Message from the Dean

Graduate School of Policy Science
Hiroyuki MORI

Ritsumeikan University’s Graduate School of Policy Science (GSPS) was established in 1997 with a view to develop students’ essential research skills to correctly understand the policy issues that we face in today’s society, to work out for optimal solutions, and to upgrade their practical competence.

Policy science is a discipline that explores solutions to various policy issues that affect us while pursuing the innovation of social science itself. Through policy science study, the GSPS aims to train both new types of researchers with practical skills and competent policy practitioners.

Policy Science is a new academic field based on existing scientific knowledge with its own theoretical system. Policy science requires the ability to precisely understand various policy issues. In doing so, appropriate policies to solve such issues must be developed. Since each of the policy issues has various social and natural aspects, research achievements in a wide range of academic fields such as political science, economics, law, business administration, urban planning and environmental engineering must be served for studies in policy science. In this sense, policy science has a characteristic of being an integrated science, which requires interdisciplinary research, encompassing many different academic disciplines. In this increasingly complex world, the importance of the study in these fields are growing. With this comprehensive nature, we will widen and deepen each of the specialized fields that will ultimately contribute to the development of the existing academic field itself.

As a research institution to study the solutions to policy issues, the GSPS places special emphasis on the interaction with real society. To be specific, we have opened research sites called “Regional Co-Creation Centers” in local public bodies in several regions and other social institutions where graduate students are given opportunities to observe, as part of their research, administrative personnel implementing policies firsthand. We are going to register the achievements of the field research in our “Policy Base” database on a case-by-case basis and make such data globally available. In this way, researchers and graduate students of the GSPS can contribute to the enhancement of this database through their research activities.

The GSPS also offers a project-style joint research program, which was conceived in consideration of the integrated nature of policy issues, the object of policy science research. This program is called “Research Project” in the Master’s Program and “Research Seminar” in the Doctoral Program. Under these programs, several faculty members conduct research activities jointly with graduate students and offer research guidance to them.

Another feature of our graduate school is its internationality. Many international students from around the world are studying at the GSPS. The GSPS offers programs in both English and Japanese, and through the classes, events, etc. students are actively engaged in international exchanges. It also provides our socio-cultural diverse students a valuable opportunity to explore new fields of study by broadening each other’s horizons.

By carrying out policy science research by making the most of these opportunities unique to the GSPS, we hope to train high-caliber personnel capable of finding optimal solutions to all social issues.