James A. Hafner

Professor Emeritus
political economy
political development
political resources
SE Asia
262 Morrrill Science Center
(413) 545-0778 ?
Research Interests: 

James A. Hafner obtained his B.A. degree from Miami University (Ohio) and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Michigan. After three years of dissertation research in Southeast Asia he joined the University of Massachusetts faculty in 1970. He has held numerous administrative and service positions within the Department and University, currently serving as Chair of the Asian Studies Program and as a member of the Five College Asian Pacific American Committee. His involvement with Federal and International Agencies has included membership on the Fulbright and Fulbright-Hays National Screening Committees for Southeast Asia, consultant to the Developing Countries of the Ford Foundation, and the United Nations Mekong Committee. Interest in the problems of international development have frequently involved him in off-campus research and consulting. In l972 and l973 he worked as a Research Consultant at the Social Science Research Institute, Chulalonkgorn University in Bangkok, Thailand where he co-directed a study of social and institutional changes in Chon Buri province. Subsequently, as a Geographic Consultant to the United Nations Mekong Committee in l975-l976, he joined an international research team in studying questions of population displacement and resettlement in the impact area of the proposed Pa Mong Dam on the Mekong River in Laos and northeast Thailand. In l983-l984 he received a Senior Fulbright Fellowship to conduct research and develop social science research programs on problems of rural development at Khon Kaen University in northeast Thailand. In the mid 1980s he led an interdisciplinary resarch program supported by the Ford Foundation to study deforestation and human-forest interactions in Thailand, continuing that collaboration in l992 under a Senior Fulbright Research Award. He has been a lecturer at the Foreign Service Institute of the U.S. Department of State in Washington, participated in State Department seminars on Mekong Basin Development, and served as a research consultant to the Developing Countries Program of the Ford Foundation in Thailand and the Philippines. Many of his teaching and research interests have focused on processes of rural social and economic change in the context of the development process. His past research in Southeast Asia has involved studies of traditional water transport systems, the impacts of highway development on the development process, population ecology and rural poverty, and new models and strategies for participatory and integrated rural development. He is currently completing work on a study of the political ecology of forest use and access in Thailand while working on a review of long-term population-land use dynamics in the northeast region of that country. This material has evolved from research begun in 1983 under his Fulbright Award and subsequent work begun in 1985 with an interdisciplinary team of Thai foresters and social scientists to study forest land encroachment and land use in upper watershed areas of northeast Thailand. His current plans include applying the experience gained in this work to a study of traditional knowledge systems and community-based management of buffer zones are the Mt. Apo National Park in southern Mindanao, Philippines.