2019 Essence of Humanities and Social Sciences42:Consensus Building

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Academic unit or major
Humanities and social science courses
Inohara Takehiro  Sakano Tatsurou  Kaneko Hironao  Nishikizawa Shigeo  Toyoda Mitsuyo  Takada Tomoki 
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Course description and aims

The theme of this course is “Consensus Building.” This course deals with various topics and knowledge on consensus building through lectures. Specifically, this course takes up: “consensus building in nature restoration project,” “participatory approach and consensus building,”“education and the development of public engagement,” “agreement and legal effect of contract,” “practice of social experiment of “Deliberative Poll”,” and “public pension system.”

This course aims to cultivate the students’ abilities to understand the knowledge structure on consensus building and to convey them to others concisely.

Student learning outcomes

Upon completion of this course, students should be able to:
1) State the definitions of “consensus” and “consensus building;” and
2) Explain to others the knowledge structure on consensus building by using the concepts such as consensus building, nature restoration project, public participation and public engagement, education, legal effect,“Deliberative Poll,” project management, public pension system.


consensus building, public pension system, nature restoration project, public participation and public engagement, legal effect, education, “Deliberative Poll,” project management

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

This course is offered in the "Active Learning" mode which requires students to take an active role in their own learning. Therefore, it is required to submit a summary report at the end of each class.

One class deals with one topic. Each topic is lectured by an expert of the topic. At the end of a class, each student writes and submits a summary report on what he/she learned through the lecture.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Guidance and introduction State the definitions of “consensus” and “consensus building.”
Class 2 Through some case studies of nature restoration project, we discuss and understand the theory and the techniques in order to build a creative consensus among various stakeholders. Understanding the theory and the techniques of consensus management for nature restoration.
Class 3 Participatory Approach and Consensus Building: Principles, methods and challenges of public participation will be explained in terms of consensus building by looking into a case study Understand how to develop the process both of public participation and consensus building among multi-stakeholders.
Class 4 Education and the Development of Public Engagement: How can education contribute to the development to public engagement? On the basis of case studies of American and Japanese school education, students discuss and deepen their understanding of the maturity of public engagement from the perspective of human development Read “Convention of the Rights of the Child” proposed by UNICEF and consider the meanings and challenges of this convention from the perspectives of “consensus building” and “human development.”
Class 5 Understanding a contract, process and legal effect of an agreement. Understand an agreement and its legal effect.
Class 6 Practice of Social Experiment of “Deliberative Poll”: Based on the design principles and the examples of practices of “Deliberative Poll,” we see that deliberation by randomly sampled citizen is an effective way to overcome the trade-off problem between the number of participants and the quality of their deliberation, and a key factor to realize deliberative democracy. Understand the design principles and the properties of “Deliberative Poll.”
Class 7 Public pension system: Pick up issues on public pension system as consensus building over generations Understand public pension system.
Class 8 Review Explain the outline of the knowledge structure on consensus building to others.


None required.

Reference books, course materials, etc.

Course materials are posted on OCW-i and/or provided during the classes.

“Consensus Building,” (Keiso-syobo, 2011, ISBN-13: 978-4326301966)

Assessment criteria and methods

Assessment will be based on “summary reports” written during each class (40%) and two reports at the end of the course (30% each; total 60%).

If you are absent from a class, regardless of the reason, points are subtracted from the evaluation portion of the "summary reports."
There are no make-up assignments.
Read the course materials posted on OCW-i to find out the content of the class you missed.

Details of the requirements of the two reports will be explained in the first class meeting.

Related courses

  • SHS.P441 : Graduate Lecture in Politics, Law and Administration S1A
  • UDE.D409 : Planning Theory
  • UDE.D471 : Principles of Public Systems Design
  • GEG.S401 : Environmental Policy
  • GEG.E501 : Environmental Impact Assessment
  • SHS.M461 : Graduate Methodologies in Cognition, Mathematics and Information S1

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

Prospective students should have interests in consensus building.

Contact information (e-mail and phone)    Notice : Please replace from "[at]" to "@"(half-width character).

Professor Takehiro Inohara, inostaff[at]shs.ens.titech.ac.jp


The date of the first class is October 9th (Wed).

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