Human capital of an academic community under digital transformation: the case of Japan

Human capital of an academic community under digital transformation:
the case of Japan

Article received: 2023.09.05. Accepted: 2023.10.02

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2023.06.10

For citation:

Chugrov S.V. Human capital of an academic community under digital transformation: the case of Japan. – Polis. Political Studies. 2023. No. 6. P. 128-141. (In Russ.). EDN: XVVIEB

The article was prepared in the framework of a research grant funded by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation (grant ID: 075-15-2022-327).


The world’s developed nations are working their way through a period of digital transformation (DX), which has been given a new impetus by the COVID-19 pandemic, primarily in the field of the online R&D/teaching field. Each country is following its own unexplored path, but each of them can borrow from the others some of their experience. A discord inevitably arises between the linear logistic rationality of the ongoing transformations and the humanistic orientation of the nonlinear task of endorsing human capital. Thus, the need to analyze this phenomenon from the perspective of political sociology arose in order to understand the direction in which we need to move and the risks that could arise along this path. In a technologically advanced country like Japan, DX has encountered formidable barriers. On the one hand, the ‘silver generation’ is lacking the necessary digital competencies. On the other hand, the main obstacle to the digitalization of the R&D sphere has been the omnipotent and well-organized Japanese bureaucracy, prone to dubbing functions. In addition, there are visible symptoms that the Japanese research and teaching community has reached the threshold of a crisis: for example, a young researcher with a freshly defended PhD dissertation faces great obstacles in his/her research and teaching career, since the growth of the bureaucratic apparatus – contrary to the DX goals – results in a reduction of tenures for teachers and researchers. Some difficult questions emerge: how can it get out of this vicious circle? can Russia bypass this thorny path?

human capital, scientific and teaching community, Japan, digital transformation, trust, bureaucratization, traditions.


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