ICJS Event: "Beyond the Construction State: The Koizumi Agenda" by Gavan McCormack

Friday, October 28, 2005
7:30 p.m.
Temple University, Japan Campus, Azabu Hall 206 (access)
Institute lectures are open to the general public, but space may be limited: RSVP is recommended.
Registration closed

Temple University, Japan Campus Institute of Contemporary Japanese Studies In Association with the Korea/China/Japan Study Group Presents a special lecture, "Beyond the Construction State: The Koizumi Agenda."

A decade ago, Gavan McCormack's classic 'The Emptiness of Japanese Affluence' addressed a looming crisis in the paradigms of modern Japan's political economy and national identity. In his seminal work, Professor McCormack described the dynamic relationship between the public works political economy and the politics of identity and memory. His prescient analysis focused on the social and environmental consequences of the obsessive drive for growth, on the one hand, and the processes of reconstituting a national myth and national identity to compensate for what was being lost, on the other.

In that era, the forces being mobilized to attack the "Kakuei state" of former Prime Minister Tanaka Kakeui were still developing, and it is only now as the "Koizumi state" takes shape around us that the extent of the change becomes apparent.

Under Koizumi, the uniquely Japanese developmental capitalist doken kokka of Tanaka Kakuei, with its baramaki (redistributive) and egalitarian principles (as well as its corruption, inefficiency and multiple environmental and fiscal evils) is being dismantled and replaced by a neo-liberal, kisei kanwa, American-style dog-eat-dog capitalism.

Professor McCormack will reflect on the implications, problems, and prospects of this historic shift under way in the Japanese political economy and national identity.

About Gavan McCormack

Gavan McCormack is a professor in the Division of Pacific and Asian History in the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies of the Australian National University. Since early 2003, he has been Visiting Professor at International Christian University in Tokyo. He is the author of 'The Emptiness of Japanese Affluence' (second edition, 2001, Japanese edition from Misuzu shobo), 'Japan's Contested Constitution' (with Glenn Hook), 2001, and 'Target North Korea,' 2004 (Japanese version from Heibonsha).

For some of his most recent writings, see the web journal, 'Japan Focus,' of which he is a coordinator: http://japanfocus.org

About ICJS

The Institute of Contemporary Japanese Studies (ICJS) is an organization dedicated to fostering study and research on various topics related to contemporary Japan and Asia.