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Research interests

Saturnino ('Jun') M. Borras Jr. is Professor of Agrarian Studies at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in The Hague, and an Editor of Journal of Peasant Studies. He is a recipient of the European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant for his ongoing research project, "Commodity & land rushes: reshaping five spheres of global social life - food, climate change politics, labour/migration, state/citizenship, and geopolitics" in Africa, Asia and Latin America. He is also Distinguished Professor at China Agricultural University, Beijing, and an associate at the Netherlands-based Transnational Institute (TNI).

He has several publications: books, journal special issues, and articles. His Open Access books include Political Dynamics of Transnational Agrarian Movements (with Marc Edelman) and Authoritarian Populism and the Rural World (co-edited). He is currently co-editing (with Jennifer Franco) The Oxford Handbook of Land Politics.

His research interests include: land politics/land rush, (trans)national agrarian movements (TAMs); migrant farmworkers, climate change politics; food politics/food sovereignty; BRICS and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and global agrarian transformations. His geographic areas of research interest are: Southeast Asia, China, Africa, and South America. He also studies international institutional 'spaces' of state- society interactions, including the role of global governance institutions.

He works within the tradition of, and at the same time studies and writes about, scholar-activism. This has been influenced by his background: He has been deeply involved in rural social movements since the early 1980s in the Philippines, and later, internationally. He was a founding member of the international peasant and farmer's movement La Via Campesina (LVC), and was a member of LVC's International Coordinating Committee (ICC) in 1993-1996. He has engaged, selectively, with international inter-governmental institutions on specific issues. 

He is in the Web of Science Highly Cited Researchers List for five consecutive years, 2018-2022. He has received the Ester Boserup Prize for Research on Development (2020), and is a winner of the National Book Award 2009 (Philippines). He is a co-editor of the ICAS small book series in critical agrarian studies, all of the available titles in it are now Open Access. He collaborates with the Collective of Agrarian Scholar-Scholar-Activists in the South (CASAS) on a number of training initiatives.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 13 - Climate Action


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