Outline of the Research Plan

Research in the four problem-dimensions stated in “Research Objectives” above will be conducted in gradual steps with the following investigative aims. (1) In the value dimension: theoretical analyses of the mode of encounter, penetration, and metamorphosis especially in the case of homogenous and heterogeneous legal values; methods of constructivist analysis based on the concept of legal agency will be employed, while constantly exchanging feedback with the dimensions below (mainly by Hasegawa). (ii) In the action dimension: the modes of encounter, penetration, and metamorphosis of manners of action and norm consciousnesses in legal communication between individuals and groups holding homogenous or heterogeneous values will be analyzed, based on the concept of legal agency, while constantly exchanging feedback with the other dimensions (mainly by Matsumura). (iii) In the intellectual-institutional dimension: historical research on how divergent legal values and social communication in various regions and historical epochs have been linked to the establishment, development, and transformation of legal notions and institutions through the interactive process of legal systems as dependent on the agency of various legal actors will be conducted, with the four regions of East Asia, Western Europe, North America and Japan as focal areas of research and in cross-reference to the dimensions described above (East Asia mainly by Imai and Suzuki, Western Europe mainly by Taguchi, Mizuno and Nakamura, North America mainly by Aizawa and Ozaki, Japan mainly by Hayashida and Kuwahara). (iv) In the integrative dimension: the aggregate of the above dimensions will be presented in a multi-dimensional and multi-layered vector field of law. Since a creative integrating force mediated by the agency of legal actors is thought to be operative here, an integral model of the “creole of law” in conjunction with agency law formation, which will be capable of conjoining the various research results into a unified whole, will be constructed and a linked archive as well as open-web sources will be provided, on the basis of mutual discussions among scholars.

In the process of these research activities, especially in the intellectual-institutional dimension, a multi-pronged analysis drawing on the perspectives of individuals living in various cultures and legal systems is aimed for. In order to ensure the multi-facetedness of the research and to draw close to intellectual and institutional realities, the advice of researchers from overseas will be sought to sustain exchanges of opinion. Initial advice will be sought in keeping with the progress of the research, and exchange with other researchers abroad will be promoted and broadened on this basis.

The research is scheduled to proceed in a total of five stages, with three stages spread over the academic years 2005 to 2007, and two stages spread over the academic years 2008 to 2009. The first three stages will conclude with an interim report, while the last two stages will complete the research process as a whole by further developing and elaborating these interim results.

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