Report from the 2018 Junior Researchers Meeting

Final Report from the 2018 Junior Researchers Meeting

 A report meeting was held for junior researchers at Waseda University on February 3rd-4th, 2018, in Scientific Research on Innovative Areas on Relational Studies on Global Crises (, in Japanese). A total of 20 researchers participated, some of whom had been selected after responding to our open call for participants and others who had responded to our open call for this research meeting. They presented reports on diverse, interesting topics, such as political systems, social movements, regional conflicts, conflicts and the media, land governance, the International Criminal Court, the dynamic properties of norm in international legal regimes, epistemic communities, Islamic finance, migrants, refugees, governance and conflicts by non-state actors, regional economic integration, and trade in conflict minerals in the global supply chain.

 Overall, much of the research was ambitious and worth hearing about, attempting to take on new phenomena or other matters that had never before been the subject of research, using new methodologies and theoretical frameworks. The actions of the next generation of researchers in international relations were also impressive. During the lively discussion that exceeded the boundaries of generation and specialty, many different points were raised, from educational comments related to academic protocol in defining concepts, posing research questions and structuring presentations, to debates on the most advanced methodology and the advisability of presupposing established international relations theory.

 In the midst of this, many points of debate were brought up regarding development of Relational Studies on Global Crises. For example, abundant implications were noted to arise when analyzing knowledge based on fieldwork using area research methods from the points of view of different disciplines or specialties, such as international politics, comparative government, international economics, and local research in other regions. In addition, a major focus of discussion was on what sorts of analytical angles and theoretical framework theses would be possible when trying to relativize, as units in international relations analysis, sovereign nations who are directly facing various problems such as the rise of non-state actors and cross-border human mobility, shortcomings and weaknesses in national governance, and the existence of unrecognized nations. Furthermore, regarding how to grasp and visualize the complicated relationships that are evolving globally-an extremely important task of this research-new methodologies were suggested using big data. This led to deeper discussion of the possibility of complimentary relations or joint work involving big data and area research approaches.

 Nurturing junior researchers was the principal objective of this meeting, but impassioned comments were flying from the debaters and the floor, as was natural given the importance of the various topics being discussed. As an overall comment borrowing the word "distinctiveness" that was touched upon in the research reports, while respecting the distinctiveness of the junior researchers' respective research areas and research styles, this meeting provided seeds for specific research and presented many vantage points regarding the future fusion and refinement of this field as a new area in academic research.

Reporters responsible for content: Hikari Ishido and Ayame Suzuki

Gallery:The 2018 Junior Researchers Meeting (2/4)

Related groups : General Affairs Unit