Outline of the Program


This GCOE program aims to analyze social issues occurring throughout the world‒a world in which globalization is now in full swing‒and to present solutions by integrating our findings. Interpretation is carried out from the two viewpoints of gender equality and multicultural conviviality. Furthermore, our ultimate objective is to foster young researchers who can present effective countermeasures in regard to such issues.

With the rapid development of globalization, mutual interdependence and common life-styles and value systems on a global scale are being expanded on one hand, while deepened social cleavages and exclusive parochialism are emerging on the other. This sort of narrow exclusionism brings about or intensifies incidents relating to a backlash against gender equality, the widening economic gap, ethnic conflicts, hostilities against neighboring nations, violence against immigrants, human trafficking, generational discord on welfare, and domestic violence. How can we comprehend such phenomena and find out solutions for them? The key lies in multicultural conviviality. Namely, in order to cope with exclusionism, the principle of universalism is essential. That should not be uniformity but a type of universalism that encompasses diversity. Herein lies the importance of multicultural conviviality.

The mission of this program is to establish a world-class research and education center on Gender Equality and Multicultural Conviviality from a comprehensive social science perspective.

More specifically, we aim

  1. to analyze new social issues emerging from the recent rise in globalization.
  2. to pursue societal conditions necessary to realize gender and other social equalities and to resolve conflicts among different socio-cultural groups.
  3. to encourage and support young researchers from doctoral students to postdocs who are conducting research in the above-mentioned fields.

This GCOE program also succeeds and develops Tohoku University’s 21st Century COE Program “Gender Law and Policy in the Gender Equal Society” (2003 to 2007). The achievements of this 21st Century COE Program serve as the basis for GCOE to analyze various issues relating to multicultural conviviality.

For research activities of the GCOE, we have integrated the three fields of gender equality, multicultural conviviality and the issues of aging and declining birthrate to launch 15 projects in which a number of researchers from Tohoku University and other institutions discuss at research seminars and international workshops. We will compile our final finding in a book series.

Furthermore, in parallel with the above-mentioned research activities, we will establish the Cross-National Doctoral Course (CNDC) as a so-called double-degree program that allows students to acquire a doctor’s degree concurrently at Tohoku University and institutions abroad with a view to cultivating young researchers who will play key leadership roles in international society. In addition, we will promote the Young Researcher Fostering Program for fellows through employment of global COE fellows who will engage in research and education.

While creating such a basis for research and education, the GCOE will reinforce ties with research and educational institutions at home and abroad so as to promote global networking. In Japan, we will establish a close relationship, including researchers and post-graduates exchanges between the School of Law at Tohoku University and the Institute of Social Science at the University of Tokyo. Overseas, we will promote existing ties with research and educational institutions including Tsinghua University (China), Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (China), Kookmin University (Korea), University of Ottawa (Canada), Université Lumière Lyon 2 (France), l’Ecole Normale Supérieure Lyon (France), and the University of Sheffield (UK). Through these ties, we will conduct joint research and international conferences for specific research projects, conclude agreements to carry out double-degree programs in the Cross-National Doctoral Course.

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