Modernizing Asia’s Countryside


Harvard-Yenching Institute Annual Roundtable
April 2, 2021

Link to video:


  • Han Do-Hyun, Professor of Sociology, Academy of Korean Studies
  • Nguyen Thi Phuong Cham, Director, Cultural Studies Institute, Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences
  • Nishikawa Kunio, College of Agriculture, Ibaraki University
  • Mini Sukumar, Department of Women’s Studies, University of Calicut
  • Wen Tiejun, Professor and Director of the Centre of Rural Reconstruction, Renmin University of China

Moderator: Elizabeth J. Perry, Henry Rosovsky Professor of Government, Harvard University; Director, Harvard-Yenching Institute

This interdisciplinary panel of distinguished scholars from China, India, Japan, Korea and Vietnam explored the record of successful and unsuccessful efforts at rural development in their own countries. Why have some programs succeeded in increasing productivity, improving infrastructure and public services, alleviating poverty, and ameliorating social and economic inequality, whereas others proved much less successful? What have Asian countries learned from these achievements and shortcomings? And, based on that knowledge, what lies ahead for 21st-century Asian villages?