SUNAM, Ramesh Kumar



Affiliated organization, Waseda Institute for Advanced Study

Job title

Assistant Professor(without tenure)

Homepage URL


Dr. Ramesh Sunam is Assistant Professor at the Waseda Institute for Advanced Study (WIAS), Waseda University, Tokyo. After completing a JSPS postdoctoral fellowship at the United Nations University (UNU), Tokyo, he joined the Waseda University from May 2019. Dr Sunam earned his Ph.D. from the Australian National University (ANU) in 2015. His research focuses on international migration (both regular and irregular), precarity, poverty and rural transformation in the global South. He has extensively published about 15 peer-reviewed articles, most appearing in well-respected, leading international journals, such as the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, the Journal of Peasant Studies, and the Anthropological Forum. He is currently working on a book manuscript entitled ‘Transnational labour mobilities, poverty and agrarian change in Nepal’ to be published soon through a reputed academic press.

Concurrent Post 【 display / non-display

  • Faculty of Social Sciences   School of Social Sciences

Education 【 display / non-display

  • 2011.03

    Australian National University (ANU)   Crawford School of Public Policy  

Degree 【 display / non-display

  • Australian National University, ANU, Australia   PhD

  • Australian National University, ANU   MA

  • Tribhuvan University, Nepal   BA

Research Experience 【 display / non-display

  • 2019.05

    Waseda University   Waseda Institute for Advanced Study   Assistant Professor

  • 2016.10

    United Nations University   Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability   JSPS Postdoctoral Research Fellow

  • 2016.03

    Irregular Migration Research Programme & Red Elephant, Australia   Research Fellow

  • 2013.07

    Australian National University (ANU)   Crawford School of Public Policy   Research & Teaching Associate

Professional Memberships 【 display / non-display


    UK Development Studies Association (DSA)


    South Asia Research Institute (SARI)


    Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies


    Australian Sociological Association


    International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES)


Research Areas 【 display / non-display

  • Sociology   Sociology of Migration; Rural Sociology

  • Area studies   South Asia & Southeast Asia

  • Applied anthropology

  • Human geography

Research Interests 【 display / non-display

  • Poverty and Livelihoods

  • Anthropology of Development

  • Rural Development

  • Precarity

  • International Migration

Papers 【 display / non-display

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Books and Other Publications 【 display / non-display

  • (Book) Transnational Labour Migration, Livelihoods and Agrarian Change in Nepal: The Remittance Village

    ( Part: Sole author)

    Routledge  2020.04

  • [Book chapter] People smuggling in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka’. In Coyne, J., Nyst, M. (eds). People smugglers globally

    Ramesh Sunam( Part: Joint author)

    Australian Strategic Policy Institute  2017

  • [Book chapter] South Asia: Migrant Smuggling Data and Research’, in: McAuliffe, M.L., Laczko, F. (eds.), Migrant Smuggling Data and Research: A global review of the emerging evidence base

    Ramesh Sunam( Part: Joint author)

    International Organization for Migration  2016

  • [Book chapter] The significance of foreign labour migration and land for poverty reduction in Nepal’, in: Heshmati, A., Maasoumi, E., Wan, G. (eds.), Poverty reduction policies and practices in developing Asia.

    Ramesh Sunam( Part: Sole author)

    Springer  2015

Misc 【 display / non-display

  • [Policy Brief] Addressing Water Pollution from Agriculture in South Asia

    Ramesh Sunam, Anupama Mahat

       2020.11  [Invited]

    Authorship:Lead author

  • [Policy Blog] The Precariousness of Migrant Workers in Japan amidst COVID-19

    Focaal: Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology    2020.04

    Authorship:Lead author, Corresponding author

  • [Policy Brief] Governance and National Implementation of the 2030 Agenda: Lessons from Voluntary National Reviews. UNU-IAS Policy Brief Series. United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability.

    Ramesh Sunam

       2019  [Refereed]

    Rapid communication, short report, research note, etc. (bulletin of university, research institution)  

  • [Book review] Review of Dalit in the Nepali Media: Participation and the Content by J. B. Bishwokarma. Himalaya, 34(1): 142-43.

    Ramesh Sunam

       2014  [Refereed]

Awards 【 display / non-display

  • 2020 Waseda Research Award (High-Impact Publication)

    2021.03   Waseda University  

Presentations 【 display / non-display

  • South-South Transnational Labour Migration and Precarity

    Ramesh Sunam

    Mobility and the Future of Work 

    Presentation date: 2019.11

  • The Nexus Between Transnational Labour Migration, Precarity and Urbanisation: The Emergence of Locally Scattered Livelihoods in Rural Nepal

    Ramesh Sunam

    Migrations: Movement of People, Ideas, and Goods at the Waseda University (Oct. 16-17, 2019). 

    Presentation date: 2019.10

  • Contentious Affirmative Action Policy of Nepal: Reinterpreting Key Narratives

    Ramesh Sunam  [Invited]

    International Symposium on Politics of Dignity and Social Justice: Voices of Emerging Change Makers in Nepal 

    Presentation date: 2018.08

  • Anthropology of rural migration/outmigration

    Ramesh Sunam

    8th IUAES World Congress 

    Presentation date: 2018.07

  • Implications of international migration for poverty, land and agriculture in Nepal

    Ramesh Sunam  [Invited]

    What does migration mean on the home front? Implications for land and social change in Nepal 

    Presentation date: 2017.12

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Syllabus 【 display / non-display

Teaching Experience 【 display / non-display

  • Cultural Traditions of Asia

    Australian Catholic University  

  • Introduction to Sociology

    Australian Catholic University  

  • State, Society & Natural Resources

    Australian National University  

  • Food Security and Agricultural Policy

    Australian National University