Global Mediterranean at 
Doshisha University

MICCS is currently working as a hub of “Global Mediterranean”, a six-year project funded by the National Institutes for the Humanities (NIHU). Within the project expanding the scope of Mediterranean area studies beyond Europe, Middle East and North Africa, our hub focuses on mobility beyond state border and postcolonial issues arising from it. In particular, we study the birth of modern world system from around the Mediterranean Sea and migratory history based on postwar migration policies, as well as ideologies/techniques for managing/utilizing the border-crossing people (such as racism, colonialism) and movements/thought against them. By this collaborative study which captures the trans-border dynamics of connecting and cutting the areas with friction/conflicts, we contribute to the establishment of innovative area studies beyond geographical borders.

Partner Institutions

National Museum of Ethnology (MINPAKU)
Toyo University’s Asian Cultures Research Institute
Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa at the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (ILCAA)

Global Mediterranean

Working Groups

Multicultural City and the Crisis of Cohabitation

Member: MINAMIKAWA Fuminori, KIKUCHI Keisuke, MORI Chikako, MIHARA Reiko, IZUMI Masumi, UENO Takahiko, LEE Jung-Eun


This group focuses on migration from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic/the Pacific and the concomitant crises of multiculturalism and cohabitation. In particular, it analyzes the migration, diaspora and transnational solidarity across the Seas (Mediterranean, Atlantic, Pacific), highlighting the interactions between the global socioeconomic structure created within modern world system and local social bodies of the state, city and human being while considering the intersectionality with various differences such as gender, sexuality, disability. By this multidimensional study, the working group introduces innovative perspectives into migration and multicultural studies.

Racism and Colonialism

Member:ITAGAKI Ryuta, OTA Osamu, MIZUTANI Satoshi, KOMAGOME Takeshi, TOMIYAMA Ichiro, O Yongho, KIM Sangyun


Racism is an indispensable constitute of the colonial order of domination, and therefore, contemporary racism is also conceptualized in terms of its continuum, legacy, and memory. From such a perspective, the working group develops joint research on racism and colonialism which connects the past and the present, Japan and the global, based on loose collaboration of four projects:
1. Colonial/Racial Politics of Memory project focuses on the arguments of “responsibility to colonial domination” which is relatively differentiated from “war responsibility”.
2. Continued Colonialism/Racism of Academic Knowledge project focuses on the problem of human remains which had been collected into the academic institutions in the name of “raciology” and are nowadays under various disputes.
3. Living in Colonialism/Racism project focuses on cultural and educational practices of the ethnic minorities living in a colonial/racial society.
4. For Overcoming Colonialism/Racism project carries out research which can be utilized for preventing hate speech, hate crime, and racial harassment.

Migration and Ethnicity

Member: MATSUTANI Minori, DEBNAR Milos, YASUI Daisuke, YAMAMOTO Meyu, SOHN KATADA Aki, XU Yanhua, KAKU Kou-Hou, PARK Sara, NAKAMURA Shohei, SETO-SUH Erina, SUZUKI Takeo


Focusing on migrants, this group aims to capture the conviviality and conflicts in everyday multiethnic situations composed of multiple sociohistorical layers. The group constitutes of the members interested in human mobility, its concomitant cross-bordering of cultural/political/economic activities, and figuration and transfiguration of ethnic communality. They proceed collaborative research around the three interconnected questions:
1. How are migrants construct their own communities in a host country under its governance and control, and what moments or factors lead to its transformation?
2. In this process, how are the migrants’ relationships with their “homelands” kept while changing, or cut out in some cases?
3. How do the migrants’ and indigenous communities build relationships and coexist while negotiate?
By integrating the outputs of empirical studies responding to these questions, the research group goes beyond the mono-dimensional perspective limited to a specific period, place, and actor, and reveals the dynamic formation of multiethnic situations where multiple sociohistorical relationships are entangled.

Diplomacy and Migration

Member: CHOI Safa, FUJITA Goro


Taking diplomacy and migration as two key concepts, this research group aims to: 1. Reexamine the international relations focusing on human mobility, and vice versa, 2. Reconceptualize human mobility in terms of the international relations. While the Euro-American academy has a rich fruit of studies on “diplomacy and migration”, the same cannot be said for Japanese one. On the one hand, migration has not been a major issue in international relations whose main topic of interests is military or economics. On the other, sociological studies on migration have largely neglected diplomatic issues. Putting those two separated themes under more comprehensive framework, this group reveals the similarities and differences between them. It explores how to think on conviviality, highlighting the overlooked issues in the cases of Asia Pacific, Americas, and Europe.

Coloniality and Social Existence

Member: SUZUKI Takeo, NISHIO Zenta


In the contemporary world full of multicultural/multiethnic social conditions, profound conflicts among peoples with different backgrounds are manifest while “diversity” is evaluated as an important source of creativity. Responding to the plight, interdisciplinary knowledge is accumulated around the key concepts such as “conviviality”, “multiculture”, and “migration”. The problem, however, is that the large proportion of the knowledge lacks full recognition or meaningful consideration of coloniality (continued influence of colonial governance) lying at the root of the plight. This research group intervenes into this situation, first, by exploring how the contemporary “crisis of conviviality” originates from the past and the present of colonial governance. At the same time, if we explain people’s everyday lives deterministically only from the colonial influence, their effort to create better lives are eclipsed out of our sight. Therefore, while taking the force of coloniality seriously, second, the group highlights social existence of ordinary people who lead their lives in relation with others.

Intercity Associations and Interculturalism

Member: UENO Takahiko


Nowadays, “interculturalism” attracts attention as an urban policy idea focusing on the diverse interactions between city cohabitants. As we can see from the fact that the idea developed from diplomat initiatives toward cross-Mediterranean exchanges between cities; 1. Mediterranean is the space where “conviviality” and its “crisis” is manifest and experiments of intercity associations such as intercultural coalition (ICC) or “ciutat refugi” take place; also, 2. Although the East Asia has a very different context, attempts by Mediterranean cities have indirect influence on the region, which is manifest in the political trials in Japanese and Korean cities to integrate migrants and to accept refugees. Based on this recognition, the research group deals with two interconnected tasks: 1. Analysis of collaborative/agonistic relationships among various actors inside/outside of the city of Barcelona, which takes the lead of several intercity associations, and 2. Analysis of the difference between Mediterranean and East Asian regions which is revealed in the process of ICC membership negotiation and acceptance of the concept of interculturalism in the Japanese and Korean cities.


Member: KIKUCHI Keisuke


This group looks back on the historical formation of “modern world system” originating from Mediterranean world (after Braudel) and examines the counter movements against contemporary neoliberal globalism. Although in the post-WWII era there had been attempts to reduce the disparities in Western welfare or Third World developmentalist regimes, after the Soviet-East European block collapsed and the Cold War ended, privatization, deregulation, and free trade began promoted under the Washington Consensus. This leads to shrinking of the middle class and enlargement of disparities on the one hand, and the huge amount of monetarized surplus funds running around the financial market on the other, which causes bubble economies and financial crises. The research group examines the political impact of globalization exemplified by the surge of exclusionism, and explores the way toward the democracy restored by paying attention to the local practices such as municipalism, assembly, reappropriation of commons, which are taking place over the cities around Mediterranean Sea.