Public Policy Consensus Building Practice and Research Unit

Established : Oct. 1, 2011

Photo by AP/AFLO



Consensus building and other kinds of coordination through multi-stakeholder negotiation and nation-wide deliberation are essential in a wide range of policy-making processes. On the other hand, society is in transition and stakeholders are more diverse and intertwined than before. As policy options are formulated on evidence which may be more or less sound or adequate, and as the nature of social problems has become increasingly complicated, policymaking necessarily involves high levels of uncertainty, and demands exceptional expertise. On top of these challenges, public policies are expected to meet the expectations of the public, as well as to achieve a fair distribution of wealth.

In light of these challenges in public policy, our research unit aims at the following goals: First, we will provide an arena for interdisciplinary research on consensus building processes. Second, we will work with and provide professional support for stakeholders and decision-makers in the various fields of public policy, which face being overwhelmed by consensus building difficulties.


Research: Our research will be multi-faceted, involving practical techniques, process design, policy processes, institutional design, as well as political philosophy. We will then produce policy recommendations drawing on basic research. In addition, we are interested in teaching methodology where it relates to the training of negotiation and consensus building skills.

Practice: We will provide support for a wide range of decision-makers and stakeholders on consensus building processes, offering non-partisan assistance, as a part of our initiatives for research and education through action research. We can also serve as a liaison between fields of practice and the scientific expertise available at the University of Tokyo in a joint fact-finding endeavor.


  • Taketoshi Taniguchi (Professor, Policy Alternatives Research Institute)


  • Hideaki Shiroyama (Vice Director and Professor, Policy Alternatives Research Institute / Professor, Graduate School of Public Policy / Graduate Schools for Law and Politics)
  • Hironori Kato (Professor, Graduate School of Engineering)
  • Masahiro Matsuura (Visiting Professor, Graduate School of Public Policy)