Public Policy and Social Research Program

Public Policy and Social Research Program

Studying the underlying causes of modern-day phenomena disrupting peace, from every possible angle

The Public Policy and Social Research Program delves into field research in the social sciences including public policy. Relations with other fields are through an interdisciplinary approach. Our objective is to nurture future leaders for domestic and international organizations, with training in flexible problem-solving based on analytic and planning skills.

Message from the Director

CLA.ISHIO Yoshihito・石生義人film.jpgProgram Director
Prof. ISHIO,

Equipping students with practical skills to solve problem from a global perspective

ICU's master's program in Public Policy and Social Research offers five areas of concentration. This program provides depth in each area of concentration, as well as width in academic disciplines. Thus, students may concentrate on one area while taking diverse courses from other concentration areas. For example, if a student's area of concentration is Peace Studies, the student may take not only core courses in Peace Studies, but also germane courses in Politics and International Studies. This flexibility allows students to explore different perspectives and approaches in regard to research topics. In addition, the program allows students to take courses from ICU's other master's programs such as Education and Psychology. <br/ >Most courses in Public Policy and Social Research are taught in English. Faculty members represent diverse nationalities and academic disciplines. An overwhelming majority of the students in the master's program are international students. Thus, students and faculty members create a global environment in which to discuss different ideas. This program will help students acquire in-depth knowledge and research skills needed in their chosen fields in order to succeed both professionally and/or academically. Consider pursuing a master's program in Public Policy and Social Research at ICU.

Voice of Faculty


I am a cultural anthropologist. My main geographical area of interest is Vietnam, though I have broader interests in mainland Southeast Asia and the United States. My theoretical interests include medical anthropology, ecological anthropology, violence, and inequality.
Graduate school education is a time when students must acquire more in-depth knowledge in their chosen field while simultaneously conducting a major research project related to their own interests. I believe that in doing this students must take the initiative and learn to think and work independently. In training my students in the classroom and for their theses, my goal is therefore to develop their analytical skills so they can learn to ask the proper questions to conduct their research and to establish the proper framework so they can acquire the knowledge they need.
The greatest advantage of the ICU Graduate School of Arts and Sciences for students interested in such disciplines as sociology and anthropology is that it provides a unique setting for the acquisition of the knowledge and analytical skills needed to move on to a career in either academia, non-governmental organizations, or public service.

Area of Concentrations

There are five "Area of Concentration" for Public Policy and Social Research Program.

  • Politics and International Studies
  • Social and Cultural Analysis
  • Media and Language
  • Public Economics
  • Peace Studies

Politics and International Studies deals with public administration and public policy, politics and law, and international relations. The concentration in political and international studies is aimed at cohesive education and research in multidisciplinary fields: politics, law, public administration, and international relations. The concentration provides a unique combination of three distinct approaches, i.e., normative studies, empirical analyses, and policy studies. A significant feature is elaboration and deepening of education and research in the perspective of each field and of the multidisciplinary fields.

Students graduate with a Master of Arts in Public Administration or International Relations.

Students majoring in Social and Cultural Analysis learn to empirically analyze social and cultural phenomena from sociological and/or anthropological approaches. They have opportunities to receive training in qualitative and/or quantitative research methods, and will be able to conduct multidisciplinary research by working closely with sociologists and/or anthropologists. Areas of research include sociology of development, political sociology, global sociology, gender/sexuality studies, social stratification, sociology of science and technology, the anthropology of health, linguisticsemiotic anthropology, the anthropology of violence, the anthropology of consumption, and the anthropology of development. Students have the option of carrying out a short-term fieldwork project and applying their findings to an original thesis project.

Students graduate with a Master of Arts in Social and Cultural Analysis.

Media and Language is interdisciplinary in nature and offers project-oriented courses in sociolinguistics, communication, and media. It lays a solid foundation in these academic disciplines while exploring their application in contemporary society and its various issues.
Students graduate with a Master of Arts in Media and Language.

After studying basic theories in microeconomics, macroeconomics, and statistical analysis, students proceed to particular fields of concentration in economics, business management and accounting.
Students graduate with a Master of Arts in Public Economics.

We offer a wide variety of courses relevant to peace, conflict and security. They range from foundation courses in peace studies, to more specialized courses on human rights, ideas and norms, conflict resolution, peace-building, development and economic issues and conflicts, traditional and posttraditional security problems, human security, and the role of international organizations and international law. Graduates should then be able to analyze existing and potential conflicts, should be able to conduct interviews, conduct empirical research projects, find and interpret relevant documents, whether academic, legal, diplomatic or other, and should be able to work within national governments, international government or non-governmental institutions with a focus on peace and security issues.

Students graduate with a Master of Arts in Peace Studies.