This is Kelly's third year with the Rutgers-Ritsumeikan program. She is passionate about internationalizing the curriculum, and loves to give students the opportunity to meet people from all over the world. Kelly's broader research focuses on Comparative Politics of Central and Eastern Europe. In this picture, you can see Kelly hanging out with the wild deer on the island of Miyajima, one of the many field excursions the class took this year in Japan. Kelly says: "This program is unlike any other exchange program at Rutgers. It gives students the chance to study politics on the ground, in a comparative setting, while making long lasting friends with students from another country and culture."
Doug Jones joins the program this year as the instructor for the Spring course. Doug's interests in Comparative Politics span the globe: he studies Middle East institutions, political parties, and social movements. He also serves as Intern Coordinator at the Center for European Studies, where he works closely with undergraduate interns and high school teams preparing for the Euro Challenge competition. Doug has been a teaching assistant for Introduction to Comparative Politics for the past three semesters. He graduated from the University of Scranton in 2010 with a bachelor's degree in international politics. Doug says: "I wanted to become part of the Rutgers-Ritsumeikan program because it's such a unique and exciting opportunity. Despite the differences between American and Japanese societies, the students and faculty will explore together something they both share: how civil society has impacted the politics of each country."
Ashley is a Political Science/Sociology double major. She was a student in the 2012 Rutgers-Ritsumeikan Exchange Program, and has joined the team as a teaching assistant this fall. Ashley says "I am very excited to once again be a part of this program as the TA for this year. I look forward to sharing my final semester here with the Rutgers-Ritsumeikan Program." In this picture, you can see Ashley in one of the many scenic views of Kyoto.
Each year, the faculty at Rutgers and Ritsumeikan choose a topic for the class that is relevant to today's political climate. The 2013 topic is civil society. The class will consider questions such as the relationship between civil society and the state, the strength of modern civil society in the two countries, and the importance of civil society to domestic and international social movements. The class will have the opportunity to visit a variety of NGOs in the US and Japan to observe first-hand the functioning of civil society.
In the spring, students register for 790:389 Topics in Comparative Politics: U.S. and Japanese Civil Society, Part I (3.0 credits, M/W 5:35-6:55 PM). In the summer, students register for 790:389 Topics in Comparative Politics: U.S. and Japanese Civil Society, Part II (3.0 credits, M/W 5:35-6:55 PM). Students also have the option of completing an independent study in the summer for an additional 3 credits.
This website will be updated as the syllabus and schedule for 2013 is finalized, so stay tuned!
The class of 2012 studied comparative social movements. In the spring, we took a variety of field excursions. On the trip to Washington, D.C. the class met with Senator Inouye, visited the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, and toured the DC Monuments. We also took a trip to Newark Community Solutions to see how alternative sentencing worked under Cory Booker's administration. In New York City, the class took a walking tour of famous social movement sites in Greenwich Village, and surveyed people in NYC about their attitudes towards social movements.
In Japan, the class took a visit to the US military base at Iwakuni to study the anti-base movement in Japan. We also visited the Azoura Foundation, an air pollution NGO, to learn about the environmental movement. We visited Hiroshima to see where the atomic bomb was dropped and visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial and Museum to the Atomic Bomb. On our trip to Tokyo, we visited the U.S. Embassy and the Yukushan Shrine and Yasukuni War Museum to learn about the nationalist movement there.
In 2011, the class studied Environmental Policy. In the US, trips included the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, DC, GreeNYC, and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. We also took a walking tour of the historical sites of Central Park.
In 2010, we visited numerous Immigration NGOs such as the Boaz Community Center of New Brunswick, as well as the Tenement Museum in NYC and Ellis Island.