"3.11: Disaster and Change in Japan" by Richard Samuels
Sponsored by the Rising Powers Initiative's Asian Economic Challenges Series
Tuesday February 26, 2013
12:30 - 1:45pm
The Elliott School of International Affairs
Lindner Commons, 1957 E Street, NW; Room 602
Washington, DC 20052
Richard J. Samuels
Ford International Professor of Political Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Japanese political entrepreneurs have used the March 2011 catastrophe in Tohoku (3.11) to nudge national policy in the direction of their own choosing. For some, 3.11 was a warning for Japan to “put it in gear” and head in a new direction. For others, the catastrophe was a once in a millennium “black swan,” so Japan should “stay the course.” Still others declared that 3.11 taught that Japan must return to an idealized past and rebuild what was lost to modernity and globalization. The battle among these perspectives on change, and the use of three uncontested tropes: leadership, community, and risk shaped post–3.11 politics and public policy in Japan.
Professor Richard Samuels has served as Head of the MIT Department of Political Science, Vice–Chairman of the Committee on Japan of the National Research Council, and as Chairman of the Japan-US Friendship Commission, an independent Federal grant-making agency that supports Japanese studies and policy–oriented research in the United States. In 2005 he was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 2011 he received the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star, an Imperial decoration awarded by the Emperor of Japan and the Japanese Prime Minister.
Dr. Samuels’ most recent book, 3.11: Disaster and Change in Japan, focuses on the political and economic effects of Japan’s March 2011 catastrophes and has just been published by Cornell University Press.
Please RSVP at: go.gwu.edu/311japan