The sociology of development in Japan is an underexplored, if not undervalued, field of study. Although there has been a call for greater engagement by sociologists in development studies, a majority of them remain preoccupied with issues that revolve around ‘modernity’ in the global North. However, their general lack of interest in development is hardly tenable, given that development aid projects have not only triggered modernisation but reshaped the social life of citizens in the global South over the past decades. Some of their impacts are reminiscent of the changes that Japanese sociologists used to study in the course of modernisation in post-war Japan.
It is not the provincialism of Japanese sociologists alone that has hindered the growth of the sociology of development. The lack of dialogue between sociologists and other social scientists within development studies is equally responsible for it. In lieu of sociologists, some keen non-sociologists, notably development economists and planning studies scholars, have advanced the quasi-sociological research of development. However, their non-expert treatment of the sociological literature has somewhat shaped the skewed image of the sociology of development in the circle of development studies scholars. It is not uncommon to find that they conflate sociological works with anthropological ones. Some even employ sociological concepts as fillers to explain what constitutes the social in development projects.
Against this backdrop, this article attempts to determine the sociological approaches to development in a way that is capable of applying sociological frameworks to empirical analysis of development processes. In so doing, it gives an overview of seminal works in the sociology of development outside Japan. It then seeks to establish the relevance of empirical works on regional development in Japan done by ‘non-development’ sociologists to development studies. These include works in sub-disciplines of sociology such as rural sociology, urban sociology, regional and community studies, and the sociology of environment, all of which have traced the development paths of post-war Japan and reflect the elements of Japan as a latecomer of capitalist development.
By this token, the article tries to build a sociological framework of development which is informed by the rich tradition of Japanese sociology and that can be replicated to empirical studies in the global South, particularly countries that are undergoing modernisation apace.
The study of chronic poverty in the global South has gained currency since the Millennium Development Goals (MGDs) were set in motion as a key global development agenda in 2001. Although it shares much in common with the series of World Bank-led qualitative research on ‘moving out of poverty’, distinctive in its approach is the focus on the intergenerational transmission of poverty among those who would remain in absolute poverty by the MDGs target year of 2015. This analytical pessimism has called for a more sociologically-orientated, less policy-laden analysis of the dynamics of poverty.
This article joins current debates on chronic poverty and presents a distinctive approach of sociology, amongst other disciplines, to this emerging issue in development studies. In order to explore the multifaceted nature of poverty, which is perpetuated by the globalisation of economy and the neoliberalisation of governance that sweep across the global South, the article draws briefly on case studies from the slums of Ahmedabad, an India's globalising metropolis.
This article is divided into three parts. Firstly, it traces the genesis of the chronic poverty agenda and identifies the analytical contributions that sociology and cognate disciplines have made to this field. Secondly, it adopts the neo-Marxian approaches of globalisation to explain the pauperisation of poor people, particularly women, who are increasingly exploited in the light of the burgeoning informal economy. Thirdly, it appraises the unintended consequences of the use of human and social capital, both of which stress the resilience of individuals to cope with economic hardship and adversarial events through collective action. In this vein, it interrogates the invisible dimensions of power that exclude the poorest of the poor from associational life. In conclusion, the article suggests the need for a sociological analysis of chronic poverty to investigate both the political economy of social change and the cultural politics of development intervention.
This paper has two objectives. Firstly, it scrutinizes the concept of sustainability, which has been popularized in Japan's development assistance projects, notably those aimed at institution-building, in a sociological light. Secondly, it establishes a three-tier typology of sustainability, which is sensitive to the logics displayed by both policymakers and practitioners who are the “architects” of development projects and grassroots actors.
In the circle of development assistance, sustainability is used as a benchmark for evaluating whether the benefits of project-induced activities are likely to continue after the withdrawal of the donor agency. Against this backdrop, this paper proposes that the meaning of sustainability differs depending on the positionality of the researcher; namely, whether s/he stands on the side of the system that implements the project or of grassroots actors who constitute the target of the project. In this respect, the key issue surrounding sustainability is the potential of development assistance to generate external interventional components and enable developing countries to fully manifest their capacity to cope with their own problems. With this point in mind, it elaborates the notion of sustainability in terms of its targets and ends as well as forms it might take, especially in the course of institution-building. Drawing on the findings of a field survey conducted as part of the Sulawesi Poverty Alleviation Project (SPAP) in Indonesia, the paper reappraises sustainability, one of the five conventional evaluation benchmarks, in the light of sociological system theory. It then builds a sociological framework of sustainability that is of relevance to an analysis of institution-building. The paper considers the SPAP as a successful model of social development as it has improved the administrative ability and encouraged citizen participation that are crucial to capacity development at the local level.
The paper concludes by suggesting three types of sustainability on the basis of the insights gained from the case study. They are: (1) independent evolvability, i.e. strong innovation as a result of the actor's engagement in the institution, which in turn keeps the institution in the state of equilibrium within the system; (2) institutional sustainability, i.e. high stability of the institution as a result of the weak innovation forged by the actor making use of the institution; and (3) creative destruction, i.e. an unstable institution as a result of the strong innovation forged by the actor.
The purpose of this report is to explore the methods of social research for evaluating poverty reduction projects that are implemented in developing countries. Social research is a way of systematic observation of social life that is used for collecting information about the society we live in. We are well acquainted with the methods of social research, but we have little knowledge about the problems in conducting social research in developing countries. Agencies of international cooperation have conducted social research. The author wants to learn from their experiences of social research and evaluation research to expand the knowledge of methods of social research.
In this paper, the author will review the report of evaluation conducted in 2001 for Sulawesi Rural Development Program to Supporting Poverty Alleviation implemented between 1997 and 2002. The project team had developed SISDUK, a subsidy system of participatory rural development. The local government of Sulawesi district had taken over SISDUK and enacted New SISDUK as a district ordinance. The JICA project team had supported 40 small project proposals. The terminal evaluation team evaluated the outcomes of the small projects.
We conducted field work and visited all 40 projects sites to verify the evaluation in 2007. In 2010, we did survey research with random samples at two villages in Sulawesi district to measure the degree of recognition of JICA SISDUK and New SISDUK.
The findings of two pieces of research suggest that there were some misunderstanding about the use of sampling methods that the project team had used. The author suggests promoting the study of proper methods of social research for the evaluation of poverty reduction in developing countries. He also suggests that those who work for social research business should observe the professional ethics to prevent misuse and failure of social research.
The objective of this study is to clarify the sociological approach in international development studies through analysis of the relationship between individual and society in livelihood improvement in rural areas of Japan. The rural livelihood improvement program started in 1949in response to the promulgation of the Agricultural Improvement Promotion Law of 1948, under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. The program put emphasis on creating self-reliant farmers, particularly female farmers. Even though the program finished in 2004, rural livelihood improvement as a movement continues among self-reliant farmers.
In the development assistance studies, the livelihood improvement approach is worthy of attention as a successful experience of rural development. This experience can provide lessons and suggestions valuable to people in developing countries. The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has implemented livelihood improvement projects in developing countries. This study pointed out the limitation of these studies and projects because they focus only on the experience of economic poverty alleviation in rural areas of Japan, particularly in the late 1940s and 1950s. It is better for them to add the analysis of multi-tiered relationships changing and expanding over time.
This study recommends two wider views of the sociological approach as international development studies. One view is the sociological analysis of the multi-tiered relationship between individual and society. Society has three different levels of practices: micro, meso and macro. Regardless of the level, the very basis of any society is the individual. This study found that the key concept of livelihood improvement is to create self-reliant farmers. They could shift their livelihood improvement from a program to a movement. These results were achieved through the empowerment of individuals and societies. It is necessary to analyze individual aspects such as identity, pride and self-confidence. The other view is the comparative analysis between developing countries and Japan. Even the the female farmers in Japan who have much experience of livelihood improvement are still trying to tackle problems that they face. It is necessary for development study scholars to provide information for mutual learning between farmers in developing countries and Japan.
The emerging donors are receiving considerable attention, being viewed with caution in the international donor community and regarded as challengers to the established international aid regime embodied by DAC.
To understand the reality of the conduct of the emerging donor situation, this article comparatively analyses aid models of the four emerging donors of China, South Korea, Thailand and India as well as examines factors which determine these diverse aid models.
After Chapter Two reviews how literature understands the diversity of aid donors and its determinant factors, Chapter Three analyses the diversity of emerging donors in terms of the following: (1) their aid purposes, strategies and policies; (2) aid activities and performances; and (3) aid institutions. In Chapter Four, the origins and transformation paths of the diverse aid models are analysed in terms of the domestic and international factors relevant to each donor. Different factor mixes are considered to have contributed to the formation and transformation of the different aid models.
This article reveals that the Asian emerging donors are as diverse as the traditional donors. It has also established that this diversity is a product of the different combinations of factors which influence emerging donor aid in contrast to those of the traditional donors. This article also contributes to the argument that the patterns of conduct by Asia's emerging donors are not statically fixed but are in a process of transformation. Hence, it is suggested here that the traditional donors take a more plural and longer-term perspective to understand the emerging donors; by so doing, they will realize how best to partner with the others.
Arsenic contamination of drinking water in rural areas of India and Bangladesh has been a serious problem. Although activities for improvement are continuously practiced by local NGO and foreign agencies, the problem is still in a serious situation. In this study, focusing on residents' voluntary attitude for improving their environments, in particular which is related to water in the case areas, it is analyzed how the voluntary attitude is formed through the enlighten activities. In the pragmatic arena, it is already common knowledge that the enlighten activities work under certain circumstances but it does not necessarily do. In this study, the mechanism of the voluntary attitude change is modeled in a mathematical way. The results of questionnaire survey in rural villages of India and Bangladesh are applied to the model. The questionnaire is conducted once in Bangladeshi case village and twice in Indian case village. The questionnaires in Indian village were conducted before and after information dissemination regarding arsenic. In Bangladesh, lots of donors and NGOs have been giving the information to villagers. On the other hand, local people in India do not know the risk of arsenic well because information about arsenic has been hardly offered. By conducting latent mixture model analysis between Bangladeshi village and Indian village, it is analyzed how different the mechanism of the voluntary attitude is. Secondly, to testify the analysis result, the same model is applied to pre- and post-questionnaire results of Indian village. Finally, based on the findings through the model analysis, the measures to conduct enlighten activities more efficiently and conveniently are proposed.
India has achieved substantial economic growth with stability even under the past several external shocks, including the Asian Crisis (1997/8) and the Global financial crisis (2008/9). In this paper I evaluate the causality and correlation between the capital inflow variables (FDI, portfolio, other investment) and the GDP growth, as well as domestic saving and investment rates, using several analytical methods of regression and VAR (Vector Auto Regressive) model, including Granger causality tests and impulse response functions. The overall results of the analysis show that India could avoid several risks of short-term capital flows that would normally cause unstable economic growth. Particularly, portfolio investment has positive association with economic growth rather than FDI in India. The analysis also confirmed that the domestic saving rate is closely associated with the GDP growth, rather than the capital inflows in India. The results indicate that while cautious liberalization of capital account is to be continued, further promotion of raising domestic saving rates would be required to meet with the increasing demand for infrastructure development to accelerate the economic growth in the country.
Livelihood improvement strategies play a fundamental role for sustainable coastal fisheries development in many regions throughout the world. Community based livelihood improvement may ensure ongoing sustainability as local communities in Indonesia are engaged in small scale fishing, fish processing and traditional trading activities. Under a three-year technical cooperation project for promotion of coastal fisheries, artisanal fish processing improvement was introduced through community based approaches without changing existing infrastructure and local distribution system. From results of the field study as well as profit simulation, extending preservability may improve the revenue and may contribute to establish a strategy for coastal fisheries promotion with institutional capacity development as well as the multilayered approach to local administration and community.