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Beyond boundaries : Japan, knowledge, and transnational networks in global atmospheric politics

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Title:Beyond boundaries : Japan, knowledge, and transnational networks in global atmospheric politics
Authors:Sato, Atsuko
Contributors:Stephenson, Carolyn M (advisor)
Political Science (department)
Keywords:Environmental policy -- Japan
Environmental policy -- International cooperation
Environmental law
Date Issued:2002
Publisher:University of Hawaii at Manoa
Abstract:The atmosphere transcends boundaries. So does the politics of the global atmosphere. This study focuses on Japan, discourse, and knowledge in the politics of the global atmosphere, including ozone layer depletion and climate change. In this study, I show how Japan's policy changed as its knowledge on the global atmosphere progressed from severely limited and distorted, to comprehensive and advanced. The change, I contend, had little to do with availability of or access to knowledge, and instead, was dependent upon the context with which existing scientific knowledge was interpreted. The major determinant of the environmental policy context in Japan, I argue, is the dominant discourse. Discourses, in other words, have a crucial impact on how scientific knowledge is interpreted, which, in turn, has a crucial impact on the policy choices that are made at both the international and domestic levels. This is not to say that an analysis of discourse explains everything. It does not. But, along with an analysis of transnational knowledge, power, and interests, it is a necessary part of the explanation of Japan's policy toward the global atmosphere. To achieve the objectives of my research, this dissertation uses a two-level (international/domestic) case study of the politics of ozone layer depletion and climate change in Japan. First, I found that what I call a "marriage of convenience" between science and policy was a critical aspect of the process of knowledge and policy construction. Second, my analysis shows that Japan's policy toward global atmospheric issues was manifestly impacted by the discursive power of global environmentalism and the precautionary principle. In this regard, I argue that, in challenging Japan's hitherto dominant kogai discourse and dominant policy making discourse based on "pollution-response," the discourses of global environmentalism and the precautionary principle resulted in a reorganization of institutional arrangements within Japan. Third, my analysis traces the transnationalization of domestic actors in Japan, and shows how these actors-NGOs, industry and industry organizations, and scientists-in linking up with counterparts across borders (I) enhanced their knowledge, (2) reinforced their interests and power, and (3) materially influenced the policy making process.
Description:Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2002.
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 360-396).
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Also available by subscription via World Wide Web
xiv, 396 leaves, bound 29 cm
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - Political Science

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