30.03.2016 - 09:18:41
Thesis on Informal Village Institutions in Japan
Congratulations to Hanno Jentzsch, doctoral fellow at the DFG training group 1613 Risk and East Asia, who passed his defense on March 10, 2016!
The thesis on "The “Local” in Processes of Endogenous Institutional Change – Informal Village Institutions in Japan’s Changing Agricultural Support and Protection Regime" will be available at the library soon.
Since Japan joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1994, its notoriously extensive agricultural support and protection regime has been reformulated. Compared to the postwar era, agricultural support and protection has become more ambiguous and less comprehensive, oscillating between cautious liberalization and retaining old as well as introducing new interventionist elements.
While the common narrative emphasizes stability over change, this dissertation analyzes the trajectory of the Japanese agricultural support and protection regime as a process of gradual endogenous institutional change that is shaped beyond the realm of agricultural policy-making: at the interface between an increasingly ambiguous regulatory framework and local informal “village institutions”. This approach speaks to several gaps in the existing literature: first, there are no comprehensive accounts of the recent trajectory of the Japanese agricultural support and protection regime as a process of institutional change; second, concerning the vivid theoretical debate on endogenous institutional change in advanced political economies, this dissertation calls into attention the “local” as a level of analysis that often remains neglected. By focusing on the “local” as a juxtaposition of heterogeneous institutional spheres, I argue for a more dynamic perspective on seemingly “traditional” informal institutions as adaptive resources in processes of institutional change.