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The State of Civil Society in Japan


  • 14 b/w illus. 14 tables
  • Page extent: 414 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.78 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 300/.952
  • Dewey version: 21
  • LC Classification: JQ1681 .S69 2003
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Civil society--Japan

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521827300 | ISBN-10: 0521827302)

For all the obstacles that remain, civil society is burgeoning in Japan, and the idea of civil society is at the core of the current debate about how to reinvigorate the country. This book gathers the insights of American and Japanese scholars from the fields of political science, sociology, social psychology, and history to investigate the nature of associational life and the public sphere in Japan. It goes beyond assessing the condition of civil society to explore the role of the state in shaping civil society over time, and its broad, comparative framework is useful for thinking about civil society not just in Japan, but elsewhere in the contemporary world. Given its wealth of original research and the uniform strength of its individual chapters, this book will appeal to a broad audience of social scientists, practitioners, and policy-makers.

• The only interdisciplinary survey of civil society in Japan • A systematic survey of civil society in Japan • A theoretically informed survey that brings the study of civil society in Japan into the mainstream of Western literature on the subject


Introduction; Part I. Context: 1. What is civil society? Frank Schwartz; 2. From Meiji to Heisei: the state and civil society in Japan Sheldon Garon; 3. Capitalism and civil society in postwar Japan: perspectives from intellectual history Andrew Barshay; Part II. The Associational Sphere: 4. Japan's civil society organizations in comparative perspective Tsujinaka Yutaka; 5. Molding Japanese civil society: state structured incentives and the patterning of civil society Robert Pekkanen; 6. After Aum: religion and civil society in Japan Helen Hardacre; 7. State-society partnerships in the Japanese welfare state Margarita Estevez-Abe; Part III. The Nonmarket Activities of Economic Actors: 8. Redefining the conservative coalition: agriculture and small business in Japan Robert Bullock; 9. The death of unions' associational life? Political and cultural aspects of enterprise unions Suzuki Akira; 10. The struggle for an independent consumer society: consumer activism and the state's response in postwar Japan Patricia Maclachlan; Part IV. State-Civil Society Linkages: 11. Media and the Internet in the development of civil society in Japan Laurie Freeman; 12. A tale of two legal systems: prosecuting corruption in Japan and Italy David Johnson; Part V. Globalization and Value Change: 13. Trust and social intelligence in Japan Yamagishi Toshio; 14. Building global civil society from the outside in? Japan's development NGOs, the state, and international norms Kim Reimann; Conclusion: targeting by an activist state: Japan as a civil society model Susan Pharr.


'This impressive and wide-ranging collection of essays explores the problems and potential of Japan's increasingly robust civil society … The scope and high quality of the 15 chapters make this an important and rewarding book with wide appeal.' The Japan Times

'The contributors' insistence on analyzing the interplay between the state and civil society, rather than studying the spheres in isolation, is a valuable framework … the book is a major step toward understanding the complexity of Japan's civil society, especially the interplay of society and the state.' The Asahi Shimbun


Susan Pharr, Frank Schwartz, Sheldon Garon, Andrew Barshay, Tsujinaka Yutaka, Robert Pekkanen, Helen Hardacre, Margarita Estevez-Abe, Robert Bullock, Suzuki Akira, Patricia Maclachlan, Laurie Freeman, David Johnson, Yamagishi Toshio, Kim Reimann

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