Associate Professor Virgil Hawkins, Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP)
Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP)
"Providing a Voice to Those Who Need it Most"
About Dr. Hawkins
Dr. Hawkins completed both his undergraduate and graduate studies at Osaka University (Faculty of Law and the Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP), respectively), focusing on conflict, peace, and the United Nations Security Council. After completing his Ph.D. in 2002, he spent the next five years based in Cambodia and Zambia doing development work for a non-governmental organization, where he focused primarily on public health and poverty alleviation. He returned to Osaka University as a faculty member in 2007, first at the Global Collaboration Center (GLOCOL) and, as of 2010, at OSIPP.
Shedding light on all corners of the globe
Dr. Hawkins’ research focuses on the way in which the news media covers the world, with a particular emphasis on the parts of the world that the news media fails to cover, most notably Africa. The media has a tendency to largely ignore a significant portion of the world, and Dr. Hawkins’ research aims to identify both the cause and implications of this state of affairs. As part of this endeavour, Dr. Hawkins, along with his undergraduate and graduate students, established Global News View (GNV), an online news analysis site publishing articles and data that examine the Japanese news media and provide perspectives on issues that they fail to cover. GNV can be found at: http://globalnewsview.org/ .
He also has an interest in helping the parts of the world that are neglected by the news media in order for them to promote their own perspectives to the rest of the world. This resulted in the establishment of the Southern African Centre for Collaboration on Peace and Security (SACCPS) ( http://saccps.org/ ) in conjunction with several universities in southern Africa. The Centre holds annual conferences and publishes both a blog and an academic journal.
The world is your classroom
Dr. Hawkins says, “With the word ‘international’ in the title of the school and almost half of the student body coming from abroad, OSIPP was established with a degree of intrinsic diversity and with the purpose to engage with the world, learn from it, and shine light on it.” While the vast majority of the graduate students in his research group have come from abroad, he points out that there are opportunities for students from anywhere to branch out in multiple directions overseas. He continues, “Students can take advantage of study abroad programs while at OSIPP, or internship placements in international organizations abroad.” At the same time, OSIPP hosts a considerable number of international guests each year from all parts of the globe who offer lectures and other opportunities for interaction.
Japan’s path to global awareness
Dr. Hawkins believes that Japan has a long way to go in its journey to develop a global perspective that will serve both global and domestic interests and help to make the world a better place, and that the news media has a major role to play in this regard. He says, “I hope that the recently acquired interest in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as Osaka’s preparations for and hosting of the World Expo in 2025, will serve to raise awareness of the world as a whole and inspire change.”