After the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, the Japanese government tried to democratize energy policy-making by introducing public participation. Over the course of its implementation, however, public participation came to be subordinated to expert committees as the primary mechanism of policy rationalization. The expert committees not only neutralized the results of public participation but also discounted the necessity of public participation itself. This trajectory of public participation, from its historic introduction to eventual collapse, can be fully explained only in reference to complex interactions between the macroinstitutions and microsituations of Japanese policy-making at the time of the nuclear disaster: the macroinstitutional reassembling of the developmental state to reallocate more power from the bureaucracy to the cabinet office and the civil society vis-à-vis the microsituational, shifting power dynamics involving political parties, citizens and NGOs, businesses and labor unions, and other relevant actors. This case study thus helps advance the growing science and technology studies research on how the macro and microparameters of policy-making, ranging from the durable institutions of nation-states to situationally specific political struggles, combine to shape the designs, implementations, and policy influences of public participation at particular places and times as well as in particular policy domains.
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DOI 10.1177/0162243920905000
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Constitutional Moments in Governing Science and Technology.Sheila Jasanoff - 2011 - Science and Engineering Ethics 17 (4):621-638.

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