ICJS Event: Jeff Kingston on "Japan's Quiet Transformation: Social change and Civil Society in the Twenty-first Century"

Friday, November 12, 2004
7:00 p.m.
Temple University, Japan Campus, Azabu Hall 206/207 (access)
This lecture is free and open to the general public, but space may be limited. RSVP is not required: seating is on a first come, first served basis.

Japanese people, organizations and policy makers are responding to the myriad challenges generated by the Lost Decade of the 1990s in a variety of thoughtful, significant and diverse ways. In his recently published book "Japan's Quiet Transformation," Jeff Kingston describes efforts to lay the foundations for a more robust civil society and assesses the portents of this process.

Japan's quiet transformation is above all about the gradual and incremental reinvigoration of civil society. Since the mid-1990s a series of interlocking and mutually reinforcing reforms involving information disclosure, NPOs and the judiciary are laying the foundations for this revamping of civil society.

The ongoing reinvention of Japan driven by creative responses to its immense problems reveals a far more dynamic polity than the relentlessly pessimistic articles and stagnant images that dominate media and academic writing would presume. In this lecture, Professor Kingston examines various developments over the last decade or so that are contributing to this ongoing transformation.

About Jeff Kingston

Jeff Kingston is a Professor of History at Temple University, Japan Campus, where he has taught since 1987. A former Fulbright Fellow, his areas of specialty include Indonesia, South-East Asian politics, and contemporary Japanese history. He is the author of the forthcoming book 'Japan's Quiet Transformation: Social change and civil society in the twenty-first century' (Routledge 2004), and 'Japan in Transformation, 1952-2000' (Addison-Wesley 2001), and also writes a regular column for The Japan Times.

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.