the center of America’s global strategy
On the JDP, students spend two years studying at Ritsumeikan University(RU) and two years studying at American University(AU). What can students learn and experience by studying global international relations in Washington D.C.? We asked Professor Sachio Nakato, who has also studied at American University, to provide a message for the students on the JDP.
What do you need to develop an outlook for
global trends and bilateral relations?
In the field of Global International Relations(GIR), we look at the relationships among countries from a variety of angles. At the same time, in the field of international political economy, in addition to the lens of politics, we look at the relationships among countries in terms of the interplay between politics and economics.
For example, when you look at U.S.-China relations, it may seem that tensions are rising in the political and military spheres, but that is just one side of the story. The two countries are mutually dependent in terms of the economy and trade, and trade continues to increase despite the conflict between them. If you do not look at the bigger picture, which also takes the economic aspects into account, you can neither develop an outlook for the overall international situation nor for the bilateral relationship.
This is not only limited to U.S-China relations. For bilateral relationships that are deemed problematic, like the Japan-Korea relationship, even diplomatic professionals tend to frame issues primarily in terms of their own county, which is why pending issues cannot be easily resolved. To find solutions, it is important to know your counterpart’s logic and try to understand the issue from their point of view.
On the Joint Degree Program(JDP), you will not only study abroad in Washington D.C., you will also study in Japan with the nearly 50-strong contingent of American students studying on the program in Japan, so you will inevitably experience ways of thinking, actions, and arguments that are different from your own. Sometimes you may be shocked by the differences between you and the other students, but you are sure to gain a lot from the experience of that shock.
Learning at the front lines of the United States’
global strategy at American University
American University(AU) is one of the top 10 universities in the United States for studying international relations. In Washington D.C., there are four universities that conduct research on U.S. foreign strategy, and AU is the most liberal of them all. It is also known as the home of the professor who proposed the Bachelor of Arts in GIR.
As the center of the United States’ diplomatic strategy, Washington D.C. is home to numerous individuals involved in diplomacy, including government officials, NPO and think-tank employees, members of the press, and representatives from various countries' embassies. At AU, these individuals are invited to speak in classes, and workshops and debates on politics and diplomacy are held frequently, so you can learn about International Relations “in the flesh” and gain firsthand experience of being on the front lines of the United States’ global strategy.
Proactively learning in a stimulating environment surrounded by international students
2nd-year studentAmi Kaibori
Using My Curiosity as the Driving force to Learn Amid a Diverse Array of Values
2nd-year studentTaira Sugimoto
Exploring the value of the joint degree program
A single curriculum jointly designed by two different universities
Associate ProfessorThomas French
At the Forefront of International Higher Education:
The Joint Degree Program at Ritsumeikan University