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A Comparative Study of Civil Societies in Japan and the United States

Overview

Leader Yutaka Tsujinaka (University of Tsukuba)
Researcher Robert Pekkanen (University of Washington)
Term April 2013 - March 2014
Research Outline

 In order to deepen mutual understanding about politics in Japan and the United States, it is necessary to understand politics at the level of civil society from both sides.
 Various social organizations intervene between individuals and society. The space in which social organizations are active is called civil society. The structure of civil society is configurated not only by the market and families, but also by the state (political society). That is why understanding the structure of civil society leads to understanding the structure of political society. Nevertheless, civil society in comparative perspective has remained largely unexplored in political science, let alone empirical survey data on civil societies across countries.
 The Japan Interest Group Study (JIGS) group based at the University of Tsukuba has carried out survey studies on civil societies in 14 different countries. For instance, as part of its comparative studies, the JIGS group has run surveys in Japan in 1997, 2006-7, and 2012. Consequently, Contemporary Japanese Civil Society and Interest Groups (2002) and Political Functions of Social Organizations in Contemporary Japan (2010) have been published along with others. It has also conducted interviews with personnel from 675 major organizations (http://cajs.tsukuba.ac.jp/2013/03/23-24.html) in addition to running surveys for the global environmental policy network. As for the case of the United States, surveys were conducted in 1999 and 2009-10. The most recent outcome of these surveys is the new book Nonprofits and Advocacy that is forthcoming from Johns Hopkins University Press.
 In this academic year (2013-14), the JIGS group plans to further analyze similarities and differences based on its own research output. More specifically, by comparing the findings included in the publications of our studies on Japan and the United States, we analyze the political behavior of civil society organizations such as lobbying among others. Utilizing the JIGS data on 14 different countries, we also attempt to expand the scope of comparison to China this year.Furthermore, from next academic year onward, we are planning to proceed with our study by comparing the aforementioned data with those on India, Germany, and South Korea.

Report

Leader Yutaka Tsujinaka (University of Tsukuba)
Researcher Robert Pekkanen (University of Washington)
Term April 2013 - March 2014
Achievements Outline

 In order to deepen mutual understanding about politics in Japan and the United States, it is necessary tounderstand politics at the level of civil society from both sides. Various social organizations intervene between individuals and society. The space in which social organizations are active is called civil society. The structure of civil society is configurated not only by the market and families, but also by the state (political society). That is why understanding the structure of civil society leads to understanding the structure of political society.Nevertheless, civil society in comparative perspective has remained largely unexplored in politicalscience,let alone empirical survey data on civil societies across countries.
 The Japan Interest Group Study (JIGS) group based at the University of Tsukuba has carried out surveystudies on civil societies in 15 different countries. For instance, as part of its comparative studies, the JIGS group has run surveys in Japan in 1997, 2006-7, and 2012. Consequently, Contemporary Japanese Civil Society and Interest Groups (2002) and Political Functions of Social Organizations in Contemporary Japan(2010) have been published along with others. It has also conducted interviews with personnel from 675 major organizations (http://cajs.tsukuba.ac.jp/2013/03/23-24.html) in addition to running surveys for the global environmental policy network. As for the case of the United States, surveys were conducted in 1999 and 2009-10. The most recent outcome of these surveys is the new book Nonprofits and Advocacy that is published from Johns Hopkins University Press in June, 2014.
 In this academic year (2014 -15 ), the JIGS group plans to further analyze similarities and differences based on its own research output. More specifically, by comparing the findings included in the publications of our studies on Japan and the United States, we analyze the political behavior of civil society organizations such as lobbying among others. Utilizing the JIGS data on 15 different countries, we also attempt to expand the scope of comparison to China (Contemporary Civil Society and Interest Groups in China (published June, 2014) this year. Furthermore, we are planning to proceed with our study by comparing the aforementioned data with those on India, Germany, and South Korea.

Activity Contents

Robert J. Pekkanen, Steven Rathgeb Smith and YutakaTsujinaka eds.Nonprofit and Advocacy-Engaging Community and Government in an Era of Retrenchment,Johns Hopkins University Press(303 pages)
Yutaka Tsujinka et al.eds. Contemporary Civil Society and Interest Groups in China, (in Japanese. Tokyo Bokutaku -sha , 2014) (442 pages)
Public Lecture by Robert Pekkane, March 14th 2014
Research meeting by Ko Maeda, July 8th, 2013
Participation in Southern Political Science Association meeting by young scholars.

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