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Centre of Development Studies



Tadashi is an Affiliated Lecturer and a Research Associate at the Centre of Development Studies. His research target is to make development policies truly human-centred by placing people’s values seriously in the process of development. This covers the disciplines of development studies, positive psychology, political economy and public policy. Apart from teaching at Cambridge, he works for a collective farm in Ukraine to implement the United Nations’ Human Development and Sustainable Development Goals. His previous appointments include a consultancy for the United Nations Development Programme in Brazil and a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Research Fellowship at the University of Tokyo.


Tadashi’s research interests include development ethics (particularly in human development and basic needs), development indicators, global governance, institutions, self-determination, motivation, and happiness.


Key publications: 

Hirai, T. (2022) “A Balancing Act between Economic Growth and Sustainable Development: Historical trajectory through the lens of development indicators” Sustainable Development.

Comim, F. & Hirai, T. (2022) “Sustainability and Human Development Indicators: A poset analysis”. Ecological Economics, 198.

Hirai, T. (2021) “Measuring Capabilities: Taking people’s values seriously” World Development, 148.

Hirai, T. (2021) “Happiness in BRICS” In P. B. Anand et al. (eds.) Oxford Handbook of BRICS and Emerging Economies. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Hirai, T., Comim, F. & Jolly, R. (2021) “Rescuing Human Development from a Lip Service Syndrome” Development Policy Review, 39(2).

Hirai, T. (2020) “Impact of Trust on the Quality of Participation in Development: The case of Ukraine” International Journal of Social Quality, 10(2).

Hirai, T. (2020) “Health in ASEAN from the Perspecive of SDGs” ASEAN Development Outlook Backgruond Paper.

Hirai, T. (2018) “For a Happy Human Development” In F. Comim et al. (eds.) New Frontiers of the Capability Approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Hirai, T. (2017) The Creation of the Human Development Approach. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.

Hirai, T. & Ikemoto, Y. (2017) “Sen’s Economics in The Idea of Justice: Induction vs deduction” Review of Political Economy, 29(1).

Hirai, T., Comim, F. & Ikemoto, Y. (2016) “Happiness and Human Development: A capability perspective” Journal of International Development, 28(7).

DeHaan, C., Hirai, T. & Ryan, R. (2016) “Nussbaum's Capabilities and Self-Determination Theory's Basic Psychological Needs: Relating some fundamentals of human wellness” Journal of Happiness Studies, 17(5).

Teaching and Supervisions


Tadashi is one of the coordinators for the MPhil Paper 15 ‘Human Development and Education’ in the Centre of Development Studies. He is also a supervisor for the Tripos Paper 17 ‘Land Policy and Development Economics’ in the Department of Land Economy.

Affiliated Lecturer and Research Associate, Centre of Development Studies, University of Cambridge
BA (Tokyo University of Foreign Studies), MPhil (Cantab), PhD (Cantab)
Paper 15 Human Development and Education Coordinator
Currently not taking PhD Students
Dr  Tadashi  Hirai

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