"Japan's 3.11 Catastrophe: The Rhetoric of Crisis and Political Change"
Thu, February 14, 2013 • 12:15 PM • Sid Richardson Hall Room 3.122
A talk by Professor Richard Samuels
Japanese political entrepreneurs have used the March 2011 catastrophe in Tohoku (3.11) to nudge national policy in the direction of their own choosing. For some, 3.11 was a warning for Japan to “put it in gear’’ and head off on a new path. For others, the catastrophe was a once in a millennium “black swan,” so Japan should “stay the course.’’ Still others declared that 3.11 taught that Japan must return to an idealized past and rebuild what was lost to modernity and globalization. In his talk, Samuels will discuss how battles among these perspectives on change-- and contested appeals to leadership, community, and risk-- defined post-3.11 politics and public policy in Japan, particularly in the areas of national security, energy policy, and local governance.