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Title: Regional Egoism as the Public Good: Residents' Movements in Japan during the 1960s and 1970s
Authors: Avenell, S. 
Keywords: autonomy
citizens' movements
civil society
Issue Date: Mar-2006
Citation: Avenell, S. (2006-03). Regional Egoism as the Public Good: Residents' Movements in Japan during the 1960s and 1970s. Japan Forum 18 (1) : 89-113. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: This article returns to anti-pollution & anti-development protest in Japan during the 1960s & 1970s. It argues that these movements are best understood as mobilizations for 'autonomy' rather than 'democracy'. Doing so provides for two assertions about citizen activism in post-war Japan. First, the template of autonomy reveals a common thread in the seemingly divergent strategies of citizens' movements over the post-war period. Rather than a stage on the way to democratic pluralism, anti-pollution & anti-development activism emerges as but one attempt to deal with the rationalization & standardization demanded by post-war capitalism & the state. Second, the template of autonomy encourages a dialogue between ideational & institutional explanations of post-war citizen activism & civil society. Activists' experience of development as a colonization of the life-world fashioned their strategic & ideological response far more powerfully than any commitment to 'democracy'. Hence, this article moves away from the flawed assumption that grassroots citizen activism represents (or should represent) everything 'good' & 'democratic' in Japanese civil society. References.
Source Title: Japan Forum
ISSN: 09555803
DOI: 10.1080/09555800500498400
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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