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Environmental Politics in Japan: Networks of Power and Protest Hardcover – March 28, 1998

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Editorial Reviews


"Jeff Broadbent describes one of the most poignant conflicts in Japan, the battle between environmental preservation and economic development, in the case of Oita Prefecture. Fluent in Japanese, extremely well informed about Japanese politics and history, committed to environmental protection, Broadbent presents a nuanced and thoroughly researched account of a highly dramatic political struggle." Ezra F. Vogel, Harvard University

"A richly provocative exploration of just how local citizen-worker groups confront environmental problems, despite the tug of 'economic progress'. The intensive and extensive field work Broadbent has done on these local groups is further enriched by his attempts to place these challenges in a macrostructural content of political and economic change. His insights are equally powerful in detailing the roots of the responses by political and economic elites in Japan to these local personalities and movements." Allan Schnaiberg, Northwestern University

"Broadbent's book is indispensable for all students of Japan but also invaluable for anyone interested in social movements. I know of no other study which so effectively combines careful ethnography of a local movement with a full consideration of the national context and response. This is a model study in the field of social movements and an exciting book to read." Robert N. Bellah, Prof. Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley

"To produce Environmental Politics in Japan Jeff Broadbent invested fifteen years of loving labor on two continents, utilized multiple research methodologies ranging from fieldwork in the Japanese hinterlands to computer-driven network analysis, added a masterful reworking of apparently contradictory perspectives in social movements, environmental studies, and political theory, and contributed a stunning array of own his luminous and original ideas. The result is an arresting analysis of how and when ordinary people can and cannot alter social and political trajectories." Michael Schwartz, State University of New York at Stony Brook

"Through his superb Japanese language ability and detailed field work, Jeffrey Broadbent has achieved the highest level of Japanese studies, on a par with Western sociologists such as Ronald P. Dore and Ezra Vogel. This book offers a stimulating comparative and theoretical analysis of political power in ACID (advanced, capitalist, industrialized democratic) societies including Japan." Joji Watanuki, Sofia University

"Bringing to bear an impressive array of social science theories, Jeffrey Broadbent gives us the most comprehensive work to date on how Japan, a densely populated country that was a 'polluter's paradise' until the 1960s, achieved one of the world's most dramatic environmental turnarounds. Political scientists, sociologists, and students of Japan will find a wealth of material here for puzzling over solutions to a central policy challenge in nations today at all levels of development: how to find the right mix between economic growth and environmental protection. The author shows how culture, protest, and elite politics intermeshed in Japan's quest for its own answer." Susan J. Pharr, Harvard University

"This is a first-class book that sets aright the misperception that Japanese politics and social protest cannot be understood from a synthesized class and political process viewpoint. It shows how class theory and resource mobilization arguments can be synthesized and that protest is an important source of political change in comparative context." J. Craig Jenkins, The Ohio State University

"By bringing his own intense involvement in Japanese culture to bear skillfully and reflectively on issues of great general importance, Jeffrey Broadbent has served everyone who wants to know about environmental politics, the shaping of popular struggles by state structure, and the character of Japanese local life. He writes with analytical passion." Charles Tilly, Columbia University

"...Broadbent....masterfully illustrates the complexities of local politics in Japan and their influence on national politics; he diagrams the nature of grassroots movements and protest politics in Japan; and he expands his observations to fit into the larger, more globally focused theoretical debates about social movements in general." Jeremy Entwisle, PhD; Colloquy, The Graduate School of Arts & Sciences / Harvard University

"...this is an impressively researched book that will surely remain a major work in the field of Japanese environmental studies for years to come." JAAS

Book Description

Japan experienced rapid industrial growth after World War Two, but its economic miracle brought dramatic environmental deterioration. In the early 1970s, as local protest movements grew more vocal, the Japanese government moved relatively swiftly to regulate industrial pollution and succeeded in reducing its air and water pollution. This book analyzes the social, cultural, and political-economic causes of Japan's dramatic environmental damage and eventual restoration from 1955 to 1995.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 438 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (March 28, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521564247
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521564243
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,780,571 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Broadbent on April 18, 2001
Format: Paperback
(*Sorry, as author it is not proper for me to rate the book, but the computer program demanded that I do so, so I went for the gold :) ). I just want to convey the following information.
This book has won two awards:
1. "Outstanding Publication Award 2000" from the Environment and Technology Section of the American Sociological Association.
2. "Masayoshi Ohira Memorial Prize" for 2001, awarded by the Masayoshi Ohira Memorial Foundation, Tokyo, Japan, in memory of the late Prime Minister of Japan.
This book has been reviewed in over twenty journals and sites. Here are a few quotes from the reviews: "Broadbent's book remains a first rate account of environmental politics both within Japan and worldwide. It also offers one of the most valuable sources of reading for anyone interested in learning more about the complexities of social, cultural and political processes of contemporary Japan in general" (J. Royal Asian Inst); "With general discussion ranging over theories of regional development, power structures, social movements, social control, and elites, this is a book of wide appeal, beautifully written and refreshingly free of the jargon which so often pollutes social science" (Econ. Hist. Rev.); "As a model for future research, this is a book that should be translated and widely read within Japan (in Japanese, Kankyo to Kogai); "When all is said and done, this is an impressively researched, very thorough study of a series of milestone events in Japanese politics. It is a must-read for anyone interested in Japan or environmentalism" (J.Japanese Studies); "I was left with a rich understanding of the Japanese social, political and cultural context. I found the synthesis of theoretical perspectives to be extremely thought-provoking.
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By David Sonnenfeld on February 10, 2004
Format: Paperback
An outstanding book on contemporary Japanese environmental politics. The author brings a deep knowledge of Japanese society and politics, as well as substantial field research experience, to this important work.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Eben N. Broadbent on March 4, 2007
Format: Paperback
I love this book written by my Dad. I recommend for all.
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