Past Event

Japan’s Multiple Models

June 9, 2021
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Event time is displayed in your time zone.
Zoom Webinar

Jennifer Miller, Assistant Professor of History, Dartmouth will offer a talk on "The Right Kind of Traditional: U.S. Neoconservative Thought on Japanese Capitalism in the 1970s and 1980s".

Victor Petrov, Assistant Professor, The University of Tennessee Knoxville will offer a talk on "A Forest of Chimneys: Socialist Bulgaria's Modernization and the Dream of a 'Mini-Japan' 1965-1989".

Colin Jones, Adjunct Associate Research Scholar, Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University will offer a talk on "The End of Postwar Renter Protections and Japan's Neoliberal Turn."

Moderated by: Carol Gluck, George Sansom Professor of History, Department of History, Columbia University

Finding broader characterizations ill-fitting, scholars have often spoken of Japan’ political economy as a sui-generis Japanese model. This workshop proposes that in fact the models that Japan has offered the world are multiple. The “economic miracle” made Japan a key point of reference for planners, politicians, and intellectuals on both sides of the Cold War, as well as in the Global South. But interpretations diverged over what generated such prosperity and what its political import was. Since the collapse of the bubble economy in the early 1990s, Japan has become a symbol of something else: the fragility of growth. Here, too, it has come across as multifaceted. To contemporary observers, Japan has appeared not only as a cautionary tale but, increasingly since the 2008 financial crisis, a template for how to manage secular stagnation. Over three presentations and a follow-up discussion, we will explore how Japan's political economy has been variously interpreted and put to use by an array of observers—from American Neocons, to Bulgarian planners, to a transpacific clique of free marketeers.

This event is organized by the Weatherhead East Asian Institute at Columbia University.

Contact Information

Athina Fontenot