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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien



Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien
Jochi Kioizaka Bldg. 2F
7-1 Kioicho, Chiyoda-ku
Tokyo 102-0094, Japan

03 – 3222 5077
03 – 3222 5420


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The DIJ Social Science Study Group is organized by Susanne Brucksch, Sonja Ganseforth, Steffen Heinrich, Barbara Holthus, Hanno Jentzsch, Nora Kottmann and Daniel Kremers.

Everybody is welcome to attend, but kindly asked to register beforehand.

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Scientific Advice in Environmental Politics: A Comparative Study of Japanese Policy-Making

September 26, 2018 / 6:30 P.M.

Manuela Hartwig, University of Tsukuba

The integration of scientific advice in environmental policy processes is more than ever of great importance: ‘Science translators, ‘knowledge broker’, or ‘intermediaries’ theoretically facilitate the relationship between science and policy (Nowotny, 1993; Litfin, 1994; Young & Osherenko, 1993). However, the manner and degree to which scientific advice is integrated in the policy process differs markedly between countries, and scholarship has yet to fully describe the role of such actors. Politicization of scientific knowledge, and closed, vertical policy-networks, as we can find in Japan (Hartwig, Kobashi, Okura, & Tkach-Kawasaki, 2014), lead to lock-outs or questions experts’ independence. In comparison, Japan has been criticized to lack independent scientific advice (Arimoto, Sato, Matsuo, & Yoshikawa, 2016). This is an obstacle for sustainable and effective climate mitigation measures.

This study looks at how scientific advice is integrated in the policy-making process in Japan in comparative perspective by hypothesizing that the degree of such integration, and the provenance of intermediaries acting as knowledge transmitters can explain the problem of lacking independent scientific advice. By mixing qualitative and quantitative inquiries (mixed methods), combining policy-actor-network and discourse coalition approach (Bulkeley, 2000), this form of inquiry is expected to add to scholarly efforts in opening the black box of policy change and to empirically grasp the complexity of climate change governance in Japan.

Manuela Hartwig is a Ph.D. student in International and Advanced Japanese Studies at the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Tsukuba. She holds a Master’s degree in Japanese Studies and Bachelor’s degree in East Asian Studies/Political Science received from the Free University of Berlin.