Professor (PhD in Agricultural Economics, Hokkaido University)
external link Activity Database on Education and Research / Personal Website
Fields of Research: International Political Economy of Agriculture and Food, Global Food Governance, Agri-food Politics and Sociology, Rural Development
Academic Backgrounds: I received a Master’s Degree in Economic Policy (1993) at Kyoto University. I withdrew from the doctoral programme as I got a position as Assistant Professor at the Graduate School of Agriculture, Hokkaido University (1995-2005), where I received a Doctoral Degree in Agricultural Economics (2001) by submitting a dissertation that was then published as a book (2002). During that period, I did my visiting research at Wageningen University (Social Sciences, 2002–2004). After coming back to Kyoto University as Associate Professor in 2005 and promoted to Professor in 2010, I had another chance to do my visiting research at VU University Amsterdam (Political Science, 2012). I currently serve as the Director of the Asian Platform for Global Sustainability & Transcultural Studies (Social Sciences and Humanities Unit of Top Global Courses) as well as the Director of this international graduate programme East Asia Sustainable Economic Development Studies.
Research Activities: My research interests include global governance of food security, industrialisation of agricultural biotechnology, social responsibility and regulation of multinational agribusiness corporations, and international comparative study of agrarian and rural development. Especially and currently, I’m conducting research projects on: corporate appropriation of food security and sustainable development discourses; politics in/behind the process of building sustainable agri-food systems; the Dutch agricultural model and alternative pathways to sustainable transformation. My disciplinary categories, therefore, can be well described as Social Sciences (rather than Agricultural Economics), including International Political Economy of Agriculture and Food; Sociology of Agriculture and Food; Sociology of Science and Technology; Geography of Agriculture and Food; Critical Theory; Gramscian Theory, etc. My international comparative research covers mainly Japan and the Netherlands, but I also have close research connections with scholars and universities in Italy, New Zealand, China, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand, and the United States, among others.
Courses in Charge: International Political Economy of Agriculture; International Agribusiness Studies; Comparative Development Studies; Critical Consumption Studies; On-site Research Training; Field Research in East Asia; Field Research in Europe
Skills and Qualities Required for Prospective Students: I look forward to applications from those who have studied, or at least are interested in studying, various disciplines of social sciences, such as sociology, geography, and political science, other than economics, and/or interdisciplinary approaches bridging social sciences and natural/technical sciences related to agriculture and food. The students in my group are strongly encouraged to conduct field research (e.g. interviews and participatory observation) as well as in-depth qualitative research (e.g. discourse analysis of policy, corporate and media documents). This is because these methods are requisite to understand power relations and structural dynamics in the economic and political processes with social and environmental consequences. The students in my group will have opportunities to participate in a series of joint activities with Rural Sociology Group of Wageningen University, the Netherlands.
Examples of Thesis Subjects:
- Carving out Livelihoods at the Borders of Modern Society: Multifunctional Livelihoods in Rural Spaces in the Case of Ayabe, Japan (ongoing)
- Uncovering the On-the-ground Consequences of Voluntary Sustainability Standards: Enabled and Disabled Power in the RSPO Legitimization Process in Indonesia (ongoing)
- The Politics of Halal Standards in Indonesia: Backlighting Corporate Penetration in the Ruling (ongoing)
- Alternative Agri-Food Networks and Rural Development: The Case of China in the Context of Sannong (2019)
- Political Economy of Corporate Packaged Food: A Study of Exchange and Consumption in Manila Slums (2019)
- Transformation of Food under the Capitalist Development: A History of the Formation of Vegetable Oil Complex in Japan (2018)
- Climate Smart Agriculture and Food Sovereignty: The Case of Climate Smart Villages (ongoing)
- An Assessment of the Private Sector’s Dominance in the Jamaican Coffee Industry and its Impact on the Livelihood of Smallholder Coffee Farmers in Eastern Jamaica (ongoing)
- Empowering Banana Farmers Cooperatives in the Philippines (ongoing)
- Chinese Peasants’ Struggles to Engage in Alternative Food Networks: A Sustainable Livelihood Perspective (2020)
- Power Dynamics in Small-Scale Fisheries Governance and Its Impacts on the Socio-Ecological Knowledge Structure (2020)
- The Political Economy of Golden Rice in the Philippines: Deconstructing the Stakeholder’s Narratives (2019)
- Care Farming and Rural Social Welfare: Experiences from Japan and the Netherlands (2019)
- Political Economy of Halal Food Certification and Labelling in Indonesia (2016)
- Reshaping Thailand’s Seed Market: A Discussion of the MNC-dominated Structure and the Exercise of Agency among Conflicting Stakeholders (2014)