Kei Otsuki

Research Associate

  • Kei Otsuki
    UNU Center, 53-70, Jingumae 5-chome, Shibuya-ku 150-8925, Tokyo
    +81 3 5467-1352

    Research Interests

    • Community sustainable development
    • Development sociology


    Ph.D., Rural Development Sociology, Department of Social Sciences, Wageningen University
    M.Sc., Global Agricultural Sciences, Graduate School of Agricultural and Live Sciences, University of Tokyo

    Biographical Statement

    Educated as a sociologist in Japan and the Netherlands and trained as a fieldworker and development expert in Brazil, Kei’s research focuses on linking grassroots, social development to sustainable development and linking developed and developing regions. Her current research interests include capacity building in developing countries, especially in Latin America and Africa, impacts of intervention, collective action, and changing roles of state, market, and civil society.

    She believes that in order to promote sustainable development globally, international cooperation needs to seriously support and strengthen the social capacity and ‘multi-level governance’ of developing societies to define their own terms for local engagement with global sustainability. To this end, she is elaborating research projects on: urban governance in Nairobi, Kenya; rural innovation opportunities in Ghana; and environmental change and social policies in Brazil (also a comparative analysis of Latin America and Africa).

    She is also greatly interested in methodology, in particular the role of ethnographic field research, to clarify this changing process and how to convey findings from the micro-level research to larger policy forums.

  • Peer-reviewed Books

    • Otsuki, K. Paradise in a Brazil Nut Cemetery: Sustainability Discourses and Social Action in Pará, the Brazilian Amazon. Wageningen: Wageningen University, 2007.

    Peer-reviewed Journal Articles

    • Otsuki, Kei (2011) ‘Framing Frontier Governance through Territorial Processes in the Brazilian Amazon’, Local Environment, forthcoming.
    • Otsuki, K. Sustainable Development Interfaces: A Case of NGO Project Process in Pará. Novos Cadernos NAEA, vol. 13, no. 1, 2010 (forthcoming).
    • Otsuki, K. The Global Environment as Life-worlds: On the Meanings of Sustainable Development. Desenvolvimento e Meio Ambiente 20, pp. 103-117 (Available online:, 2009.
    • Ros-Tonen, M. A. F., Andel, T., Morsello, C., Otsuki, K., Rosendo, S, and Sholz, I. Partnerships for Sustainable Forest Management and Good Forest Governance: Scenarios to Move beyond Reduced Impact Logging in the Brazilian Amazon. Forest Ecology and Management 256, pp. 1482-1497, 2008.
    • Otsuki, K. A Case Study on Land Property Concentration on the Brazilian Eastern Amazon Frontier in the 1990s. Japanese Journal of Tropical Agriculture 47(3), pp. 155-161, 2003a.
    • Otsuki, K. Global Commodities with Local Value: Non-Timber Forest Product Development in the Brazilian Amazon. European Tropical Forest Research Network News, 39/40, pp. 32-34, 2003b.