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Implications for East Asia’s Regionalization
and Sustainable Development


March 15, 2022    |    9:30 - 17:00 Tokyo, Japan    |    Online @ZOOM Webinar

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About The Symposium

The interdependent relationship between society and nature is a defining debate of the 21st century, including in relation to climate change, sustainable development, and the Anthropocene. Globalization and regionalization have brought about not only convenience and prosperity for some, but also cross-border challenges such as natural disasters, pollution, resource depletion, and environmental degradation that impact others.

Understanding how East Asian regionalism connects societies and ecologies with implications for equity and sustainability requires collaboration across the conventional boundaries, disciplines, and sectors to coproduce new and relevant knowledge.

This symposium will examine the practices and implications of “environmental offshoring” under East Asia regionalism, including the consequences of bilateral and multilateral agreements and development policies. Attention will be paid to the issues of ecological sustainability, distributional equity, and business continuity.

Meet The Speakers


Kaoru Sugihara

Program director and professor at the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN) at Kyoto. He specializes in modern Asian and global economic history, with focus on resources and the environment. He worked for the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, Osaka University, Kyoto University and the University of Tokyo. The East Asian Miracle in Global History (2020), a synthesis of his work on East Asia's economic and environmental implications for global history won the Grand Prize of the Asia-Pacific Award in 2021.

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Carl Middleton

Assistant Professor and Deputy Director of the Graduate Studies in International Development Studies Program, and Director of the Center for Social Development Studies, in the Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand. He is a political ecologist with research interests in hydropolitics, hydrosocial relations and environmental justice in Southeast Asia.

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Ian G. Baird

Professor of Geography and the Director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His work intersects political ecology, political geography and the histories of marginal peoples in mainly Laos, Cambodia and Thailand. His most recent book is titled Rise of the Brao: Ethnic Minorities in Northeastern Cambodia during Vietnamese Occupation (University of Wisconsin Press 2020).


Maiko Nishi

Research Fellow of Biodiversity and Society at United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS), engaging in research and capacity development activities for the International Partnership for the Satoyama Initiative (IPSI). Her research interests include social-ecological system governance, local and regional planning, and agricultural land policy. PhD in Urban Planning from Columbia University.

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Paul K. Gellert

Associate Professor of Sociology and Director of Global Studies at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. His research focuses on the political economy and ecology of Southeast Asia. He co-edited Ecologically Unequal Exchange (Palgrave, 2019), contributed a chapter on "Environmental Degradation and Climate Disaster" to The Political Economy of Southeast Asia (Palgrave, 2020), and has published journals such as Sociology of Development and Globalizations.

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Simon Olsen

Research manager with the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) – in Hayama, Japan, where he has been since 2010. His areas of interest include environmental governance, civic engagement, and social justice and their intersections in international sustainable development processes surrounding the sustainable development goals (SDGs). He has a PhD in Environmental Sciences and Policy from the Central European University, Hungary.


Takeshi Ito

Professor of Political Science, Sophia University. His research explores how the state and market’s control of nature and its resources has shaped social-ecological relations with variegated consequences including marginalization of species, deepening of capitalist relations, and unequal access to resources. His research interests, lying at the intersection of ecology, capitalism, and the state, include Agrarian and Environmental Change, Political Economy of Development, theories of Hegemony and Resistance, Southeast Asia, and Japan.


March 15, 2022

9:30 - 17:00

Tokyo, Japan



@ZOOM Webinar


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