Economics Magazine

The People’s Book Project: Research Methods and Progress

Posted on the 01 May 2014 by Andrewgavinmarshall @A_G_Marshall

The People’s Book Project has been proceeding with extensive research in a number of different areas. In the past week, I have collected roughly 100 pages of research on the recent history of Japan-US relations, specifically related to the military/security relations between the two countries over the past several decades, and in light of Japan’s recent transformation under way in making the country once again a military power in the region. Japan is one of the world’s largest economic, and has been so for several decades. As one of the three ‘Trilateral’ regions of global industrial and economic power (the other two being North America and Western Europe), it is important to understand more about Japan’s economic, political and social history and development, as well as the role Japan plays in the world order and in the region of East and Southeast Asia, a role set to gain even greater importance in light of its rearmament and the U.S. ‘pivot’ to Asia, helping to set off a regional arms race and increased geopolitical tensions between countries of the region, notably Japan and China.

My process of research takes time, but it yields significant results. As I do research, I go through extensive archives from major newspapers dating back decades, as well as academic journals, official publications from think tanks, government agencies, corporate/bank reports, international organizations and watch dog groups, NGOs, as well as declassified materials. As I collect this information, I take notes and extracts of important pieces of text, which I compile in individual databases of information on various topics, so that the research is collected and concentrated in a single space. From here, I can then extract the useful and relevant pieces of information into an actual written text. Using this approach, I have amassed quite literally hundreds and even thousands of pages of information on a wide variety of topics. It used to be that I simply wrote pieces as I researched them, leading to very long and detailed examinations of particular subjects. This relatively new approach (for me) will hopefully produce more concise summaries and analysis of events and issues, but it also means that I actually write less often, as my focus is still on the accumulation of research at present. Though, ultimately, this will also mean that I have a much more organized and greater mass of research from which I can write more concise and useful analyses.

It is these hundreds and thousands of pages of research that funding for The People’s Book Project has been supporting, which, in turn, will provide a very solid research ground on which to write the first volume of The People’s Book Project. But support is continually needed and appreciated. I received approximately $250 in donations over the previous week, bringing the total for the past two months to $1,737, with a goal of reaching $2,500. Please consider donating to The People’s Book Project to help the research and writing continue.

Thank you,

Andrew Gavin Marshall

The People’s Book Project: Research Methods and Progress

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