Social Science Seminar

ProfessorMAKITA, Rie


Trained as a human geographer, Rie Makita is teaching sustainable development issues, with a particular attention to rural areas in the Global South. Her recent research focuses on relationships between global value chains and sustainable Livelihoods. She has conducted fieldwork in multiple world regions for development planning as well as for academic research. She is happy to share such experiences in different cultures with inquisitive students.


  • Geography of Development and Environment
  • Global Poverty Issues
  • Sustainable Development
  • Case Study Methods
  • Basic Seminar Ⅰ・Ⅱ
  • Advanced Seminar Ⅰ・Ⅱ
  • Graduation Thesis

Her courses focus on global issues, especially those facing the Global South. “Geography of Development and Environment” introduces an integrated examination of spaces and places; “Global Poverty Issues” digs into the nature of social sciences using poverty as the keyword; and “Sustainable Development” aims to embody the concept from different practical perspectives. “Case Study Methods” is open to anyone interested in qualitative research approaches.


The key topics of Advanced Seminars are planning development projects linked with foreign aid policies and business-supported poverty reduction strategies. She particulary welcomes students who can think global issues locally. The seminars also facilitate students to make their own arguments by selecting research methods in response to different types of research questions and analyzing cause-and-effect relationships.


2016 Professor, the Faculty of International Social Sciences, Gakushuin University
2011 Associate Professor, Rikkyo University, Graduate School of Social Design Studies
2008 Research Fellow, the University of Tokyo, Integrated Research System for Sustainability Science (based in the Energy and Resources Institute, New Delhi, India)
2007 Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Wollongong (Australia), Centre for Asia Pacific Social Transformation Studies
2006 Ph.D. in geographical science, the Australian National University
1998 Consultant, International Development Center of Japan
1995 Master of Professional Studies in Agriculture, Cornell University; Research Fellow, the Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund of Japan

Fields of Specialization

Development GeographyPolitical EcologySustainable LivelihoodsRural Transformation

Research content

Her research interests include alternative food movements and practices, the impact of global value chains and agricultural innovations for smallholders and landless laborers, sustainable livelihoods under agrarian change, and the compatibility of poverty reduction with natural resource management, especially in the context of Global South.

Major Publications

  • Makita, R. (2022). Untangling the confluence of two alternative food movements: Local and organic. International Journal on Food System Dynamics 13(4), pp. 384-394. DOI:
  • Makita, R. (2018). Application of Fair Trade certification for wild plants: Lessons from a FairWild project in India. International Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology 25(7), pp. 619-629. DOI: 10.1080/13504509.2018.1437844
  • Makita, R. & Tsuruta, T. (2017). Fair Trade and Organic Initiatives in Asian Agriculture: The Hidden Realities. London & New York: Routledge.
  • Makita, R. (2016). A role of Fair Trade certification for environmental sustainability. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 29(2), pp. 185-201. DOI: 10.1007/s10806-016-9604-0
  • Makita, R. (2016). Livelihood diversification with certification-supported farming: The case of land reform beneficiaries in the Philippines. Asia Pacific Viewpoint 57(1), pp.44-59. DOI: 10.1111/apv.12106
  • Makita, R. (2015). Fair trade and plantation workers in Asia. In L. Raynolds & E. Bennett (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Fair Trade (pp. 491-508). Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.DOI: 10.4337/9781783474622.00039
  • Makita, R. (2012). Fair Trade and organic initiatives confronted with Bt cotton in Andhra Pradesh, India: A paradox. Geoforum 43(6), pp. 1232-1241.DOI: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2012.03.009
  • Makita, R. (2012). Fair Trade certification: the case of tea plantation workers in India. Development Policy Review 30(1), pp. 87-107.DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-7679.2012.00561.x
  • Makita, R. (2009). New NGO‒elite relations in business development for the poor in rural Bangladesh. Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit 20(1), pp. 50-70.DOI: 10.1007/s11266-008-9077-5
  • Makita, R. (2009). The visibility of women’s work for poverty reduction: Implications from non-crop agricultural income-generating programs in Bangladesh. Agriculture and Human Values 26(4), pp. 379-390. DOI: 10.1007/s10460-008-9167-4
  • Makita, R. (2007). Livelihood Diversification and Landlessness in Rural Bangladesh. Dhaka, Bangladesh: University Press Ltd.


- Possible opportunities for Fair Trade to contribute to the alternative food movement, April 2020- March 2024 (scheduled)
Exploring the compatibility of poverty reduction with environmental conservation in the context of medicinal and aromatic plants, April 2015- March 2019
A geographical approach to development studies for the rural South: toward the compatibility of poverty reduction with environmental conservation, April 2012- March 2015
Theorization of poverty reduction and environmental conservation drawing on global marketing, August 2010- March 2012


E-mail : MAKITA, Rie

Office : South 2-304