Yoshihiro, an EMES member in Japan

Yoshihiro, an EMES member in Japan

My name is Yoshihiro Nakano; I am a junior researcher at Waseda University and will soon move to Rikkyo University (both are located in Tokyo, Japan). My area of specialization is social philosophy and critical development studies. Inspired by the culturalist approach of Serge Latouche, Arturo Escobar and other authors in the post-development school, I am exploring diverse currents of “social design-by-people” as opposed to “social design-by-experts”. My recent research investigates the genealogy of post-development and degrowth in Japan, with a particular focus on its unfinished debate on epistemologies of the South.

At Waseda University, I am coordinating a workshop series at the Global Asia Research Center. The aim of our research center is to consolidate a transdisciplinary network of researchers in the fields of global history and global governance. This is a unique project in that we try to articulate social science research topics such as sustainable development, global migration, and post-growth, with humanities research topics such as colonial history of modernity and wars, history of material cultures, people’s memories and historical reconciliation in Asian nations.

In 2020, I organized an online workshop series entitled “COVID-19 and Socio-ecological Transition”, inviting Giacomo D’Alisa, Jean-Louis Laville (founding member of EMES and institutional member through the CNAM), Marc Humbert, Vicki Squire, Stefano Bartolini, Satoko Kishimoto and Mauro Bonaituti to discuss a vision of new societal project in a time of the pandemic. In 2021, I launched the Research Forum for Sustainable Living and Conviviality, holding workshops on related topics.

Apart from Waseda, I am working with a group of anthropologists and environmental philosophers on the topics related to the Anthropocene. This research project, “Planetary Crisis and Local Change”, adopts a humanities approach and lays emphasis on the role of imagination and storytelling in the interpretation of the Anthropocene, exploring diverse socio-cultural innovations from the multi-species and pluriversal perspective.

As an activist, I have been a longstanding member of Tokyo-based NPO Pacific Asia Resource Center (PARC), coordinating popular education programs. I am also a supporter of NPO Women’s Eye, an eco-feminist organization supporting women’s community economic activities in Tohoku area. My cultural root is placed in Murozumi, a small fishing village located in a peninsula in the Seto Inland Sea of Southwest Japan, where my family has lived for seven generations. I have engaged in a community building project there in the hope of reinventing a new social imagination that overcomes the problems of ageing, depopulation and the 39-year conflict over nuclear-power plant project dividing my community. For more details, see my personal website.

I wish to expand my academic network with EMES members.

Yoshihiro Nakano

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