[PRI]Disaster Governmentality: Japan's global disaster governance leadership

Monday,October 30,2023


Nov 3 PRI event poster .png

Disaster Governmentality: Japan's global disaster governance leadership

Date: Friday, November 3, 2023
Time: 15:10-16:20
Vene: Honkan 364
Language: English
Pre-registration is not required. Please come directly to the venue!

In a rapidly changing and interlinked world, attaining sustainable development has been increasingly understood as connected to the ability to manage disaster risks. In Japan, natural disaster has been an unfortunately common occurrence, resulting in an accumulated experience of disaster management related expert knowledge that prevents and mitigates disasters’ impacts (Bosai). Building from this experience, Japan’s government has sought to demonstrate leadership in international disaster governance, leading to the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. In this paper, we examine how Japan’s leadership in disaster governance has interacted with strategies for economic offshoring including aid, trade and investment into Southeast Asia via ‘environmental offshoring.’ We conceptualize environmental offshoring as discourses and associated knowledge production that problematize and propose solutions on how economic offshoring is disrupted by disastrous events such as flooding. It is materialized in environmental governance frameworks—e.g., the Sendai Framework, and through projects that promote ‘business continuity management’, ‘build back better’ and ‘quality infrastructure investment’. Drawing on expert interviews conducted in 2023 and discourse analysis of key documents, we argue that environmental offshoring can be a ‘fix’ for capital associated with economic offshoring when contradictions emerge due to the growing impact of disasters on global commodity chains.

Speakers Bios

Takeshi Ito,
Professor of Political Science, Sophia University

My work is informed by broad interests in agrarian and environmental change. I explore these themes through a multi-disciplinary perspective that enables me to understand the complexity and diversity of social-ecological interactions that shape human wellbeing and environmental integrity. I have conducted fieldwork in Southeast Asia and Japan. I have a background in politics, political economy, political ecology, agrarian studies, development studies, and global studies. I draw mostly on qualitative methods and relational analysis of society and environment. Since 2012, I have been on the faculty in the Faculty of Liberal Arts and the Graduate School of Global Studies at Sophia University.


Carl Middleton,
Dr. Carl Middleton is an Assistant Professor and Deputy Director on the Graduate Studies in International Development Studies (MAIDS-GRID) Program, and Director of the Center for Social Development Studies (CSDS) in the Faculty of Political Science of Chulalongkorn University, Thailand. Dr. Middleton’s research interests orientate around the politics and policy of the environment in Southeast Asia, with a particular focus on humanity-in-nature relations, the political ecology of water and energy, human mobility and climate change, and environmental justice. He has helped establish and now heads the Chulalongkorn University UNESCO Chair on Resource Governance and Futures Literacy.

Please feel free to contact us at icupri@icu.ac.jp if you have any questions.

We look forward to seeing you there!

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