Politics is the process by which the members of a society make and implement collective decisions in order to solve the problems that they face. Addressing these political problems demands a scientific approach, historical understanding, and conceptual skills rooted in philosophy or ideology. The Department of Political Science nurtures educated political citizens with the all-around decision-making and critical thinking skills, courage, and empathy to work toward solving such problems.
The Department equips students with the knowledge required to solve a wide range of problems, from everyday issues at the community level to matters of national politics and policy, and international relations. It also fosters their ability to take action after analyzing those problems and reflecting on them with a flexible mindset in response to changing circumstances.
The Department has only two required courses: Intro Seminar of Political Science and Elements of Political Sciences. After mastering the foundations of political science in their first year, students choose freely from courses in three areas of study: Governance, covering public policy and local politics; International Politics, covering international relations and diplomacy; and Media and Politics, covering polimetrics and the media.
Students plan and run political debates and lectures by politicians for students in lower years on themes determined by the students themselves. The Department of Political Science has a tradition that all students take responsibility for all aspects of these events, from choosing which politicians to invite to negotiating with them on arrangements and taking charge of the running of the event on the day.
In Current English, journalists use English-language newspapers as the basis for instruction. For ambitious students, it’s the ideal opportunity to learn about the media and sharpen English skills at the same time.
From foundational first-year seminars to intensive third- and fourth-year classes and graduation thesis supervision, the Department provides extensive small-group education. In the Fieldwork course, students explore a subject of interest in the field of real-world politics by conducting interviews and research at Diet members’ offices, government agencies, and newspapers. Supervised by faculty members, they ultimately write up their findings in a research paper of at least 10,000 characters.
Students develop discussion and presentation skills in small foundational seminars. Events such as political debates between seminar groups, speeches by prominent politicians, and freshman camps encourage students to become self-directed learners.
In classes such as Local Governments, Political Systems, and Public Policy, students build up their knowledge of specialized subjects in earnest. In the Fieldwork course, they receive one-on-one guidance from faculty as they carry out real-world research.
The department offers many dynamic seminars where students analyze and propose solutions to issues that they have observed first-hand. Some involve overseas internships or active participation in academic conferences, while others encourage students to reflect on how political participation can be encouraged through their own participation in counting ballots.