Zivilgesellschaft in Japan: Schlaglichter auf ein bewegtes Forschungsfeld

  • Anna Wiemann (Autor/in)


Since the 1980s the study of civil society in Japan has gained in popularity among social scientists both in Europe and in the United States. Two ideas regarding the character of Japanese civil society prevail: The first is a postulated weakness of Japanese civil society, caused by a high number of small, informal groups alongside only a limited number professional ones — as well as difficult access to policymaking. The second idea is that Japanese civil society represents a vivid alternative political sphere, being particularly rich in social capital. This research note presents these arguments in their wider context, and highlights important changes in the orientation of research on civil society in Japan in relation to social and political developments occurring over time.


Japanese civil society, past and present research, overview