Abstract

This essay traces the rise of new civic movements in Japan from the 1970s. Challenging claims that these movements are transforming the country’s civil society, the article shows how state, corporate, and civic actors have fashioned a domesticated and largely apolitical sphere of social activism. Not only have bureaucratic and corporate elites fostered cooperative and useful groups, leading civic activists have crafted a pervasive logic of “proposal” which demonizes contentious politics, espouses self-help as the solution to all social problems, and celebrates intimate engagement with the state and market. Accordingly, the article argues for a more nuanced reading of transformation in Japan’s civil society.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1549-4721
Print ISSN
0095-6848
Pages
pp. 247-283
Launched on MUSE
2009-07-31
Open Access
No
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