関 恒樹 Koki Seki, Ph.D.

Laboratory of Cultural Anthropology of Social Development and Globalization

社会開発とグローバル化の文化人類学 研究室

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My research interest is focused on examining various issues that emerge in the process of development and globalization through the approaches of cultural anthropology and Southeast Asian regional studies. The research recognizes “development and globalization” as an arena where various cultures and systems meet, interact, and negotiate with one another in the contemporary world. By focusing on development and globalization – a (post) modern device of knowledge and power – an examination is conducted on how the relationship among individual, the family, the community, society, and the state are being reconfigured, and, accordingly, how the “intimate sphere” and the “public sphere” are transformed and intermingled each other with the contemporary transitions of globalizing world. Through such inquiry, the discussion is made on what alternative institutions, values, and vision become necessary in the contemporary world.


Particularly, what are the predicaments, dilemmas, possibilities and “hope” that we can find in the cases of the developing countries with so-called “weak states”, which had been experiencing an unique path quite different from the countries of the West (including Japan) which had gone through the modern welfare states? In order to pursue these problems, researches are made on such topics as; the social development and government of urban poor communities, governmentality in  transnational social fields, and also political ecology of natural resource management. The research sites include the Philippines, Japan, and, recently, the United States. (Photo: A Visayan fishing village)



In pursuing relevant research, a cultural anthropological approach is adopted in which both an ethnography based on a “thick description” of multiple and complex social relationships and social events in the locality, and an accompanying field work that develops rapport among the people in the field are considered vital. Thus, cultural anthropology attempts to deal critically with the institution, knowledge, and theory that have universal relevance and view these from a local perspective which is ultimately gained through active participation in the life world of different cultures. Moreover, a regional studies approach is taken in order to respond to the global issues in the contemporary world by focusing on the uniqueness of the local society (Photo: Fieldwork course in Kita-hiroshima Town).

Koki Seki is an Associate Professor in the Graduate School for International Development and Cooperation of the Hiroshima University where interested students and related research collaboration are most welcome.

Email seki{at}hiroshima-u.ac.jp.