The University of Tokyo / Routledge Global Studies Series
The University of Tokyo / Routledge Global Studies Series
This series will showcase new visions of global studies by featuring works that integrate cross-disciplinary knowledge of – and multidimensional perspective on – the global world.
Since the end of the Cold War, US hegemony has been challenged and relativized by the rapid economic development and political emergence of Asian countries such as China and India. Thus the world has become more multicentred and pluralistic. While socio-economic globalization continues and different parts of the world are more closely connected, the measure of what we understand as globalization no longer remains aligned to standards and systems that have been developed to sustain the hegemony of United States and Europe. Today, the world, while being interconnected, manifests diversity and heterogeneity with new tensions and possibilities.
Global society today also faces new threats stemming from environmental problems, such as climate change, ground subsidence, deforestation, and biodiversity loss. To critically reflect on this predicament in the age of Anthropocene, we need to rethink human society – its history, culture and technology – in relation to the global world in a fuller sense that includes the geosphere comprising physical and chemical systems, and the biosphere composed of animals, plants, microbes and other non-human species.
The current situation with new politico-economic and ecological agendas demands us to expand our imagination and reconsider fundamental values, ethics and ontology of our existence. While liberalism – previously occupying a hegemonic position in the free world – is on the wane, there is a dangerous reinstatement of authoritarianism and populist nationalism, which poses a threat to global society and environment. There is a need to establish new values and philosophy as the basis for moving beyond both self-righteous liberalism and self-centred nationalism. Environmental crises also require us to search for alternative ethical and ontological foundations, beyond the idea of universal human rights, for sustaining the earth’s ecology, which is the very basis of human and non-human life. We also need to rethink the ontological foundation of our existence and identity, including our relationships with the ‘otherworldly’, in the so-called postsecular world This calls us to go beyond the dichotomy of secular rationality versus religious belief.
In this context, our series seeks to redefine global studies in fundamental ways, as we propose to expand the very definition of ‘global’. By global, first, we refer to plurality and heterogeneity of the world with a plethora of different viewpoints and values, attention to which takes us beyond Eurocentrism. Second, we pay attention not only to human society but to the earth as a whole, including climate, environment and other species, thus going beyond anthropocentrism. Third, in order to critically think of the global, we must reexamine the very basis of our ontology, ideas and imagination of what constitutes our ‘globe’. We need to look at various philosophical, religious and spiritual traditions of the world in order to critically search for a new universal.
In our approach to new global studies, it is not our intention to put forward an alternative overarching hegemonic scheme, system or structure. Rather, we look at diverse networks and relationships at various levels and from multiple standpoints – regions and localities, climates and ecologies, beings and concepts of this world and the other world, peoples, things, technology and information, and so on. We pay attention to how people in different regions design their life and give meaning to their existence by taking into account relationships between self and other, between humans, other creatures and environment, and between the world and beyond. We also explore how these life practices and ideas intersect between various regions in the process of globalization that continues to engender new forms of life.
The University of Tokyo Global Studies Series seeks out work that re-examines the world as a whole, presenting new narratives capturing the larger, more holistic picture, while being sensitive to heterogeneity, as opposed to research styles that are fragmented in the name of specialization. We endeavour to create space for dialogues where multidimensional and multicentred narratives and perspectives intersect and generate imagination of new worlds. Our series will serve as a cradle for new visions, featuring scholarship by established and emerging scholars that illustrates diversity and heterogeneity of perspectives on the global world.
We combine humanities and social science perspectives, publishing works that connect the interchanges between language, history, culture, thought, politics, economy and science and technology. We focus on the power of political, economic and technological systems to encompass and universalize all things, while at the same time engaging in regional specificities that contextualize and transform these systems in practice though language and culture. Methodologically, we take into account the multi-scale in time and space, the intersection of micro and macro spatial units, and the junctures of short, medium and long term history. We also pay attention to the connectivity and comparison of these various units.
Today, the logic of globalization itself is transforming. Not only are regions becoming more globalized due to pressures from outside, but also the logic unique to each region is influencing the very process of globalization, making it more hybrid and heterogeneous with revelations of larger agendas. Our series intends to explore the global dynamics from an integrated perspective by conjoining humanities and social sciences with sensitivity to the new emerging global world, the understanding of which requires intellectual creativity beyond the present hegemonic framework.
This series will feature studies originating in Japan and Asia that examine the multicentred nature of human experience. It is based on global research networks – with Tokyo as its hub – which will foster multicentred and mutual dialogues. We will publish new works that fuses the humanities and social sciences. This will be an interdisciplinary, international project launched with the aim of establishing the ‘Tokyo School’, a global network of scholars with Tokyo as the hub, of Global Studies.
The Global Studies Initiative (GSI), undertaken by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Tokyo, aims to foster a broad global perspective and deep understanding of diverse cultures and societies around the world. It endeavours to develop the capabilities of students and scholars to find solutions to problems arising out of globalization.
Our faculty has accumulated significant bases of knowledge related to global studies. We aspire to show that knowledge and perspectives from alternative standpoints based in Japan and Asia can shift what has been previously published in the Anglophone world.
The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences of the University of Tokyo located at Komaba campus is structurally suitable to host a research monograph series in global studies. The four majors in liberal arts, the Department of Language and Information Sciences, the Department of Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies, the Department of Area Studies, and the Department of Advanced Social and International Studies promote close interdisciplinary exchanges centred on the Institute for Advanced Global Studies (IAGS).
And now, through the Global Studies Initiative (GSI), the GSI Caravan Project is underway to promote research exchanges between the University of Tokyo and institutes across the world. This series will be one platform for the dissemination of those studies.
We will of course aim to publish results of the GSI Caravan Project mentioned above. In addition, we will invite researchers from around the world who have completed suitable works to submit their manuscripts for consideration by the Editorial Board. We anticipate publishing around 2 volumes each year starting in 2022.
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