Yu Maemura

Yu Maemura
Lecturer, International cooperation and stakeholder management
Keywords: Negotiation and conflict management, Evaluation theory, Intercultural communication
Personal webpage


PhD in International Studies (The University of Tokyo)

Current research topics

  • Systems development for policy analysis and capacity development
  • Critical analysis of ODA evaluation practices
  • Analyzing the governance structures of public services
  • Discourse/Corpus analysis of ODA policy, agendas, and communication

Selected publications

  • Bugalia, N., Maemura, Y., Ozawa, K. (2020) Organizational and institutional factors affecting high-speed rail safety in Japan. Safety Science. Vol. 128: 104762

  • Maemura, Y., Kim, E., Ozawa, K. (2018) Root Causes of Recurring Contractual Conflicts in International Construction Projects: Five Case Studies from Vietnam. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management. Vol. 144(8): 05018008

  • Maemura, Y. (2016) Impartiality and Hierarchical Evaluations in the Japanese Development Aid Community. American Journal of Evaluation, Vol. 37(3), pp.408-424

  • Maemura, Y., Horita, M. (2012) Humour in Negotiations: A Pragmatic Analysis of Humour in Simulated Negotiations. Group Decision and Negotiation, Vol 21(6), pp. 821-838


Due to the inherent complexity of development assistance, ODA stakeholders face a multitude of challenges in their attempts to achieve development goals. Of the various challenges that play out in the frontlines of development projects, we aim to conduct research that can help these stakeholders. One of the ways we try to achieve this is by analyzing organizational or institutional systems, and to generate lessons that can enhance the capacity or management skills of the communities concerned. As a research team, our goal is to contribute to theories and/or frameworks that can help liberate people from poverty, or will help organizations striving to achieve universal or locally co-constructed development goals.

Examples of past research projects include a) structured case studies of the management issues and contractual conflicts in global infrastructure mega-projects; b) critical analyses of evaluation policy and practice in Japan and OECD donor countries for enhanced governance and accountability; and c) developing an inter-cultural communication competencies framework for international development professionals. These past projects have led our team to conduct research in the fields of: communication studies and linguistics; negotiation and conflict management; evaluation theory; and system dynamics, among others.

I am very passionate about qualitative research, and so I am always willing to help construct a line of inquiry together with students and researchers who feel compelled to try and understand development issues through epistemological or ethical perspectives.

A message to applicants

I am an alumnus of this program, and the lessons I learned here broadened my perspectives in the truest sense. The Professors, colleagues, and friends that I met here made me realize how primitive my understanding of development issues were, and opened my eyes to the rigidity of my analytical assumptions. I believe it is my responsibility to share these experiences with students and researchers.