Neighborhood Associations and Local Governance in Japan

Prof. Dr. Robert Pekkanen, University of Washington, Seattle
27. November 2014, 16:15–18:00
Universität Zürich, Hauptgebäude, Raum KOL H-317, Rämistrasse 71, 8006 Zürich


With 300,000 local branches, neighborhood associations (NHAs) are Japan's most numerous civil society organizations. NHAs also contribute in complex ways to local governance. This talk provides a multifaceted empirical portrait of Japan’s neighborhood associations by drawing on a unique and novel body of empirical data derived from the first national survey of neighborhood associations carried out in 2007. It examines how local associational structures affect the quality of local governance, and thus the quality of life for Japan’s citizens and residents. This study of NHAs also illuminates the way in which these ambiguous associations can help us refine civil society theory and show how they contribute to governance in terms of social capital, networks with other community organizations, social service provision, cooperation with local governments and political participation.