Harvesting State Support: Institutional Change and Local Agency in Japanese Agriculture

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University of Toronto Press, May 20, 2021 - Business & Economics - 288 pages

Agriculture has been among the toughest political battlegrounds in postwar Japan and represents an ideal case study in institutional stability and change. Inefficient land use and a rapidly aging workforce have long been undermining the economic viability of the agricultural sector. Yet vested interests in the small-scale, part-time agricultural production structure have obstructed major reforms. Change has instead occurred in more subtle ways. Since the mid-1990s, a gradual reform process has dismantled some of the core pillars of the postwar agricultural support and protection regime. Harvesting State Support analyzes this process by shifting the analytical focus to the local level.

Drawing on extensive qualitative field research, Hanno Jentzsch investigates how local actors, including farmers, local governments, and local agricultural cooperatives, have translated abstract policies into local practice. Showing how local variants are constructed through recombining national reforms with the local informal institutional environment, Harvesting State Support reveals new links between agricultural reform and other shifts in Japan's political economy.

 

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Contents

Introduction Institutional Change in Japans Agricultural Sector
3
Japans Agricultural Support and Protection over Time
31
Local Agricultural Regimes and Village Institutions
63
Village Institutions as Dynamic Resources Local Renegotiation of Agricultural Support and Protection
105
Conclusions
181
Field Research
197
Interviews
200
Types of Farms in Japan
208
Paddy Field Subsidies
211
Notes
215
References
231
Index
257
Series List
269
Copyright

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About the author (2021)

Hanno Jentzsch is an assistant professor in the Department of East Asian Studies and Japanese Studies at the University of Vienna.

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