught viewpoints and methods for exploring solutions.
What you can learn in this area
To shed light on and resolve the issues faced by countries and regions, it is necessary to unravel the various contributory factors and reconcile the complex network of interests involved. Accordingly, we cannot investigate the root causes or propose effective solutions using a single methodology. In this area, we primarily use the four approaches of politics, economics, history, and regions to take on the challenges posed by complex modern issues. Knowledge of politics and economics—including political systems, international relations, and the degree of progress in development and the economy—is essential when considering the reality of such issues. Moreover, as the same issue might appear in different ways depending on the region, it is crucial to understand the features of each region in order to analyze that issue. It is also vital to position the changes taking place today in the context of the broader span of history, identifying their features and considering solutions from a macroscopic viewpoint. We expect you to acquire these perspectives through your studies in this area.
Features of this area
The distinctive feature of this area is that its objective is not only to teach you methodologies from the fields of political science, economics, history, and area studies, but also to get you to shape your own ways of thinking based on those methodologies. In political science and international relations classes, you will consider what political activity as a human behavior actually is, based on your reading of relevant literature and analysis of real-life cases. In economics classes, you will not only learn economic theory, but also use data-based analysis to learn how to approach various issues relating to real-life economic activity and development. In history classes, you will learn through reading texts about regional and global history and by actually looking at historical artifacts, thereby cultivating the willingness to think historically and viewpoints for doing so. In area studies classes, you will identify the features of various regions by comparing them with each other and acquire the perspectives required to think about issues on the ground.