Research Outline

The purpose of this research is to analyze the dynamics of the "state collapse " that results from armed conflicts, civil wars, etc., and, through analyzing the significance of various non-state actors in this political turmoil and their cross-border networks and the resulting power vacuum, explore the causes, development process, significance and meaning for international politics. In particular, we focus on how the conflicts and civil wars behind state collapse have changed individual social bonds and relations among groups, and examine the cross-border flows of refugees and "volunteer soldiers" or insurgents.

In response to the fact that conventional failed state studies have primarily focused on domestic affairs in the relevant country and most of the literature has studied the typology of collapsed states rather than the cause of their collapse, in this study we will introduce a new viewpoint, that of the non-state actors accompanying the state collapse and their cross-border networks, and aim to create comprehensive analytical methods and methodologies that go beyond the contrast between state and non-state, one country and cross-border, and social science and area studies.

The purpose of this research is to (1) to set up target areas, which are assigned to research co-investigators and collaborators, and (2) conduct efficient collaborative research by conducting surveys of the same design with interviews, literature surveys, and public opinion surveys as the three pillars.

Regarding (1), case studies from the Middle East are by Kota Suechika (Lebanon and Syria), Dai Yamao (Iraq), and Hiroshi Matsumoto (Yemen), case studies from South Eastern Europe are by Keiichi Kubo (Balkans), and case studies from Africa are by Mitsugi Endo (Somalia).

Regarding (2), interviews and literature surveys will be conducted while making full use of the network of individuals that each co-investigator and collaborator with abundant local experience has established. With a common aim to clarify the influence of non-state actors that have emerged from conflicts and state collapse, and the sense of identity of the country's residents, we will conduct a large-scale survey in cooperation with various research institutions in each country. Data collection in countries currently in conflict has been extremely difficult so far and research that can sufficiently grasp the actual conditions of the site has not yet been conducted, but it is possible to conduct a large-scale public opinion survey from a unique viewpoint due to our accumulated close collaboration with local research institutions, which has been established by the research project's leaders and co-investigators.

As for the results of these surveys, through the implementation of a domestic research society, we will share them with research co-investigators and collaborators (organizing databases and chronology) and develop them into comparative research (theorization and generalization in area studies and social science). Also, through collaborative projects with international academic societies and overseas researchers, we will send out information and actively obtain feedback from international experts, which will be reflected in the deepening and development of our research.