3.11 Disaster and Change in Japan

ISBN-10: 0801452007
ISBN-13: 9780801452000
Edition: 2013
Author(s): Richard J. Samuels
Description: On March 11, 2011, Japan was struck by the shockwaves of a 9.0 magnitude undersea earthquake originating less than 50 miles off its eastern coastline. The most powerful earthquake to have hit Japan in recorded history, it produced a devastating  More...
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List Price: $29.95
Copyright Year: 2013
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Publication Date: 4/2/2013
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 296
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.50" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.606
Language: English

On March 11, 2011, Japan was struck by the shockwaves of a 9.0 magnitude undersea earthquake originating less than 50 miles off its eastern coastline. The most powerful earthquake to have hit Japan in recorded history, it produced a devastating tsunami with waves reaching heights of over 130 feet that in turn caused an unprecedented multireactor meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. This triple catastrophe claimed almost 20,000 lives, destroyed whole towns, and will ultimately cost hundreds of billions of dollars for reconstruction.In 3.11, Richard Samuels offers the first broad scholarly assessment of the disaster's impact on Japan's government and society. The events of March 2011 occurred after two decades of social and economic malaise-as well as considerable political and administrative dysfunction at both the national and local levels-and resulted in national soul-searching. Political reformers saw in the tragedy cause for hope: an opportunity for Japan to remake itself. Samuels explores Japan's post-earthquake actions in three key sectors: national security, energy policy, and local governance. For some reformers, 3.11 was a warning for Japan to overhaul its priorities and political processes. For others, it was a once-in-a-millennium event; they cautioned that while national policy could be improved, dramatic changes would be counterproductive. Still others declared that the catastrophe demonstrated the need to return to an idealized past and rebuild what has been lost to modernity and globalization.Samuels chronicles the battles among these perspectives and analyzes various attempts to mobilize popular support by political entrepreneurs who repeatedly invoked three powerfully affective themes: leadership, community, and vulnerability. Assessing reformers' successes and failures as they used the catastrophe to push their particular agendas-and by examining the earthquake and its aftermath alongside prior disasters in Japan, China, and the United States-Samuels outlines Japan's rhetoric of crisis and shows how it has come to define post-3.11 politics and public policy.

Richard Samuels is Ford International Professor of Political Science and director of the Center for International Studies. He has been head of the MIT Political Science Department, Vice-Chair of the Committee on Japan of the National Research Council, and chair of the Japan-US Friendship Commission. He has also been elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and was awarded an imperial decoration, the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star by the Emperor of Japan and the Japanese Prime Minister. His study of the political and policy consequences of the 2011 Tohoku catastrophe is forthcoming from Cornell University Press. Samuels' Securing Japan: Tokyo's Grand Strategy and the Future of East Asia, was a finalist for the Lionel Gelber Prize for the best book in international affairs. Machiavelli's Children won the Marraro Prize from the Society for Italian Historical Studies and the Jervis-Schroeder Prize from the International History and Politics section of American Political Science Association. Earlier books were awarded prizes from the Association for Asian Studies, the Association of American University Press, and the Ohira Memorial Prize. His articles have appeared in Foreign Affairs, International Security, International Organization, Journal of Modern Italian Studies, National Interest, Journal of Japanese Studies, and Daedalus.

Preface
The Status Quo Ante and 3.11
Never Waste a Good Crisis
Historical and Comparative Guidance
Dueling Security Narratives
Debating Energy Policy
Repurposing Local Government
Conclusion
Notes
References
Index

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