This paper presents the objectives and results of the symposium at the annual meeting of
Association of Regional and Community Studies, where we try to get a basic understanding of rescaling
studies. Firstly, recent attention to the studies of rescaling is overviewed. Secondly, the concept of
scale and the contexts of rescaling studies are examined by summarizing the presentations of three
invited scholars who are political geographer or political scientist. Thirdly, I try to look at the rescaling
problem in a European historical context which is formalized as a transformation from Fordism to
Post-Fordism. The requirements for local economic development and new forms of urban governance
under the globalization economy need state rescaling. Lastly, it is explored that rescaling studies
in Japanese historical context have a fruitful field of research, but need a careful investigation of the
differences in timing and position of the Japanese capitalism under the global economic development.
In recent social science literature, there has been an increasing number of challenges to the naturalization of state space, in which state spatiality has been seen as a pregiven and relatively unchanging feature of modernity. In this context, one emergent research agendum has been concerned with the production and transformation of state space. More specifically, an increasing number of social scientists have paid attention to the restructuring of territorially demarcated forms of state power, the recent decentring of nationally scaled forms of state activity, and the effects of newly emergent political and state spaces on the nature of urban and regional governance.
The existing literature on rescaling of the state, however, is limited in conceptualizing the diverse and concrete ways in which scalar restructuring of capitalist states takes place in various historical, political and social contexts. This limitation is related to the fact that the bulk of studies conducted on the rescaling of the state have focused on North American and European examples. With these problem orientations, I aim in this article to broaden our theoretical and empirical understanding of state spatiality by addressing spatial processes of state restructuring in the East Asian context. In particular, I am interested in conceptualizing the ways in which the spatiality of top-down regulatory processes led by the developmental state and its associated territorial politics can impact scalar restructuring of the state. More specifically, I will attempt to conceptualize the ways in which 1) the spatiality of top-down regulatory processes led by the developmental state can generate inter-scalar tensions between the national and the local, which results in weakening of the developmental state’s regulatory power, and 2) the state copes with the regulatory deficit through a scalar restructuring of regulation, especially the downward rescaling of the state.
My conceptual argument on the rescaling of the East Asian developmental state will be backed up by a case study on recent decentralization of the decision-making processes with regard to the location of a radioactive waste disposal facility in South Korea. This case study will explore 1) the evolutionary and trialand-error processes through which the Korean government has jumped down the scales of regulation and decision-making from the national to the local, and 2) how the rescaling processes have helped the Korean state to resolve the crisis of regulation with regard to the location of the disposal facility by transforming the national-local scalar tensions to inter-local competitions for the facility.
This paper explores the theoretical development in geographical studies on scale and rescaling and demonstrates how the concepts of scale and rescaling can be applied to cases in Japan. The concept of ‘geographical scale’ was created in the 1980s by Anglophone political and economic geographers to show how various spatial units in which human activities extend were socially produced and interrelated in capitalist society. Those geographers interpreted such socio-spatial processes as being multilayered and nested from a global scale to a local, even bodily, scale and examined how inter-scalar relations affected human/corporate/ state activities and were utilized for specific political economic purposes. Ever since, a number of theoretical, empirical, and critical studies have been conducted on the production and politics of scale. One of the new research trends is studies on ‘rescaling.’ Rescaling points to specific aspects of shifts in inter-scalar relations under the contemporary global political economic restructuring. Two elements are considered important in the shifts: globalization and the retreat of the state. Thus, studies on rescaling illustrate the way the external and internal spaces of the state are transformed in neoliberal reforms and the way actors at various scales attempt to survive globalizing economic competition. Compared to European studies, however, the number of studies on Asia, including Japan, is still limited. Drawing on the above-mentioned scholarship, this paper applies the concept of scale and rescaling to the cases of Okinawa and Osaka Prefectures in Japan. Using strategic rescaling, governors of both prefectures attempted to decentralize state power to revitalize their own locality. The processes of rescaling in these two cases are compared to show how the role of each locality in relation to the state can condition success in such rescaling attempts in Japan.
Today is an age of great transformation of human society. Human society, that has been growing and expanding for long time, is facing new trends of shrinking and declining. As a result, social spaces and scales are now being restructured and reorganized in a complex way.
Such a restructuring is mainly entailed by globalization, a enormous change of scalar change in human lives. More exactly saying, having industrialization in behind, societies became massively expanded since the 19th century, but because of the deindustrialization in the 20th century many industrial cities and nations stopped to grow and even began to shrinked in terms population size as well as spatial scale. Undoubtedly, shrinkage will be a serious social issue in the 21st century. However, on the other hand, globalizing cities and nations will still growing. Crossing of the growing and shrinking of social spaces i.e., rescaling is noticeable phenomenon of this age.
In this article, I examine the some different dimensions of the rescaling of social pace.
In the early 1970s, the administration of the former town of Itsukaichi in Hiroshima Prefecture, where the former Ministry of Home Affairs had designated a Model Community Area, had already initiated its own community policy. Although this policy stagnated afterwards due to political struggles and rapid urbanization, construction of public halls and their use as community centers have continued and lead to the foundation of a new community organization in the former Model Community Area. This case study suggests that the institutionalization of community generates unintended social relations and organizations and argues from the perspective of the social meaning of the institutionalization of community that we should further the empirical study of the particular historical and local contexts of each municipality where the Model Community Areas were once designated in order to develop a theoretically concrete idea of municipal decentralization.
In this paper, I arrest environmental governance as a generation-like concept and investigate a condition to enable shifts from government to governance. I show an analysis frame explaining a determinant to promote environmental governance using four characteristics (an element condition, a demand condition, a supporting group, an interest). In addition, I turn dynamism of those mutual reinforcement into a model.
I apply this generation model of the environmental governance and perform example analysis of the management of the Toyo River where Shitara dam construction work is pushed forward now. There is an intermittent embankment in the Toyo River and is the very interesting example in thinking about the way of “the river improvement not to rely as possible on the dam”. The irrigation water of the Toyo River changes the Atsumi Peninsula troubled with chronic shortage of water into the best agricultural production zone, and the development in the seaside industrial zone of the Mikawa Gulf is progressing. But the water utilization of the Toyo River that was excessive than flow quantity destoroied the ecosystem and the community of upper basin.
In late years, the composition of this complicated interest showed the sign of the big change. The new institutional frame for identifications of dam business estimation is created by the financial crisis of the country and the local government. It promotes the reinforcement of the element condition and accelerates mutual reinforcement in the model inside and is causing big dynamism. Through the example of the Toyo River where these many interests were complicated, I submitted a viewpoint to catch a condition to promote “generation of the environmental governance” as for the essence of the problem.