updated on May 14, 2022
Akihiro Ogawa, Ph.D.
Professor of Japanese Studies, Asia Institute, University of Melbourne (September 2015 – present)
Sidney Myer Asia Centre
University of Melbourne
761 Swanston Street, Parkville
VIC 3010 Australia
Akihiro Ogawa is an internationally active scholar with a multi-disciplinary approach to the social sciences. Following the receipt of a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Cornell University in 2004 and subsequent years of post-doctoral work at Harvard University’s Program on US-Japan Relations and Department of Anthropology, he taught at Stockholm University, Sweden, between 2007 and 2015, where he was promoted from an assistant professor to a professor. Since September 2015, Ogawa has been the Japanese Studies Chair at the University of Melbourne.
His major research interests are contemporary Japan and Asia, focusing on civil society. He keeps abreast of the latest developments in social science theory, choosing projects that cultivate a deep understanding of how society functions within contemporary theoretical contexts. His research is international in scope and comparative in focus.
Ogawa is the author of The Failure of Civil Society?: The Third Sector and the State in Contemporary Japan (SUNY, 2009), which won the Japan NPO Research Association Book Award in 2010, and Lifelong Learning in Neoliberal Japan: Risk, Knowledge, and Community (SUNY, 2015). Recently he completed an edited volume titled New Frontiers in Japanese Studies (Routledge, 2020) with Philip Seaton, professor at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies School of Japan Studies.
He is leading the Asian Civil Society Research Network and producing impactful, distinguished work with a unique, interdisciplinary focus emphasizing innovative and empirically grounded concepts, such as ethnography. He edited Routledge Handbook of Civil Society in Asia (Routledge, 2017) and co-edited Transnational Civil Society in Asia (Routledge, 2021) and Authoritarianism and Civil Society in Asia (Routledge, 2022).
Ogawa has also held affiliations with King’s College London, the University of Tokyo, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (Japan), Aarhus University (Denmark), University of Duisburg-Essen (Germany), Stockholm School of Economics, and Columbia University (USA). Before beginning his academic career, he was a staff reporter for five years at Kyodo News, a Japanese wire service, where he covered the Tokyo Stock Exchange and the Bank of Japan.
He leads the Inagaki Seminar on Japan at the University of Melbourne.
Recently Ogawa received the Japan Social Education Award (Silver) 2020 for a co-written article with a research collaborator in his 20-year action research project in Tokyo. It was published in Shakai Kyoiku 889 (July 2020).
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