Message from the Representative Researcher (Research Group A02)

Under this research project, research efforts will be compiled toward a grand goal of organizing an integrated science that takes relationships and hierarchies into clear consideration regarding Political/Economic Regional Integration . Due to the global recession, mutual interference among the activities of multi-lateral agents (political actors, ethnic groups, civil society, enterprises, etc.) has become the normal state of affairs. Inevitably, the necessary line of reasoning here must be how relationships with different people whose values and reasoning differ from those of one's own group should be structured peaceably. For example, when nations, peoples, or enterprises aim to maximize their own profits, there will inevitably be repercussions in the form of negative feedback if they push their own interests ahead of others' and taking action to prevent that could be considered an enlightened way of self-organizing in the 21st century. Entities still exist, however, who do not think that way. For example, doubts immediately arise about the validity of codes of conduct that give consideration (tolerance) to others when the "others" being dealt with are themselves intolerant. No answer to that has yet come forth, but as researchers, we must make an attempt first to sort out the real phenomena, though they are bewildering, occurring in various regions of the world. After that, it will be necessary to generalize the conditions these observations reveal somewhat and consider the complicated state of relations occurring where heterogeneous peoples come into contact with each other and its consequences, and whether it would be possible to improve these relations. Further, from a broader perspective, it is thought that an academic framework will probably be needed that instantly relativizes and captures the concepts of national sovereignty and democratic politics created in the process of Western modernization and captures squarely all the various kinds of distinctiveness that arise in the combined form of the phenomena of politics and economics, as well as ethnicity and religion. With this kind of awareness of the big issues we intend to produce bold, straightforward research results on politico-economic regional integration.

Hikari Ishido, Representative, Research Group A02

Ishido Photo