Between co-operation and confrontation: the Government-NGO relationship in Japan’s Official Development Assistance

Date

2012-12-20

Authors

Mashiko, Moe

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Abstract

This thesis examines the relationship between the Japanese government and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) involved in Official Development Assistance (ODA). Japanese NGOs are too easily co-opted into the mechanisms of state power, sometimes putting at risk the very objectives that ODA is meant to embody. Against this prevailing trend; however, some NGOs have rallied to resist and transform undemocratic ODA policies and practices, and challenge Japan’s traditional bureaucratic politics. Gramsci’s theory of state and civil society, which treats civil society as a field of contention between hegemony and counter-hegemony, provides a useful frame of reference to understand the contradictory role of Japanese NGOs.

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Keywords

Japan, Official Development Assistance (ODA), Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Gramsci

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