Okamoto Masaaki is Associate Professor at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University. His research focuses on politics in the newly democratized Indonesia, including local politics and decentralization, political violence and security providers, and political Islam. In his most recent research he looks at the rapid expansion of oil palm plantations in Indonesia and its significant impact on local culture, economics, society and politics. The various oil palm stakeholders are engaged in discourse to legitimize their own standpoints both at the global and local level. Professor Okamoto is currently researching these contending discourses on oil palm plantations or monoculture plantations in general in tropical Asia. During his stay at the Harvard-Yenching Institute, he will continue to research the contending discourses surrounding this expansion.