Institute of Social Science The University of Tokyo

the University of Tokyo



Institute-wide Joint Research Project

What is the “Institute-wide Joint Research Project”

The ISS staff jointly determine themes for institute-wide research project and carry out interdisciplinary research by combining expertise in law, politics, economics and sociology, and collaborating with other researchers outside of the Institute, at home and abroad. After several years of study, the outcomes will be published.

Institute-wide Joint Research Project in 2021-2024

Methodology of Social Sciences -How to Measure Phenomena and Values-

A new institute-wide joint research project, "Methodology of Social Sciences: How to Measure Phenomena and Values," was established in 2021 by the Institute of Social Science, the University of Tokyo. The goal of the project is to reexamine the evolution of social science research, paying particular attention to recent methodological innovations offered by "Artificial Intelligence" and "Big Data".

The project explores how different social science disciplines have studied societal phenomena and how they have conceptualized and measured concepts-in-common, such as subjective values and preferences. The purpose of doing so is to visualize diverse values, understand social circumstances, and examine the misuse and political use of "measuring".

This institute-wide joint research project consists of four pillars: Social Sciences of Measurement; COVID-19 and the Social Sciences; Methods of Jurisprudence; Philosophy of Social Science. Each pillar will work in concert on themes of common interest and will collaborate in the production of research publications. Moreover, we will collaborate with researchers from other departments within the University of Tokyo, including natural sciences, to explore new academic possibilities for the fusion of social and natural sciences. The planned project period is 4 years.

As the Institute of Social Science celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2021, this project aims to reexamine the very methods used to re-envision social science that is suitable to the 21st century.

Institute-wide Joint Research Project in 2016-2019

Social Sciences of Crisis Thinking

Social Sciences of Crisis Thinking represents a new scholarly discipline whose aim is to investigate the mechanisms of and responses to various crises that arise in society from a social sciences perspective. Launched in 2016, it is a four-year, institute-wide project carried out by the entire Institute of Social Sciences of the University of Tokyo. The official designation of this project is "Social Science on Crisis Thinking."

Institute-wide Joint Research Project in 2010-2013

Reconsidering Governance

In our research project "Reconsidering Governance," researchers from various academic fields re-examine the concept of governance through studying empirical cases of corporate governance, social security systems, and local governance.

By comprehensively examining the concept from various perspectives, we aim to highlight the different connotations attached to the same concept, as well as the shared concerns by various governance studies and the complementarities among them. We also pay special attention to the question of why to focus on governance.

Institute-wide Joint Research Projects in 2005-2008

Comparative Regionalism Project(CREP)

This study aims at identifying unique as well as common features of East Asian regionalism by comparing it with those in Europe (EU) and in the Americas (NAFTA and Mercosur): common comparative parameters are set in legal and institutional aspects, political forces and economic dynamics.
Notably, the present study compares not only the role of national governments in fostering regionalism but also the role of other non-state actors including local governments, private firms and civic organisations.
The final goal of this study is to present a draft Charter of East Asian Community, which may contribute to the institutionalization of East Asian regionalism in the near future. Annual conferences and monthly seminars have been held for the study since 2005. On-going research results are being published on the ISS web under the title of CREP (Comparative Regionalism Project).

Social Sciences of Hope

The traditional social science had a premise that each individual cherishes some kind of hope and acts to realize it. However, the prerequisite that every one has some hope may not always stand up in contemporary Japanese society.
This study aims at the experimental research in hopology which treats hope a product and a driving force of society on the assumption that the shape of each individual’s hope is influenced by social environment, and the individual’s hope makes an impact on social trends on the contrary.
Specifically, we are planning to analyze data collected by nationwide social surveys, to realize a comprehensive survey for Kamaishi city in Iwate Prefecture who shared the same fate with iron and steel industry that had experienced a rise and decline, and to execute an international comparative investigation on the social position of hope.