Japan Society for the Promotion of Science
New Research Initiatives in Humanities and Social Sciences
Domain II - (1)@Advanced Studies for Building Peace

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***Project Overview***

This project, Human Security Studies, is one of the core projects of Research Domain II-(1): Advanced Studies for Building Peace sponsored by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Project for the Promotion of Social Sciences and Humanities. Related core research projects include "Comparative Genocide Studies" and "Rethinking of American Studies in Japan in a Global Age" and the three groups will cooperate in their activities. For details, please refer to the JSPS website. Also, the Human Security Studies is also one of the projects under the "Japan Consortium for Area Studies". For more information, click here to enter their website.

**Project Aims
By Hidemitsu Kuroki, Project Leader (Professor, Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies)

To deter political violence at all levels-national, ethnic, religious, and individual-and to create a solid framework of security to prevent the destruction of humanity is a task demanding the utmost urgency from scholars in the social sciences and humanities.

After the Cold War, strife among ethnic groups and religious denominations worldwide has become more acute, breaking out in a profusion of regional conflicts. Political violence has also grown more varied and intense. Feelings of restlessness and urgency have increased, and discourse concerning the "clash of civilizations" is being politically manipulated and widely disseminated. At the same time, it seems that we are growing further away from a rational and objective analysis of individual clashes and their causes.

It was the United Nations Development Programme which had newly proposed the term "human security" in 1994. This concept was epochal in its regard for security at the level of individuals as opposed to the idea of "national security" often referred to in the past. The concept of human security has triggered development in a variety of realms since then, so much so that it has come to be used not only within the United Nations but adopted as a keyword by research institutions in Japan as well. The concept has stimulated a reconsideration of ways in which to support development, brought to light problems concerning humanitarian aid and medical care, and now plays an integral role in the discourse on human rights.

However, we cannot but admit that much is still to be desired in modern research. We still lack research which studies, within its own local sociocultural context, the dynamism of conflict and coexistence in a given area over a certain time period, thus allowing us to analyze and understand events, as they occur, from the perspective of regional understanding. There remains a large discrepancy between the power-game discourse of international politics and the intentions of governmental organisations and NGOs working locally in emergency conditions.

This project aims ultimately not only to remedy this fault but to propose a new academic framework for human security, which is of utmost importance for humanity in the 21st century. We will conduct our research as a four-dimentional-including the axis of time-mobile structure of multidisciplinary area studies freely adaptable to the issues at hand.

This project will involve researchers from a variety of backgrounds, including the humanities, the social sciences, as well as the natural sciences. It is hoped that these scholars, who may otherwise have been content to limit their studies within the the narrow confines of their disciplines and regional expertise, may come together to integrate and broaden their views across these boundaries. We hope at the same time to make possible ideas and policies deeply rooted in regional understanding and based on a variety of experiences and knowledge.

In a contemporary society which continues to move towards globalism, conflicts arising in one part of the world are quick to affect remote areas. Events far removed from us geographically immediately begin to have an effect on life around us. In the same way, events occurring on our very doorstep may affect areas we had never dreamed of. We must therefore extend our discussion of human security to include an unbounded spatial construct encompassing individual human beings and their physical bodies, as well as living environments, nations, continents, and the entire earth.

We aim to involve the audio-visual media in our project to heighten a social awareness of human security, in the hopes that all people may understand the concept as directly relevant in their own daily lives.

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**Membership List:

Human Security Studies consists of the following 25 members:

  • Abe Ken'ichi (Associate Professor, Center for Integrated Area Studies(CIAS), Kyoto University)
  • Iijima Midori (Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, Rikkyo University)
  • Iizuka Masato (Associate Professor, Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies)
  • Isaka Riho (Associate Professor, The University of Tokyo Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)
  • Ishii Masako (Associate Professor, Global Collaboration Center, Osaka University)
  • Iwashita Akihiro (Professor, Slavic Research Center, Hokkaido University )
  • Usuki Akira (Professor, Faculty of Humanities, Japan Women's University)
  • Uyama Tomohiko (Associate Professor, Slavic Research Center, Hokkaido University)
  • Obiya Chika (Associate Professor, Center for Integrated Area Studies(CIAS), Kyoto University)
  • Kurimoto Eisei (Professor, Graduate School of Human Sciences, Osaka University)
  • Kuroki Hidemitsu (Professor, Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies)
  • Kurosaki Takashi (Professor, The Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University)
  • Kono Yasuyuki (Professor, Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University)
  • Kobayashi Makoto (Professor, Faculty of International College of Arts and Sciences, Yokohama City University)
  • Sakai Keiko (Professor, Graduate School of Area and Culture Studies, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies)
  • Sahara Tetsuya (Associate Professor, School of Political Science and Economics, Meiji University)
  • Tokoro Ikuya (Associate Professor, Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies)
  • Tosa Hiroyuki (Professor, Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies, Kobe University)
  • Nagahara Yoko (Associate Professor, Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies)
  • Majima Ichiro (Associate Professor, Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies)
  • Matsunaga Yasuyuki (Visiting Fellow, Center for Interdisciplinary Study of Monotheistic Religions, Doshisha University)
  • Matsubayashi Kozo (Professor, Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University)
  • Yamagishi Tomoko (Associate Professor, School of Political Science and Economics, Meiji University)
  • Yamane So (Associate Professor, Faculty of Foreign Studies, Osaka University of Foreign Studies)

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**Related Projects

The affiliated projects, Comparative Genocide Studies(CGS) and Rethinking of American Studies in Japan in a Global Agea(ReAS) are currently in operation.

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