On April 17, 2023, a joint Ph.D. workshop by Hitotsubashi University and L’École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS), titled “Democracy and Human Rights: Social Sciences Perspectives” was held online. The workshop aimed to strengthen ties between the two institutions and promote the sharing of student research experiences and outcomes.
Professor Maiko Ichihara from Hitotsubashi University and Professor Lechevalier Sebastien from EHESS each took the role of chair for one of the two sessions.
In session 1, the first group discussed the legal and humanitarian treatment of refugees in East Asia. Yusuke Kunitomo, a Ph.D. candidate at EHESS, examined the use of legal schemes to support refugees in Japan and discussed the motivations of lawyers who engage in these activities. Meanwhile, Minhee Jeong, a Ph.D. candidate at Hitotsubashi University, focused on the role of civil society in refugee protection in Asia and compared the situation in China, Japan, and Korea. The second group took a philosophical approach to human rights. Louis Duplatre, a contractual doctoral student in philosophy, questioned the ontological nature of institutions and their neutrality in the context of same-sex marriage in France. Felipe Freller, a Ph.D. candidate at EHESS in political studies, discussed the interpretations of Marx, Tocqueville, and the liberal tradition in the French intellectual debate of the 1980s on human rights. The last group focused on economic analysis. Yuki Miyoda, a post-doctoral fellow at Hitotsubashi University, presented a project on how Japanese pension funds invest in socially and environmentally responsible tracks, benefiting prospective retirees. Finally, Kazuhiro Fukazawa, also a post-doctoral fellow at Hitotsubashi University, addressed the relationship between labor movements and regulations, human rights, and free trade agreements in the United States and Europe. He also discussed how non-state actors, including labor, can influence negotiation actors.
In Session 2 there were three topics with the participation of six Ph.D. students from Hitotsubashi University and EHESS. Regarding the religious issue, Ms. Mayuko Yamamoto presented her research process on Islam and Islamic separatism based on the question of “Islam as a litmus test of democracy at risk?” Following her presentation, a question was raised by a participant regarding biopolitics, considering the French government’s performance in restricting not only Muslims but also Christians who are embedded in French society. The second presentation was conducted by Mr. Ryohei Suzuki, who brought up the question, “What factors contribute to the spread of disinformation?” His research is a case analysis of the Nago mayoral election. The professor then inquired about the research plan for quantifying the impact of disinformation. Afterwards, the workshop continued with Mr. Yuki Moritani’s presentation on the theoretical study of the liberal international order, highlighting his research interest in international order, security and Japan-EU relations, and the research methodology employed to conduct comparative case studies and process tracing. Thereafter, Mr. Prakrit Rakwong started his presentation with the question of why US allies engage in different types of strategic behaviors against China. In order to improve the study, the professor suggested taking historical contingencies into account. Next came the presentation of Mr. Shuichi Tanaka, which focused on one-party dominance in post-dictatorship Paraguay. As the final presentation, Mr. Choe Inhyuk introduced his research question: “When do members of parliament speak hostilely or favorably about another country?”
Twelve participants from both institutions brought interesting topics to the workshop. After each presentation, questions and comments were exchanged by professors and participants. The workshop was concluded with closing remarks from Professor Yamada Atsushi, Vice President of Hitotsubashi University. Some faculty members from Hitotsubashi University and EHESS showed their presence to enhance the motivation of the participants.
【Event Report prepared by】
Sascha Hannig Nuñez (Master’s student, School of International and Public Policy)
Hnin Htet Htet Aung (Master’s student, School of International and Public Policy)