Mission and Origins of the Program
Human Security is a new concept focusing our attention on the development of a more humane global society for the 21st century. As such, it requires diverse perspectives and approaches, not only derived from the fields of international relations and the social sciences but also afforded by the natural sciences, area studies, and the humanities. To create a conductive academic environment for such endeavors, the University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, with the close cooperation of its five multi-diciplinary departments, launched the Graduate Program on Human Security(HSP) in April 2004. The HSP is a unique graduate program that bridges the humanities and the sciences. It is designed to nurture “human assets” which will make innovative contributions to our global society.
The Program owes much to the time-tested reputation in research and education of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Moreover, in order to encourage a wide-range of talented individuals to join the program, including those who have been unable to study at the graduate level under existing constraints, this program has been devised to be more flexible in its entrance and completion requirements. The Graduate Program on Human Security welcomes active participation of highly qualified individuals seeking careers in the field of Human Security, as well as those who already have expertise and experience in related areas.
Characteristics of the Program
- The Graduate Program on Human Security offers the Master’s and Doctoral courses on the basis of close coordination among five existing departments in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (Language and Information Sciences, Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies, Area Studies, Advanced Social and International Studies, and Multi-Disciplinary Sciences).
- The Graduate Program on Human Security offers M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Human Security Studies to those who complete the program.
- The Program conducts its own entrance examination.
- Unlike the five existing academic departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, as well as the School of Law and the Graduate School of Public Policy, both of which aim to train experts working for specific organizations, this Program purports to nurture highly qualified individuals who will make significant contributions in diverse areas of international affairs and global society.
- The Program emphasizes intensive instruction in small classes. Around 16 students for the Master’s course and about 4 students for the Doctoral course are accepted each year.
- The Program is open to those(a few each year) who would continue their employment while pursuing academic activities.
Organization of the Program
The Graduate Program on Human Security, with its unique interdisciplinary structure, tackles the emerging problems of the increasingly globalized contemporary world. Five departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences constitute the basis for its research and education on the Komaba Campus. Students of this program belong to one of these five departments, thereby securing a foothold from which to grapple with new issues in Human Security. A brief description of each department follows below.
- Language and Information Sciences : Language forms the essential foundation of human communication and mutual understanding, and it is also one of the most basic of human activities. This department has been studying the “ecology of languages” historically, socially, and culturally from multiple perspectives, including linguistics, literature, semiotics, and information sciences.
- Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies : Faculty members of this department, with diverse backgrounds in cultural anthropology, cultural representation, comparative literature and culture, work in collaborative fashion to offer effective approaches to global cultural developments transcending national and socio-cultural borders.
- Area Studies : Various “areas” across the globe and diverse phenomena occurring in them are the subjects of this department. The department has been studying “areas” at various levels of their formation, structuring, and operation by organically linking interdisciplinary methods, including philosophy, literature, history, cultural anthropology, political science, and economics.
- Advanced Social and International Studies : The aim of this department is to generate an interdisciplinary and comprehensive social science. It has two branches. International Relations studies the global society from three perspectives of international politics, international law, and international economics, while Advanced Social Sciences applies the fundamentals of social sciences, including political science, laws, economics and sociology, to analyzing modern social phenomena.
- Multi-Disciplinary Sciences : Aiming to build an integrated science able to meet the needs of the 21st century, this department brings together three fields: Life Sciences, to understand life dynamics at all levels, from the molecular to the human; Basic Science, to gain an integrated grasp of the nature in both specialized and general scientific terms; and General Systems Studies, to thoroughly examine natural and social systems from cross-disciplinary perspectives.