Title

Cosmopolitan Nation-Building: The Institutional Contradiction and Politics of Postwar Japanese Education

Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

10-2011

Abstract

The education system has been a quintessential state apparatus of nation-building since the emergence of the modern nation-state; however, recent comparative studies demonstrate the growing presence of cosmopolitanism in education policies and school curricula around the world. This trend indicates that the education system now operates according to two different institutional logics, nationalism and cosmopolitanism. To understand how the education system negotiates the potential contradiction between nationalism and cosmopolitanism, in this paper, I analyze the case of postwar Japanese education. Theoretically, I synthesize studies of institutional logics and social movements: while the former shed light on a contradiction between different institutional logics as a source of political contestation, the latter help to explain how political actors select solutions to the contradiction. Empirically, I show how a series of education reforms modified the original solution that had prioritized cosmopolitanism over nationalism, culminating in the new Fundamental Law of Education that redefined the two institutional logics as symbiotic. My analysis thus suggests that the Japanese education system is evolving into a state apparatus of cosmopolitan nation-building in an increasingly global world.

Keywords

Cosmopolitanism; Education, Globalization, Institutional change, Nationalism, Politics

Discipline

Asian Studies | Education | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration | Sociology

Research Areas

Sociology

Publication

Social Science Japan Journal

Volume

14

Issue

2

First Page

125

Last Page

144

ISSN

1369-1465

Identifier

10.1093/ssjj/jyq060

Publisher

Oxford University Press (OUP): Policy F - Oxford Open Option D

Additional URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ssjj/jyq060

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