2008 年 1 巻 1 号 p. 7-19
The Society for the Study of Social Policy was established in 1897. It is one of the oldest academic societies for the social sciences in Japan. However, its activities were terminated in 1924 because of political conflict in the Society. In 1950 it was re-established and recommenced academic activities. By the 1990s the Society had become inactive, and so reform was begun in 1994. Consequently the Society's research fields were enlarged and the number of members has been increasing. Many scholars other than economists joined the Society, making it increasingly interdisciplinary. The crisis of the Society occurred because of its mal-adaptation to changes in actual social policy. Though social policies can function to promote decommodification at the stage of welfare state, the dominant theory of the Society does not recognize this. As a result, there are no social policy scholars working in the existing social policy areas in Japan. Reforms since the mid-1990s have enabled the Society to make progress in policy studies, but this improvement has not brought results in advancing the existing social policies. It is necessary to continue the reform and make efforts to apply research results to actual social policies.