Research - Journal Articles
Please find information below on my published articles in peer reviewed scholarly journals. You can either hover over the journal cover images below for article title summaries and links to article texts, or scroll down for titles, abstracts and hyperlinks. Thank you for your interest in my research. To get in touch please click About.
Imagining Disasters in the Era of Climate Change: Is Japan's Seawall a New Maginot Line?
Matanle, P., Littler, J. & Slay, O. (2019)
The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, 17 (13): 1. Online.
Following the Great East Japan earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster of 11 March 2011, the Japanese government began constructing a series of 440 seawalls along the northeastern coast of Honshu. Cumulatively measuring 394.2km, they are designed to defend coastal communities against tsunami that frequently strike the region. We present a case study of the new seawall in Tarō, Iwate Prefecture, which had previously constructed massive sea defences in the wake of two tsunami in 1896 and 1933, which were subsequently destroyed in 2011. We ask whether the government has properly imagined the next disaster for the era of climate change and, therefore, whether its rationale for Tarō's new seawall is sufficient. We argue that the government has implemented an incremental strengthening of Tarō's existing tsunami defence infrastructure. Significantly, this does not anticipate global warming driven sea level rise, which is accelerating, and which requires transformational adaptation. This continues a national pattern of disaster preparedness and response established in the early 20 th century, which resulted in the failure to imagine the 2011 tsunami. We conclude by recalling the lessons of France's Maginot Line and invoke the philosophy of Tanaka Shōzō, father of Japan's modern environmental movement, who urged Japanese to adjust to the flow (nagare) of nature, rather than defend against it, lest they are undone by the force of its backflow (gyakuryū).
Searching for a Depopulation Dividend in the 21st Century: Perspectives from Japan, Spain and New Zealand
Matanle, P. & Saez-Perez, L-A. (2019)
Journal of the Japanese Institute of Landscape Architecture, 83 (1): E1-E6.
The world is experiencing unprecedented demographic transformation. In the second half of the 20th century human populations expanded more rapidly than at any time in our history – from approximately 2.6 billion people in 1950 to 6.1 billion by 2000. Current estimates project that by the close of the 21st century there may be around 11 billion people alive on Earth (UNPD, 2017). Nevertheless, there is another story taking place behind this extraordinary growth. In 2018 nearly half of the world’s countries show lower than replacement human fertility, and 33 countries are experiencing decreasing populations (GBD 2017 Collaborators, 2018). This turnaround is mainly associated with a combination of higher levels of development and increasing urbanisation. In Asia, Japan is in the vanguard. Its Total Fertility Rate (TFR) has remained below population replacement since 1974 (MIC, 2019). Demographers knew then that, if conditions persisted and without replacement migration, Japan would experience ageing and, eventually, population decrease. Conditions have persisted and, sure enough, in 2008 Japan’s population began to decrease. Currently Japan is the only shrinking country in Asia, but others are following, including China and South Korea. Beyond Asia, much of Eastern Europe is shrinking, and the European Union is ageing and, cumulatively, anticipated to start shrinking before mid-century. Even immigration friendly countries such as New Zealand and Canada are experiencing sub-national processes of ageing and shrinkage (Jackson & Cameron, 2018; Sims & Ward, 2017) and some Latin American countries – Costa Rica, Chile and Cuba – now report below replacement fertility (UNPD, 2017).
Towards an Asia-Pacific Depopulation Dividend in the 21st Century: Regional Growth and Shrinkage in Japan and New Zealand
Matanle, P. (2017)
The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, 15 (6): 5. Online.
Full text available Open Access online at The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus
Japan is shrinking. Current projections indicate a population decrease of around one quarter by mid-century. Depopulation is potentially good news, providing opportunities for reconfiguring living conditions and alleviating human-environmental pressures. Nevertheless, ageing and depopulation have outcomes that require adjustment. One of these is spatial inequalities, which have been accelerating since the 1990s. Japan is the Asia-Pacific’s pioneer ageing and shrinking society. In East Asia both China and South Korea are ageing and expected to begin shrinking soon. Even high immigration Anglophone countries such as New Zealand are experiencing post-growth demographic processes at subnational level. Japan’s significance is in how adaptive responses there inform prospects for others as they experience their own post-growth pathways. This article presents case studies of Sado Island in Japan and New Zealand’s South Island in a comparative qualitative analysis of rural agency under population decline. Overall, I contend there is potential for benefitting from demographic shrinkage – what I term a ‘depopulation dividend’ – and for rural regions in the Asia-Pacific to progress towards a sustainable post-growth economy and society.
Popular Culture and Workplace Gendering among Varieties of Capitalism: Working Women and their Representation in Japanese Manga
Matanle, P. (2014)
Gender, Work and Organization, 21 (5): 472–489.
Full text available Open Access online at Wiley Online Library.
Female empowerment is a prerequisite for a just and sustainable developed society. Being the most developed non-western country, Japan offers an instructive window onto concerns about gender worldwide. Although overall gender equality is advancing in Japan, difficulties remain, especially in achieving equality in the workplace. We draw on theories of ontological commitment and the psychology of fiction to critically analyse the role of popular culture — in this case manga — in the reproduction of gender inequality in the Japanese workplace. We present examples of four of the most popular mainstream manga aimed at working men and women in Japan and show how women are depicted. We argue that the hyper-mediated fictional realism of representative tropes generates an ontological commitment to characters and narratives among consumers that reinforces the reproduction of a culturally exceptionalist national political economic space, one of whose essential defining characteristics is a gendered workplace. Our research suggests important implications for researching the relationship between culture, in all its forms, and spatial variation in persistent institutional biases among varieties of capitalism.
Post-disaster recovery in ageing and declining communities: the Great East Japan disaster of 11 March 2011
Matanle, P. (2013)
Geography, 98 (2): 68-76.
Full text available online at Geography (Paywall)
Post-review accepted final draft available Open Access online at Academia.edu
The earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown that occurred in Japan's north-eastern Tohoku region on 11 March 2011 has become known as the Great East Japan Disaster, and represents the most serious emergency to have been faced by the Japanese people since the end of the Second World War. More than two years have elapsed since the disaster and a clearer picture of the recovery process is now emerging. This article presents case studies of two of the settlements that experienced the full force of the tsunami by describing and analysing reconstruction planning in a region that had a rapidly ageing and shrinking population prior to 2011. After describing differences in the settlements' experience of the disaster according to their physical and human geographies, the article then analyses post-disaster reconstruction plans. Although plans show commendable ambition in seeking to rebuild shattered communities, there is a danger of creating unrealistic expectations in settlements where ageing and depopulation processes appear to be accelerating.
The Great East Japan Earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown: towards the (re)construction of a safe, sustainable and compassionate society in Japan's shrinking regions
Matanle, P. (2011)
Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability, 16 (9): 823-847.
Japan's rural regions have been shrinking for the entire post-war period, and successive efforts to revitalise rural society have failed. This article examines whether the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, and the subsequent meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, present the Japanese state and society with a watershed opportunity to rethink regional revitalisation and national energy procurement strategies. The article begins by summarising the events of March and April 2011, examines possible approaches to the reconstruction of communities in the Tōhoku region, and critiques problems of governance in post-war Japan that the disaster reveals. It concludes by pulling together the information and analysis presented into a discussion of the prospects for achieving the three-point vision for a safe, sustainable, and compassionate society that Prime Minister Naoto Kan set the Reconstruction Design Council.
Coming Soon to a City Near You! Learning to Live 'Beyond Growth' In Japan's Shrinking Regions
Matanle, P. & Sato, Y. (2010)
Social Science Japan Journal, 13 (2): 187-210.
This article analyses rural depopulation in Japan and its implications by means of a case study of Niigata Prefecture and Sado Island. In the first part of the article we present population maps to show that rural demographic shrinkage is both deepening as well as broadening to include urban centres. We focus initially on Niigata Prefecture in the national context and then discuss migratory patterns in Sado. The data show that Sado, and now Niigata Prefecture as a whole, have entered what we call a 'double negative population disequilibrium', whereby both the migratory and natural reproduction population contributions have turned negative. Recent evidence also indicates that Niigata City itself may also have begun to shrink. In the second part we discuss the implications of depopulation for Sado Island via extracts from qualitative interviews gathered from local residents. We found that many residents now accept the inevitability of continued shrinkage and, rather than seeking to re-establish growth, many institutional and social and environmental entrepreneurs are instead working towards achieving community stability and sustainability. We conclude by suggesting that the example of Japan's rural communities presents Japan's regional cities with the occasion to consider life 'beyond growth', as their populations also begin to shrink in the years to come.
イ ギリスにおける高齢者福祉: シェフィールド市のボランティア組織の活動を中心に (Caring for Older People in the UK: An Analysis of Local Volunteer Organisation Contributions in Sheffield)
Sato, Y. & Matanle, P. (2010)
Jinbun Kagaku Kenkyū: Studies in Humanities, 127: 1-27.
日 本は世界でもっとも高齢化がすすんだ国である。日本の高齢化率は2009年10月1日に22.7％になり超高齢社会に入った（「平成22年度高齢者白 書」）。しかしながら超高齢社会会への対策が追い付かず、政策は後手に回っている。超高齢社会に適した社会制度を構築することが、ますます大きな政治的社 会的課題になっている。先進国のみならず発展途上国でも高齢化社会に入っている国は少なくなく、世界的規模で高齢社会の対策が急務とされている。これまで 日本でも国家と家族が福祉を支えあう日本型福祉社会論が提唱されてきたが、財源不足から近年は福祉ミックス論が叫ばれている。日本では2000年から介護 保険制度が導入され、「介護の社会化」をすすめており、地域で包括的に福祉をまかなう計画がたてられている
イギリスの高齢者問題は生活の質や尊厳ある生よりも年金や医療、ケアなどにかかる財政負担の側面に注目が集まり議論されてきた（Walker 1990）。財政問題は世代を超えてどのように共に社会を構築してゆくのかという課題を突き付けている。その点で、高齢者の医療、ケア問題は住みやすい社 会をどのようにつくるのかという課題に関して世代を超えてともに考える絶好の機会を与えている。
本稿は以下のような構成になっている。はじめに、イギリスの政府・行政が実施している高齢者福祉についてシェフィールド市社会サービス部門の実 践活動を 取り上げてみてゆく。次に、シェフィールド市を含むノッチンゲン市に支部を置く高齢者ボランティアの全国組織であるHelp the Agedの活動についてみてゆく。そして、シェフィールド市で高齢者福祉の活動している地方のボランティア組織の活動をみてゆく。最後に、高齢者福祉の状 況について日本と比較し、そこから有益な知見を導くことにする。
Men Under Pressure: Representations of the ‘Salaryman’ and his Organization in Japanese Manga
Matanle, P. & Sato, Y. (2008)
Organization, 15 (5): 639-664.
In this paper we analyse representations of the Japanese salaryman and Japanese organization in Japanese manga, or graphic novels, during the turbulent decades from the mid-1980s to the present day. We argue that manga presents salarymen protagonists in a sympathetic yet not uncritical light, and that it displays support for and criticism of both the Japanese and American organizational models. In addition, we describe how these manga offer important critical challenges from the world of popular culture to the direction of change in Japanese business organizations since the 1980s. Moreover, we suggest that the manga may also provide salarymen with opportunities for critically re-evaluating their own working situations and for developing methods for surviving and thriving under the pressures of working within contemporary Japanese business organizations.
Forty Years On: Researching the Globalization of the Japanese Firm in the UK
Matanle, P. (2007)
Asian Business & Management, 6 (4), 431-449.
Forty years have now passed since the economic relationship between Britain and Japan started to deepen beyond arms-length trading ties. This article presents an overview of research on the globalization of the Japanese firm by looking at work produced from the UK standpoint over the last four decades. By reconfiguring and re-presenting existing research on the Japanese firm, the article seeks to challenge some established orthodoxies by presenting analyses and arguments on the following three subjects: the system of employment in large Japanese organizations, industrial convergence and the 'Japanization' of British industry thesis, and Japanese foreign direct investment (FDI) in the UK. Although the article continues to recognize the relevance of cross-national perspectives and comparisons, it also urges scholars to take account in their discussions of socioeconomic systems at the sub-national and trans-national levels of analysis.
The Habit of a Lifetime? Japanese and British University Students’ Attitudes to Permanent Employment
Matanle, P. (2006)
Japan Forum, 18 (2): 229-254.
This article presents an analysis from a social constructionist perspective of data collected from British and Japanese university students on the desirability of lifetime employment at a single organization. The article emphasizes two related processes and in so doing helps to account for the diversity of employment structures both between and within the two countries as well as the persistence of lifetime employment in Japan. First, it shows that the two groups display some similarities in their attitudes but that their assumptions about employment practices in their countries may differ. These lead the two groups to develop the belief that they may be offered different outcomes and, thus, the students develop different conclusions as to the desirability of lifetime employment for themselves. Second, the research shows some differences in the students' approaches and these too lead them to reach different conclusions about the desirability of lifelong employment. In addition, the research highlights how, in both Britain and Japan, medical students' expectations are at times at odds with those of their colleagues in other subjects, and this may have important consequences for our understanding of how the respective employment systems are reproduced over time.
Driving the Modern Dream: Contemporary Japanese Modernity in Theoretical Perspective
Matanle, P. (2001)
Hosei Riron: The Journal of Law and Politics (Faculty of Law, Niigata University, Japan), 33 (4): 103-150.
Modernity is as much a state of mind as it is a material condition. As such its quality can most clearly be described as a transformative ethic that has as its engine pushing it forwards and outwards the positivistic and economistic rationalism that is capitalism.That is to say, with capitalism as its mechanism and its fuel, modernity seeks a progressive and linear transformation of the human experience into a rationally and reflexively ordered lifescape that can be pro-actively controlled and manipulated for the purposes of providing an ever more comfortable, fulfilling, liberating, challenging, and complex life for its human architects. Mediating the mental and the material aspects of modernity are the institutions and organisations which individuals and groups construct in order that they might express their consciousness through the process of creative adaptation. In other words, institutions and organisations are the social mechanisms by which people not only create their environment out of the mental images they have developed but also are the method by which people accommodate themselves to the circumstances of their lives. For at the heart of modernity is the individual’s moral responsibility to discover his or her authentic inner consciousness and substantiate it in lived experience.