Research: Border Studies
The notion of borders refer to all of those phenomena brought forth from the actual space within which humans exist, the space as perceived by humans, or the difference created through group consciousness (that is, between ‘self’ and ‘other’), and border studies seeks to clarify the manner in which they form and change and the means of avoiding disputes over them. In contemporary society, there are a variety of collision points between where states rub up against one another in space (state borders) or in the conflict and cooperation between different ethnic groups. Those divided by such borders, or those people who live across them, symbolize recognition of a clear sense of self versus other in certain places and a fuzzy gradation in others, while also being buffeted by the realities of their circumstances. From the beginning, all such borders have incorporated slippages in both their actual conditions and recognition of them, and have continued to be historically reconstituted. Border Studies is a field of research that while being aware of the problems of how to understand such border symbols will also explore problems in specific regions, consider the nature of any problems, look for methods of resolution and offer proposals to make such resolutions a reality.
There exist a number of international organizations devoted to border studies, but they had failed to sufficiently incorporate Japanese and East Asian research on borders. Beginning in 2009, the Global COE Program “Reshaping Japan’s Border Studies” at Hokkaido University gradually provided the foundations for border studies research in Japan, but there is still work to be done. Japan, with its historical experience and geographical location at the confluence of Eurasia’s continental and maritime territories, has a unique perspective on the world, and through integrating such factors and theorizing upon them, it will be possible to establish this academic field as being of an international standard but with a unique viewpoint. It is this task in which this module will take the lead, seeking to provide a new model for border studies.
- Kaoru IZUMI
- Professor, Kyushu University / Foundations of Political Science
Political Science, Contemporary Korean politics, Regional administration, Peace Research
Professor Izumi is a researcher of political scientist, primarily interested in contemporary Korean politics and Japanese local government. He teaches at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
- Akihiro IWASHITA
- Collaborative Researcher
Professor, Hokkaido University / Slavic-Eurasian Research Center
Interests: Russian Foreign Policy, History of Sino-Russian relations
- Keisuke TAKEDA
- Cooperative Researcher
Research Areas:Border studies, local governance