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The CMEIS comprises the following four research units with different approaches: (1) politics and international relations, (2) culture and gender, (3) history and trans-regional networks, and (4) social and economic systems, and promotes individual research in each area, as well as collectively develops a new framework for understanding the most important agendas concerning the Middle East and Islam. While utilizing the strengths of existing disciplines, we will explore both their advantages and limits, and seek new ways of studies.


(1) Political and international relations will focus on approaches that take advantage of the strength of social sciences, especially  the idea of causal inference. As individual research, we will explore factors such as democratization, conflict, terrorism, and authoritarianism in Middle Eastern countries and regions.


(2) Culture and gender place importance on empirical research approaches based on religious and anthropological studies methodology. As an individual study, we will analyze the internal logic of Islam as a religion, the dynamics of gender perceptions in the Middle East, and their practices from the perspective of the agency of people who actually live in the region.


(3) History and trans-regional networks are mainly responsible for analysis from a historical point of view, using historical studies methodology. The elucidation of the historical background of the issues surrounding the Middle East and Islam today is indispensable not only for causal reasoning, but also for dynamic understanding of culture. In addition, it will be a useful task for relativizing the so-called “methodological nationalism” based on today's nation-states and aiming for a comprehensive understanding of the Middle East and Islam.


(4) The social and economic system will approach important agenda groups in the Middle East and Islam, mainly from the viewpoint of sociology and economics. As individual research, for exampleswe will work on medical and welfare systems based on the values of Islamic mutual assistance, as well as elucidating the current situation of Islamic finance, which has been rapidly expanding worldwide.

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