SIPA Faculty Member Joins U.S. – Japan Network for the Future

Dr. Matthew Marr, assistant professor of sociology in the Department of Global and Sociocultural Studies and an affiliated faculty member of the Asian Studies Program, is among the scholars to join a week-long meeting of the U.S.-Japan Network for the Future in Washington, D.C. this week. Dr. Marr was one of fifteen emerging Japan specialists selected for the U.S.-Japan Network for the Future, a new program launched last year by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation in collaboration with the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership. The purpose of this program is to build and enhance a network of new generation Japan specialists that can bring diverse expertise and perspectives to the U.S.-Japan policymaking process. U.S.-Japan Network for the Future Fellows will serve as a valuable resource for U.S. policymakers as the U.S. and Japan move toward a more open and inclusive alliance.

Marr’s research interests include inequality, poverty, and social exclusion in urban areas of Japan and the U.S. He plans to continue to research poverty in Japan and the U.S. from a global, comparative perspective, looking at the effects of settings of social service delivery, mental health policy, gentrification, and increased policing in areas where homeless persons and services for them concentrate.

During this week’s meeting in Washington, the U.S.-Japan Network for the Future Fellows will have an opportunity to meet with senior policymakers, participate in briefings about current issues affecting U.S.-Japan relations. The Fellows also will participate in workshops and a study trip to Japan during the two-year program. They will help shape public policy by preparing opinion pieces and by sharing their views and recommendations at a public Policy Brief Session in Washington in early 2011. These and other activities are expected to lead to deeper and more vigorous dialogue and research on topics of immediate concern to U.S.-Japan relations as well as on ways to strengthen the bilateral relationship through cooperation and shared goals in the global arena. A list of the U.S.-Japan Network for the Future Fellows and more information about the program is available on the Mansfield Foundation’s website, www.mansfieldfdn.org.