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THE FAILURE OF CIVIL SOCIETY?: AN ETHNOGRAPHY OF NPOS AND THE STATE IN CONTEMPORARY JAPAN

Political scientists of Japan were the earliest to study the phenomenon broadly, to analyze how the Japanese state mobilized civic organizations to take on increasing demands for social services, and to understand the unprecedented ways legislation was swiftly put in place to empower nonprofit organizations.

The perspectives of political scientists have contributed greatly to our understanding of how the Japanese state, in an age of economic decline and the rapid aging of its population, has employed the rhetoric of civil society to mobilize citizens to shoulder new responsibilities for social services previously deemed the responsibility of the state. The Third Sector and the State in Contemporary Japan, much of the early scholarship has taken a top-down look at the role of the state in encouraging NPOs nonprofit organizations and volunteers, and in expediting legislation that expanded a legally recognized and mobilized nonprofit sector.

In this compact volume Akihiro Ogawa has done much to suggest further productive avenues for much broader anthropological inquiry. Neoliberalism is commonly viewed as an economic doctrine that endorses individual freedoms and rights, and seeks to limit excessive intervention by the state through decentralized authority. The ideology has become dominant in advanced industrial countries, like the UK, the United States, and Japan, since the s.

Meanwhile, anthropologists offer alternative perspectives on neoliberalism; we present neoliberalism as a technology of governing people. My ethnographic case study documented as The Failure of Civil Society? Another contribution of this project was to fill a substantive gap in the scholarship on current civil society.

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Most of the work in the field contained normative theoretical formulations with Western intellectual origins or in a post-socialism context. The conflicts within the ongoing NPO construction present powerful narratives—real voices and real experiences against the state discourse, which have yet to be vibrantly documented as a form of ethnography; I destabilize the conventional assumption of civil society.

Ultimately, this book calls into question the relationship between the state and the third sector in contemporary Japanese social and political life, and broadly raises the issue of whether civil society can be intentionally created through the action of the state. More practically, I believe that the narratives documented in this book would provide Japanese policy makers with a significant strategy for affecting the NPO policy.

Further, there are important policy implications of the book for any state seeking to mold its society in specific ways. Routledge Handbook of Civil Society in Asia.

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Routledge Handbook of Civil Society in Asia is an interdisciplinary resource, covering one of the most dynamically expanding sectors in contemporary Asia. Originally a product of Western thinking, civil society represents a particular set of relationships between the state and either society or the individual.

THE FAILURE OF CIVIL SOCIETY?: AN ETHNOGRAPHY OF NPOS AND THE STATE IN CONTEMPORARY JAPAN

Each culture, however, moulds its own version of civil society, reflecting its most important values and traditions. This handbook provides a comprehensive survey of the directions and nuances of civil society, featuring contributions by leading specialists on Asian society from the fields of political science, sociology, anthropology and other disciplines.

Comprising 35 essays on critical topics and issues, it is divided into two main sections:. Part II offers a series of thematic chapters, such as democratization, social enterprise, civic activism and the media. As an analysis of Asian social, cultural and political phenomena from the perspective of civil society in the post-World War II era, this book will be useful to students and scholars of Asian Studies, Asian Politics and Comparative Politics.

Security Paradigms and Social Movements: Asian Journal of Social Science.

The Right to Evacuation: Inter-Asia Cultural Studies 15 4: Lifelong Learning in Tokyo: Journal of Applied Anthropology in Policy and Practice 20 2: Ogawa Anthropology in Action. The state continues to be strong, and NPOs?

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The state is an unusually strong actor, retarding development of a healthy, dynamic civil society. The state is using underhanded tactics for institutionalizing civil society to meet its goals.


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The case calls into question the relationship between state and society in contemporary Japanese life, and raises the issue of whether civil society can be created through the actions of the state. Subject civil society; Japan; volunteerism; NPOs; third sector; education; action research. Type dissertation or thesis.