Japan-related research

JPOSS #42: “A Tale of Two Groups of Japanese Political Scientists: Japan as an Example of Internationalization of Political Science, 1971-2023”

The forty-second session of the Japanese Politics Online Seminar Series (JPOSS) took place on October 26, 2023. Daniel M. Smith (University of Pennsylvania) chaired the seminar and moderated the Q&A session.

Masaru Nishikawa (Tsuda University) presented his paper co-authored with Akira Matsui (Yokohama National University) and Daisuke Sakai (Independent Researcher), examining the internationalization of political science in Japan. The authors define internationalization as an “increase in publication in international journals and in international co-authorships.” They employ descriptive statistics, network analysis, quantitative textual analysis, and interviews with Japanese political scientists to understand the presence of and motivations behind internationalization trends among Japanese political scientists. Their results show aggregate increases in international journal publications that are not matched by increases in international co-authorship despite general trends in the field toward co-authored publications. Additionally, the authors find no significant gender disparities in average individual publication trends, though women remain underrepresented. In applying topic modeling to the journal abstracts in the sample data, the authors find distinct emphases between international and domestic journal publications. Interviewing a group of political scientists from the sample, the authors found that there was a general agreement on the importance of publishing in international journals for career advancement.

Alexander J. Gates (University of Virginia) offered suggestions on ways to further the research, such as considering social identities and the factors that shape topic selection. During the Q&A session, participants furthered discussions concerning questions of gender, potential for insights through cross-national comparisons, and a reconsideration of the paper’s intended audience.

The organizers would like to thank the presenters, discussants, and participants, as well as the staff at the Harvard Program on U.S.-Japan Relations, who provided administrative support. We look forward to seeing you at the next session of JPOSS: