Message from Dean
College of International Relations
May I extend a warm welcome from the Ritsumeikan University College of International Relations.
Today, we live in a truly globalized society. Every day sees huge numbers of people and goods moving around the world. The internet and social media, together with online collaboration tools, have accelerated the shift to borderless information and communication. The world seems closer to us every day. Yet there are still so many issues and challenges to be addressed. These include disputes over land and resources, human rights and refugee issues, environmental challenges such as global warming and ocean pollution, poverty and economic disparity, and more recently a heightened awareness of infectious disease. Such issues are both global and international in nature, and therefore require cooperation and coordination between countries and international organizations.
The causes are often very complex, which means the solutions often require analysis of a broad range of factors. It is for this reason that modern-day social science studies encompass a range of traditional academic disciplines such as politics, law, economics and sociology. Yet even though the world may seem closer than ever before, it is also more complex and diverse. The continents of Asia, Africa, America and Europe, not to mention Oceania and the many small island countries of the world, are home to a wide variety of different cultures, customs, languages and religions. It is vital that we respect all these different traditions and value systems. An ability to communicate in English and other languages is the key to learning about different cultures and sharing information and ideas with others.
In order to tackle the complex issues of the modern world, we need to equip our young people with not just academic knowledge but also an understanding and appreciation of regional differences in the world, as well as advanced language skills.
At Ritsumeikan University College of International Relations, we ensure that our graduates have the skills to excel on the global stage, for identifying and analyzing international issues and working together with others to create meaningful solutions. The College provides a comprehensive educational offering that is delivered by outstanding educators and comprises three core pillars: theory, which includes a choice of majors in a wide range of international relations fields; regional variation, which examines local characteristics around the world; and language skills, which covers practical everyday English skills as well as bureaucratic expressions commonly used at the United Nations. These three pillars underpin the unique educational philosophy of the College.
Established in 1988, during the Cold War between the East and the West, the Ritsumeikan University College of International Relations has been at the forefront of international relations studies in Japan. 2011 saw the addition of a new Global Studies Major taught in English, to complement the existing International Studies Major taught in Japanese. The American University-Ritsumeikan University Joint Degree Program was introduced in 2018. The joint degree program begins with one and a half years of study in Kyoto, followed by two years in Washington D.C. and then a final six months back in Kyoto. This program gives Japanese students the chance to interact with and be motivated by a diverse range of international students from around the world, all in the timeless birthplace of Japanese culture that is the modern city of Kyoto.
Though the College has only been in operation for a little over 30 years, we have already produced more than 8,000 successful graduates. Many of them have gone on to make impressive contributions in Japan and around the world in a range of fields, working in the private sector, in the public service, at international organizations, and at research institutes and NPOs. The College is committed to supporting students as they strive to hone their skills and abilities on the global stage.
I trust that this website helps you to discover more about the Ritsumeikan University College of International Relations.
Publications by the The International Studies Association of Ritsumeikan University
Ritsumeikan Kokusai Kenkyu / The Ritsumeikan Journal of International Studies
Kokusaikankei Ronsyu (Wabun Ronsyu)
Ritsumeikan Annual Review of International Studies (Eibun Ronsyu)
In these thesis collections, PhD students as well as International Relations professors report their research results.
Working paper series
Working paper series is an opportunity for presenting study results as well as showing active research work of the school by faculty, graduate students and researchers. Since the implementation of the graduate school GP program, we have been supporting and encouraging submissions from graduate students as well as from PhD students.