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Title: The state, planning and the public interest : the development of city planning in Japan
Author: Shibata, Kunio
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Current Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Date of Award: 2007
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The recent development of civil society in Japan has resulted in considerable attention to the concept of the public interest. The increasing demand for accountability in its policy-making has led to an intense exploration of the concept of the public interest in Japanese planning practices. Despite this, comprehensive studies of the role of public interest in the development of Japanese planning are absent. Although the legitimacy of the public interest has been largely discredited among Western academics, the concept did have a significant impact in developing and shaping planning objectives and procedures in Western liberal states. Acknowledging the importance of the public interest for mobilising Western planning, this thesis investigates the origins and developments of the public interest in Japanese planning, within the framework of the country's progress towards modernisation. Japan's late entry to modernisation significantly affected its interpretation of the public interest and planning. As Japan's prime modernisation objective was the creation of economic growth to establish sovereignty, the boundary between the state (public) and the market (private) led to contradictory planning regulations. Japan's central bureaucracy dominated the public sphere to maintain the developmental state regime, by restraining and guiding civil society, as well as preventing local autonomy in planning operations. Moreover, whereas the rule of law protects citizens from the arbitrary powers of the state in Western liberal states, the legal justice in Japan's planning system has not been very successful in defending the public interest as a collective concern for citizens. In fact, the public interest in Japan worked to prevent its citizens from challenging planning policies. The concept of the public interest has been so static in Japan that its planning policy has failed to be more accountable to its citizens.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available