Jun Borras Associate

Our people — Associate

Sue Cowell

A TNI Fellow since 2008, Saturnino 'Jun' M Borras Jr. ranks among the top 1% of the world’s most cited researchers in his field, and is a recipient of a European Research Council Advanced Grant (2019-2024) for his research on land politics and five spheres of global social life (food, climate change, labour/migration, citizenship, and geopolitics). Jun has been deeply involved in rural social movements since the early 1980s in the Philippines. He was a founding member of the international small farmers’ movement La Via Campesina (LVC), serving on its International Coordinating Committee (ICC) in 1993-1996. On moving into academia, Jun has stayed true to the activist-scholarship tradition.

He is Professor of Agrarian Studies at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of Erasmus University in Rotterdam where he earned his Phd in 2004. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the College of Humanities and Development Studies at China Agricultural University, Beijing, and a Fellow of Food First in California. Jun also serves on the board of the Philippine NGO RIGHTS. Jun’s publications can be found here.

He is Editor-In-Chief of the Journal of Peasant Studies (JPS), which has been ranked first for the past years in the fields of Development Studies as well as in Anthropology. Jun also serves on the editorial advisory boards of the Journal of Agrarian Change, Canadian Journal of Development Studies, Alternatives Sud, Third World Quarterly, Russian Journal of Peasant Studies, Public Policy: Interdisciplinary Development Perspectives, and Land. In collaboration with PLAAS, Young African Researchers in Agriculture Network and the Future Agricultures Consortium, Jun organises the annual JPS Writeshops intended for young researchers from the Global South. 2019 Writeshop participants have organized themselves (and future writeshop participants) into a global network, namely, Collective of Agrarian Scholar-Activists in the South (CASAS) -- https://casasouth.org.

Jun co-anchors a number of international networks through Initiatives in Critical Agrarian Studies. Currently, these initiatives concern, respectively, land grabbing, agrarian politics of BRICS countries, authoritarianism in rural contexts, and migrant farm workers in China and Southeast Asia. TNI is associated with three. He also serves on the advisory boards of: LANDac, the Netherlands Land Academy at Utrecht University; DEMETER, a project of the Geneva Graduate Institute; and GLOCON, Global Change-Local Conflicts Research Group at Free University of Berlin. He collaborates with Paul Nicholson (one of the founding leaders of La Via Campesina) and community activists on an on-going action research on the political economy of the increasing popularity of the Camino de Santiago and its implications for the local communities across the pilgrimage trail.

Areas of expertise:

Land/resource/climate change/food politics; (trans)national agrarian movements; migrant farm workers especially in China, Myanmar and Vietnam;  geopolitics, BRICS/MICs and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and global agrarian transformations; state/citizenship, rightwing populism and the rural world; and global governance institutions. Southeast Asia, China, Africa, and South America.


2020 Ester Boserup Prize for research on development.
2019 Ranked as in top 1% most cited researchers in his field
2018 Ranked as in top 1% most cited researchers in his field
2009 National Book Award (Social Sciences) in Philippines

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