Harvesting State Support – Endogenous Institutional Change and the Role of the “Local” in Japan’s Agricultural Support and Protection Regime
Reforming the aging agricultural sector is among the most complicated challenges that policy-makers in Japan are facing today. The agricultural support and protection regime has typically been treated as a particularly resilient relict of Japan’s postwar model of “non-liberal capitalism”. At a closer look, however, the regime has been undergoing a gradual process of institutional change over the past two decades. Based on my dissertation, the project aims to produce a monography on the role of local and informal institutions in this process – a perspective that has so far remained underrepresented not only with respect to the Japanese farm sector, but also in the theoretical debate on processes of gradual (endogenous) institutional change. Beyond a comprehensive revision of the dissertation, the project also entails complementary field research (interviews, participatory observation) in several rural and semi-urban localities.