Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research, Basic Research (A)
“Joint Research through Asian Studies and Asian International Relations for Constructing Theory of New Governance”
(Coordinated by Afrasian Research Centre)
The 4th Research Seminar
・Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) KAKENHI, Basic Research (A),
Representative: Shimizu Kosuke
Research Project : “Joint Research through Asian Studies and Asian International Relations
for Constructing Theory of New Governance”
・Coordinated by: Ryukoku University Afrasian Research Centre (Phase 3)
Date: 28th May (Sat), 2016. 13:00~17:00
Venue: The Second Meeting Room, east part of Shiei-kan building,
Fukakusa Campus, Ryukoku University
13:00～13:45 Speech：“Multiple Modes of Well-being in Asia”
Professor Inoguchi Takashi
(the president of University of Nhiigata Prefecture)
13:45～14:00 Break Time
14:45～15:00 Break Time
15:00～16:30 Reports of the research members and Discussion
16:30～ Future plan of the research proram…etc.
Prof. Inoguchi made a research presentation about the correlations between the forms of social horizontal relationships in Asia and the forms of political behaviors, and relations between its correlations and various values which people living in Asian societies have.
We can say that the view to Asia influenced by the philosophy of hitory in the West have been understood under the binary opposition: the West as the society which has dynamisms to civilize and prompt individualization and the Orient as the society which is despotic, that is, static without individual rights. For instance, we can find such the binary opposition in the view that while the western societies are based on values of individualism, Asian societies are based on collectivistic values. We cannot understand that the lives of Asian people are involved with multiple values, which makes Asian area dynamic and diverse.
And the main point of the Inoguchi’s research is that making indexes and categorization to characterize each society based on statistics of attitudes and consciousness survey is meaningful to understand the diversity and dynamism inside Asian societies.
Nonetheless, the naïve viewpoint shch as the “Oriental despotism” cannot be justified since the pluralistic notion that each civilization has each historical paths for developments became mainstream, as the Eisenstadt’s theory of the “multiple modernities”. As the theory shows, multiple societies don’t trace a single path to modernization, but experience social transformations through distinct path dependency.
However, we need to take other steps to concretely answer the question, how can we capture various experiences of social transformations with the path dependencies, and understand dynamism of these societies.
Inoguchi tried to measure the diverse experiences of social transformations within Asian societies for that question. For this measurement, he relies on the argument of Modernization and Postmodernization written by Ronald Inglehart. The argument statistically pursued the process of transformations of society and people’s value in western developed countries. According to it, values of people had become materialism in modernization and became post-materialism after that phase.
Inoguchi pointed out that we could understand the multiple form of civil societies within Asian societies in terms of the way of changes of people’s values in these societies through social transformations relying on the basic line of Inglehart’s argument.
The different point between Inglehart and Inoguchi is not also in the objects of their research, but also that Inoguchi adds a category of the value concerning with public sector as the third point to explain the result of modernizations in Asian societies to the first two categories, materialism and post-materialism. Inoguchi picked up these 3 categories on the basis of the consciousness survey about people in Asian countries held by AsianBarometer Survey.
This survey measures the types of values shared in a certain society with reference to the priority of people in each society concerning various activities and relationships in their social lives. There are 16 lists (marriage, friendship, family life, neighbors, health, spiritual life, housing, leisure, a living standard, education, job, public security, household income, democratic system, welfare ststem), and these lists are classable into materialism, post-materialism, and the emphasis on public sectors according to what each lists emphasize.
Whether a common understanding of a society is materialism, post-materialism or public sector is decided from the values about the quality of life shared in a society. In Inoguchi’s research presentation, he employed the categories which have a chronological combination on the basis of 2 two categories in 3 categories. Concretely, there are ①from materialism to post-materialism, ②from materialism to public sector, ③from post-materialism to materialism, ④from post-materialism to public sector, and ⑤from public sector to materialism. As for the category of “from public sector to post-materialism”, we can exclude it because it is not observed as some empirical data.
In addition to the above mentioned categories, Inoguchi also used the statistics about how much people trust on their public sector (government) that consist of answers to the question “when you are told by an official, wait patiently, what would you do?” in the case of some petitions to the official person or organization. According to the statistical material, the answers are classable to 7 lists; 1. Use connection, 2. Nothing can be done, 3. Wait and hope, 4. Write a letter, 5. Act without a permit, 6. Bribe an official, 7. Do not know.
Inoguchi tries to visualize distinct features of each Asian society depending mainly on the above two statistics. For example, Japan, Indonesia, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan can be classified to ①from materialism to post-materialism in the first statistics. The common feature is that these countries historically experienced feudalism which made these societies de-centralized or diffused, having weak states’ integration and stronger horizontal connections.
When it comes to the second survey, these societies don’t have high rates of trust for their public sectors, rather, these main answers are “use connection” (Afghanistan), “nothing can be done” (Japan), “Wait and hope” (Indonesia), “bribe an official” (Tajikistan), each of these answers are related to the horizontal connection, giving up, optimism, and accessing to the public sector through crookeries.
In the time of Q&A, the main point of argument was about the connection of the above mentioned statistics and classification with the theory of the “bottom-up” governance. And the one of important points at issue in the “bottom-up” governance theory is concerning the properties of social actors, that is, who the “civilian” is.
The “bottom-up” governance literally means the thinking that autonomous decision-makings of civilians are the main driving forces for the evolution of governing processes. In this case, we can say that the research suggested by Inoguchi visualized desires and wishes of people in civil societies on which the practices of the governance should rely.
Furthermore, we can also think that certain people who belong to certain social contexts are likely to favor certain kind of value in the materialism, post-materialism, and public sector if we try to analyze it depending on social positions (gender, social rank, class, ethnicity). This kind of question was suggested. The research of Prof. Inoguchi implies the possibility to examine the governance on the basis of some visualized and subtler point of view to the social distinctions, and in this sense, his study can be the one of clear references to think the evolution of the “bottom-up” governance in the non-Western societies.