Message from the Director


by UYAMA Tomohiko (Slavic Research Center)

  While the Slavic Research Center has a history of nearly sixty years, the change during the last ten years has been enormous. The SRC has become a very dynamic place with a number of project researchers, assistants, and graduate students. The scope of research conducted at the center has widened, as the center has been making efforts to develop studies of the non-Russian countries of the former Soviet Union, comparative studies of various regions of Eurasia (and even outside it), and joint studies with specialists in the natural sciences. Cooperation with overseas researchers and research institutions has grown both quantitatively and qualitatively.

  However, a turning point is imminent. Two major projects, “Comparative Research on Major Regional Powers in Eurasia” and “Reshaping Japan’s Border Studies,” will end in March 2013 and March 2014, respectively. We will have to tackle the difficult task of rearranging research activities and finding appropriate funding. But this will also be a good opportunity to deliberate on the long-term research agenda of the SRC and reconfirm its identity as a center of area studies.

  Traditional academia is divided into disciplines, and area studies are sometimes marginalized. However, now that globalization is facilitating the spread of influence of events in one region to other parts of the world, and that the West-centric world order is being shaken, area studies are becoming more important than ever for an understanding of the world. The SRC, with its experience in studies of the Slavic-Eurasian world as well as in comparative research and border studies, is eager to play a part in the Renaissance of area studies.

UYAMA Tomohiko
Director of the Slavic Research Center
Hokkaido University
May 2012, Sapporo


SRC Home
Japanese / English