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WHY IS JAPAN NEOLIBERALIZING? RESCALING OF THE JAPANESE DEVELOPMENTAL STATE AND IDEOLOGY OF STATE–CAPITAL FIXING

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ABSTRACT:  This study examines Japan's state spatial restructuring to explore the reasons behind it. By doing so, it investigates the grounds on which Japan is adopting neoliberalism. Since the early 2000s, Japan's leaders have been pursuing a combination of state decentralization and selective urban revitalization. At the same time, leaders have abandoned Japan's long‐held goal of balanced spatial development. On the surface, this policy mix resembles the neoliberal state spatial restructuring observed in Western Europe. This study finds, however, that Japan's state spatial restructuring has less to do with scalar adjustment to capital's uneven spatial expansion and the supply‐side economy for economic development. Rather, it has more to do with the political goal of addressing Japan's collectivist culture and government failure. To reach this conclusion, the “locality as agent” approach to politics of scale proposed by Cox and Mair (1991) is applied to the historic analysis of the Japanese developmental state.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Publication date: 2012-10-01

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