Share this
PREVIOUS ARTICLE ALL CONTENTS Next ARTICLE

3.11: Disaster and Change in Japan, Richard J. Samuels

Reviewed by Andrew E. Barshay

BUY

 

In Japan, “3.11” was quickly declared a galvanizing crisis. The compound disaster of earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown, many held, would mark an indelible dividing line, reshape the country’s political institutions, and define its historical epoch. Has that happened? No comprehensive answer is possible, but Richard Samuels provides an expert interim report on how Japan’s “political entrepreneurs,” “elites, ”and “chattering classes” (pp. x–xi), interpreted 3.11 and sought to translate its ostensible lessons into national policy. While this is not a work of ground‐level reportage or a study of regional reconstruction, it is clearly the product of a deep sympathy for the disaster’s immediate victims and Japan as a whole.

Samuels begins by describing the institutional responses that followed when “sudden devastation”was added to the “slow devastation”(p. x) wrought by years of economic downturn. Next, he presents his own analytical framework, and moves on to review the consequences of four of Japan’s major earthquakes in modern times, other major disasters elsewhere, and the mixed evidence for the transformative potential of “disaster diplomacy.”

Sa

To continue reading, see options above.

About PSQ's Editor

ROBERT Y. SHAPIRO

Full Access

Join the Academy of Political Science and automatically receive Political Science Quarterly.

CONFERENCES & EVENTS

WEBINAR
Democracy in the Balance? The Polarized Politics of Political-Economic Reform

November 18, 2021

MORE ABOUT THIS EVENT VIEW ALL EVENTS

Editor’s spotlight

The Powell Doctrine

The Rise and Fall of Colin Powell and the Powell Doctrine
Walter LaFeber

MORE ABOUT THIS TOPIC

Search the Archives

Publishing since 1886, PSQ is the most widely read and accessible scholarly journal with distinguished contributors such as: Lisa Anderson, Robert A. Dahl, Samuel P. Huntington, Robert Jervis, Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Theda Skocpol, Woodrow Wilson

view additional issues

Most read

Articles | Book reviews

Understanding the Bush Doctrine
Robert Jervis

The Study of Administration
Woodrow Wilson

Notes on Roosevelt's "Quarantine" Speech
Dorothy Borg

view all

New APS Book

Perspectives on Presidential Elections, 1992–2020   PERSPECTIVES ON PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS, 1992–2020

About US

Academy of Political Science

The Academy of Political Science, promotes objective, scholarly analyses of political, social, and economic issues. Through its conferences and publications APS provides analysis and insight into both domestic and foreign policy issues.

Political Science Quarterly

With neither an ideological nor a partisan bias, PSQ looks at facts and analyzes data objectively to help readers understand what is really going on in national and world affairs.

Stay Connected

newsstand locator
About APS