Prof. dr. Kei Otsuki

Kei Otsuki is Professor of International Development Studies at Utrecht University. Her research interests center on social equity and justice for sustainable development. She critically explores often contested relationships between the global agenda for sustainability transitions and local environment and well-being. She has conducted field research on the relationship between forest conservation and spontatnous human settlements in the Brazilian Amazon, and between nature conservation and forced displacement and resettlement in Mozambique. She also has a wide range of research experience on the nexus between climate change, gender, and various forms of human mobility in Ghana; and inclusive urban and infrastructure development in Kanya, Tanzania and Mozambique. Currently, she works on 'green' mineral and natural gas extraction and displacement and resettlement in northern Mozambique, and her latest international research project is on impacts of the new 'Forest City' as the capital city of Indonesia. She is also a core team member of the Critical Pathways community of the Pathways to Sustainability Strategic Theme of Utrecht Unviersity and a fellow at the Centre for Global Challenges (UGlobe). 

Kei holds a PhD in Development Sociology from Wageningen University and MSc and BA degrees from the University of Tokyo, Japan. Prior to Utrecht University, she worked at United Nations University as a Research Associate in the field of international cooperation and sustainable development. 


Kei's recent research projects as the Principal Investigator (PI):


1) Following Frontiers of the 'Forest City': Towards Sustainable and Inclusive Urbanization in Kalimantan and Beyond (NWO-Merian Fund, 2022-2026).


2) Inside Investment Frontiers of Sustainability Transitions (NWO-Aspasia, 2019-2023).


3) Remaking of Communities at the Edge of Capitalist Frontiers: An Ethnographic Case Study of Displacement and Rsesettlement in Mozambique's Limpopo National Park (Toyota Foundation, 2018-2021).


She is also a co-principal investigator of Coping with Urban and Infrastructural Heterogeneity: Sustainable Energy Transitions in Tanzania and Mozambique (with Jochen Monstadt, NWO-WOTRO, 2018-2023).


Her past resarch projects include: Sustainable development of spontaneous settlements in the Brazilian Amazon (FASID PhD scholarship, 2003-2007, CERES postdoctoral fellowship, 2008-2009, both at Wageningen University); Enhancing resilience to climate and ecosystem changes in semi-arid Africa as a visiting research fellow at United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study on Sustainability (UNU-IAS) in Tokyo, Japan (JST/JICA, 2012-2017); Land governance, food security and inclusive business in Mozambique (NWO Food and Business Applied Research, 2014-2016);


Since 2017, she has been the coordinator of the Master Sustainable Development - International Development Track in collaboration with the Copernicus Institute.

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