Track #1 Environmental Policy & Rural Development Studies
The social sciences are strongly expected to respond to increasing concerns about environmental and food security by providing a basis for knowledge, practices and governance in sustainable development. Sustainable development is a process that requires a holistic way of looking at ourselves and the world around us, i.e. our relationship with each other, with the ecosystem, and with future generations. We are faced with complex problems, which require complex solutions. We therefore need to study and acquire multidimensional and multidisciplinary approaches. Globalisation demands that issues be tackled using international perspectives, but at the same time actual problems are quite likely to arise at the local level. We therefore need to nurture a sense of reality on the ground. These approaches and perspectives are crucial especially in environmental, agricultural and food-related social sciences and policy studies.
The objective of the track #1 is to provide an in-depth and comprehensive understanding of the dynamics and processes of sustainable development in the environmental, economic, social and political spheres with a keen focus on the governance of energy, food and natural resources.
Area of Study
The track #1 covers the field of environmental, agricultural and food-related social sciences and policy studies. It is designed for any and all graduate students with an interest in the globally pressing issues of environmental, agricultural and food governance from a wide range of social scientific perspectives, including environmental policy and governance, international political economy of agriculture, international relations, food policy, rural sociology, environmental sociology, development sociology, economic geography, and environmental economics.
Students participating in the track #1 are expected to acquire the knowledge and skills to analyse the complex and dynamic processes of environmental management, agricultural production and food consumption. It is our educational goal that our students enhance their understanding and critical sense of reality of ecological, economic, social and political systems from a multidimensional and multidisciplinary perspective.
Ongoing PhD Research Projects
・Political Economy of Vegetable Oils: Japanese Contribution and Food Regime Perspectives
・Agrarian Prosumer-driven Sustainable Agrifood Networks in S.Korea, Japan and Italy
・Food Security Policy of China: From an International Relations Perspective
・Legitimacy of Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) in Indonesia
・Reconstructing meanings and practices of halal: the politics of state-led halal standards in Indonesia
・Political Economy of Corporate Packaged Food in Slums: A study of Metro Manila’ squatter areas
・Alternative Approaches of Vegetable Provisioning to Gain Consumer Trust in China
・Sustainable Food and Agriculture Tourism as a Way to Revitalise Local and Domestic Economies
Voices from Guest Professor & Students
Prof. dr. Hugh Campbell
(Chair of Sociology Department, University of Otago, New Zealand)
Taught an intensive course “Sociology of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Crisis” in November 2017.
For students coming here, they get the chance of studying things that are fundamental and important to the future survival on the planet. But also, the chance to come here is enhanced by the fact that there is a lot of visiting scholars from all around the world. They are all eminent world leaders in their field and students really get the chance in a very small and intensive short course to have a very sort of close intellectual engagement with these leaders in the field. So, this is an amazing opportunity for students to come to Kyoto University and take one of these courses.
International Joint Certificate Programme – Wageningen University, The Netherlands
Students of the track #1 will be encouraged to take an exchange programme (MSc in International Development Studies/ PhD in Rural Development) at Wageningen University, the Netherlands, one of the world’s leading education and research centres in the field of environmental, agricultural and food-related sciences. This will be authorised and institutionalised as a joint certificate seeking programme in the future (under discussion).
- One of the five departments, Department of Social Sciences, consists of six Sub-departments: Sociology & Anthropology of Development; Sociology & Governance; Communication, Philosophy and Technology; Economics; Business, Consumer and Competence Studies; and Management Decision Support. First two sub-departments, including 7 chair groups such as Rural Sociology, Sociology of Development and Change, and Environmental Policy, among others, are our close counterpart. They collaboratively offer the MSc programme of International Development Studies, in which master students of the track #1 will have a chance to join as an exchange student to take relevant courses.
- Researchers, including PhD candidates, based in 26 chair groups of Social Sciences and Environmental Sciences, participate in the Wageningen School of Social Sciences (WASS) and promote research that increases the understanding of social processes and design practices around challenges in the domains of food, agriculture, environment, health and development. Doctoral students of the track #1 will have a chance to take part in PhD training courses organized by WASS and other graduate institutions.