What is the ‘local’? Rethinking the politics of subnational spaces in Japan
This symposium aims to enhance the discussion of the “local” as unit of analysis – a discussion that is vital to avoid under-complex approaches to multilayered socio-economic and political phenomena. The focus is on contemporary Japan, which provides a particularly interesting case in this respect, not least due to the massive reorganization of the local administrative landscape in the mid-2000s. The symposium brings together researchers who link different conceptions of the “local” to concrete social, economic, and political problems. Analyzing the (re)configuration and interaction of formal and informal, spatial and social sub-national boundaries will advance the understanding of socio-economic and political organization in and beyond Japan.