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Is inclusiveness in scholcom really beneficial for scholarship?

Funamori, Miho

Talking about diversity and inclusion, we often take for granted that it benefits everyone and that it is a goal to be pursued for the sake of equality and innovation. However, there are cases where inclusion, in fact, can harm local scholarship. For instance, being included in global scholcomm assumes working on research topics that are interesting and relevant to the global audience. This presumption can undermine local scholarship focused on domestic issues such as national history, literature, local economy, legal framework, and other social issues. Since many countries put it on their agenda to compete globally and achieve high world university rankings, their researchers are sometimes forced to change their research topics to be able to publish in global and high-impact journals if they want to sustain their academic career. Thus, it can be said that the pursuit towards inclusive scholcom largely distorts the scholarship landscape, ending up in research detached from local interests. But shouldn’t research also serve local interests, especially if it is publicly funded? This presentation is based on discussions and confrontations that occurred at forming the internationalization of the University of Tokyo.

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