Movement(s), Economy and Development in East Asia Research Cluster

Busy Japan city street

MEDEA is an inter-disciplinary research group with strong interest in migration, economic and social change, and development in East Asia. The MEDEA cluster consists of researchers with disciplinary backgrounds in international relations, economics, anthropology, business and law who conduct cutting-edge research with a focus particularly on contemporary China, Japan and Korea.

The cluster members’ varied research interests are unified by their joint aim to comprehensively assess the shifting social and economic environments of East Asia and provide a forum for researchers to share ideas and develop research projects on related topics. We welcome academics and PhD students to join our cluster.

Research Keywords
Migration, Depopulation, Social change, Policy, Law, Finance, Economic Development, Corporate Governance, Human Resource Management, Expatriate Adjustment, Regional studies, Urban geography, Development studies, Sociology, Anthropology, Social policy, Politics.

Current research

Markus Bell - My research interests include: Transmigration and Northeast Asia, gender and migration, kinship, memory studies, borderlands, anthropology of food, identity and belonging, NGOs, research methodology, the North Korean refugee crisis, the Japanese abduction issue.

Dr Yu Chen - Research interests are in China’s urbanisation and rural-to-urban migration, city development, urban labour market and housing. China is experiencing the largest migration wave in human history, with hundreds of millions of people moving from the countryside to cities to seek better life. She is interested in the social, economic, spatial and environmental consequences of such massive urbanisation. Her current research projects include migrants’ socio-economic integration in cities, urban neighbourhood change, social-spatial segregation and challenges for public policy.

Dr Harald Conrad is currently involved in two research projects.

  • Building an International Human Resource Base: Japanese Multinationals and the Recruitment of Fresh Foreign Graduates (FFGs) for Tokyo (in collaboration with Professor Dr. Hendrik Meyer-Ohle, National University of Singapore)
  • Managing (Un)certainty in the Japanese Antique Art Trade - How Economic and Social Factors Shape a Market
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Dr Malgorzata (Gosia) Jakimow - Chinese Politics: Chinese civil society, NGOs, migrant workers, labour movements and public policy in China. Chinese IR: Chinese political economy, Chinese and international NGOs' relations and China-EU relations (the transfer of EU development models to China through the EC projects in China).

Dr Peter Matanle - Lifetime Employment in 21st Century Japan; Depopulation and regional sustainability in East Asia; Postdoctoral career formation in Japanese studies. In the future, Peter plans to research the relationship between demographic change and resource consumption in Japan's rural regions, focusing on the spatial impacts of depopulation on resource demand.

Dr Ziyi Wei is working in collaboration with Dr Quyen T.K Nguyen, Henley Business School, University of Reading. Their current research papers focuses on Chinese multinational enterprises (MNEs) and the impact of home country institutions on the internationalization strategies of these firms, which is a topic of increasing importance in international business and management literature. Read more

Dr Mei Zhang - Globalisation and its impact on rural-urban migration, rural development and urbanisation in China. Cultural, environmental and sustainable development.

Dr Zhong Zhang - Chinese corporate governance from a legal perspective. Related to this, his research interests lie in two broader areas: Chinese (business) law and Chinese business and management. He is also interested in the subjects of law and development, and law and finance.

Dr Lucy Xai Zhao - Comparative syntax and language acquisition, especially second language acquisition. Her research is set against the background assumptions proposed by Noam Chomsky that there is an innate cognitive capacity for language in human brain. Dr. Zhao’s second area of interest is intercultural communication.