HOMEFaculty ≫ GOTOH, Reiko

GOTOH, Reiko

Professor / Research Division of Theories in Economics and Statistics

Economics & Philosophy


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Previous research

Firstly, I have focused on the concept of basic capability (Sen, 1980). Equality in the space of basic capability—rather than the spaces of income or welfare (i.e., utility or happiness)—implies equality in basic freedom of well-being. Yet how this type of equality should be theoretically and operationally formulated is not immediately evident. I have strived to extend the framework of social choice theory through deliberative research on persons with visual impairment. Secondly, I have followed the methodology of political economics and the idea of liberalism in the works of Kenneth Arrow, John Rawls, and Amartya Sen. I aim to address the following research questions: Can political economics contribute toward establishing a theory that deconstructs the “the constitutionof liberty”? How can we explain the historical discontinuity in the welfare state, from a Hayekian or Keynesian model to a multicultural model that is more sensitive to “differences”? I have noted that, by renouncing a narrow imperialism of reason Sen’s ideas on economics and justice open a perspective that goes beyond “the constitution of liberty”.


Current research projects

In recent years, a global order has been pursued on the one hand, and local reciprocity has drawn attention on the other. Economics is not an exception. Considering that the micro-macro distinction of economic theory is nothing more than a two-sided approach—from the individual or from the whole—to investigating a universal order, and that they are in fact combined to construct a highly abstract general theory, we can say that recent research on local reciprocity has shaken up economics by focusing on diverse situations and multiple values of individuals. Yet, I am afraid that recent research on local reciprocity will fail to provide a theory that can lead to the construction of social institutions if it merely follows the methodological assumptions of the traditional highly general, complete theory without scrutiny. What is at stake is a concept that truly supports local reciprocity and a theory that connects local reciprocity to global order. My research theme is to provide the methodological foundations for constructing a general theory that incorporates the particular and personal lives of individuals, who are actually struggling in our society, instead of setting them aside as exceptions to the theory.


Theoretical and Operational Examination of the Capability Approach, Re-construction of Liberalism and Modern Theories of Justice, Methdological Investigation of Welfare Economics based on the theory of Amartya Sen