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Understanding integration policy-making in Japan using a field analytical approach: case studies of Osaka and Yokohama

Bristol student theses: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Authors

  • Hardeep Aiden

Research units

Abstract

Looking towards Japan, there is a growing number of studies concerned with migration and migrant integration, especially in urban contexts. However, within the Japanese context, and indeed more widely, more investigation is needed into the actors and institutions involved in the integration policy-making process. In particular, the roles played by government and non-government actors and their relative influence on integration policies have been underexplored.

Hence, this study has sought to investigate how the configuration of actors and institutions in Japan has helped shape the policies affecting migrants in Japanese cities. In order to do so, it presents findings from qualitative research carried out in the two Japanese cities with the highest numbers of foreign residents, namely Osaka and Yokohama. The research has sought to investigate the key actors involved in the development of integration policies, the institutional structures that have developed to take formal responsibility for these policies, and the competing narratives and discourses bound up with integration policy-making processes.

Rather than viewing the relationships between institutions and actors as ‘multilevel’, with its emphasis on vertical hierarchy, this study argues that it may be more fruitful to view these interconnections as multi-spatial and multi-scalar. This project has also been carried out with the aim of examining integration-related issues from a relational perspective, by using a Bourdieu-inspired field analytical framework that draws on concepts from governance and citizenship-based research on integration.

Using a relational approach, this study contributes to our understanding of how the balance of control over integration policy-making has changed since the 1990s, highlighting the practices and processes at work within and across the institutions that are shaping integration-related policies and policy-making processes in Japan. This study also considers how actors are negotiating structure and agency in the development of integration policies at the local scale.

Details

Original languageEnglish
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Award date23 Jan 2019

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