Government agencies often face the problem of clarifying causal relationships and regulatory applications in industrial waste disputes. This article uses the case of slag waste pollution on Qishan farmland in Kaohsiung City to explore the dynamic interaction process of power and scientific knowledge production among various levels of government agencies and related organizations. This article adopts the new political sociology of science (NPSS) framework to examine how scientific knowledge, rules and power interact with each other. The case highlights the problems associated with an unequal power structure and resources as well as deficiencies in current industrial waste regulations. Residents found that the Yuantan pool in Qishan was backfilled by slag, which caused a large number of organisms to die and emit an unpleasant smell. The local EPA claims that the soil test results indicated that there was no pollution. However, the Agriculture and Food Agency found that the water quality was strongly alkaline, in excess of the EPA's standard for soil pollution regulations. Different government agencies have competing opinions as to who should take responsibility. The industry claims that slag is a ＂byproduct＂ in the steelmaking process, and therefore the Waste Disposal Act does not apply to it. Following a series of protests and campaigns, local residents and self-help associations engaged in the production of scientific knowledge and lawsuits. Citizen participation has reshaped policy discourses and knowledge production processes, and has led to the amendment of regulatory policies. This article highlights the dynamics of the transformation of networks and power images in relation to the illegal dumping of industrial waste, as well as the crucial role played by local knowledge and citizen activism in the remaking of industrial waste goverance.
Volume #23, Number #1
Published in June, 2019
Japan has adopted the Political Funds Control Act and the Public Offices Election Act to promote the development of party politics since the GHQ period. In Japan, the distinctive characteristic of party politics has been the LDP (Liberal Democratic Party), which was in power for a long time. In the 1990s, in order to make up for the political deficiencies and resolve the problems of money/power-related politics due to the LDP having been in power for a long time, Japan adopted the Political Party Subsidies Act and the Juridical Person Grant for Political Parties Receiving Public Funding Act. This paper attempts to explore the contradictory definitions among the above party law articles and the strong competition between the parties which have resulted in institutional deadlock. By analyzing the current situation regarding the Political Funds Control Act and the Political Party Subsidies Act in Japan, we can ascertain the effectiveness of the Political Funds Control Act in enabling the number of major political parties to increase while donations decrease. The effectiveness of the Political Party Subsidies Act has been seen in the decrease in the number of major political parties, although the parties now greatly depend on party subsidies.
Previous empirical studies in politics used to regard people as being part of the same political cohort if they grew up in the same political context. This study argues that the concept of a political cohort is inappropriate in explaining differences in the perception of just earnings among cohorts. Given this, the concept of an economic cohort is used in this study and economic cohorts refer to those who grew up in the same economic context. Methodologically, this study utilizes the cross-classified random-effects model to scrutinize perceptions of redistributive justice among economic cohorts because this model is able to correct biased estimators caused by the severe multicollinearity between age groups and cohorts. According to the empirical results, different economic cohorts possess varying perspectives on what just earnings are, while people in different age groups also exhibit significant diversity in their perceptions of just earnings. Secondly, at the individual level, some explanatory variables such as male, marital status, a higher level of education, subjective higher social class, and ethnicity (mainlander) are more likely to regard earnings as over-rewarded. Finally, the perceptions of just earnings reflect the life cycle effect among different age groups. People aged 20 to 29 are those who are most dissatisfied with their earnings, whereas people over the age of 30 gradually become more satisfied with their rewards. In general, senior economic cohorts are more likely to regard their earnings or income as over-rewarded injustice, while junior economic cohorts exhibit a different perspective and regard their income as under-rewarded injustice. The diversity of perceptions of just earnings between senior and junior economic cohorts may be due to changes in income structure caused by economic globalization or industrial change.
This thesis aims to completely resolve the controversy which refers to the state of nature between truth and fiction. By going through disputes related to Hobbes's concept of the state of nature, we attempt to point out that the foundation of interpretive controversy is derived from most interpreters applying thoughts on empiricism to understand empirical descriptions within the state of nature. Furthermore, Hobbes's system could resolve the opposition between philosophical fiction and historical truth within the state of nature through reconstructing the ＂fact＂ from the perspective of Hobbes's context. Finally, the major purpose of this thesis is to clarify the relationship between political philosophy and narrative theory. In my opinion, the function of the state of nature is to transform empirical phenomena into a web of meaning. Hobbes consequently enlarged the empirical range and practical sense within political philosophy with narrative theory approaching a contemporary theoretical perspective.
Scholars have conventionally debated whether neoliberal globalization has resulted in the breakdown of corporatism or its resilience. Beyond this dichotomy, this paper uncovers ＂consultation without representation＂ as a new path paved by the conservative governments in Japan and South Korea (hereafter, Korea): Japan's Abe Shinzo cabinet and Korea's Park Geun-hye administration attempted to continue utilizing the format of tripartite consultation in the process of neoliberal reforms without allowing organized labor to represent its interests. This paper argues that the consultation-without- representation path originated from the deliberate strategy that conservative governments used to capitalize on labor-inclusionary tripartite institutions against labor. The governments have kept the tripartite institutions, including Japan's shingikai and Korea's Tripartite Commission, intact to avoid a legislative gridlock that an apparent offensive against corporatism may cause and, furthermore, not to compromise their efforts in moving toward a new moral hegemony over industrial society. However, they have made use of these institutions as a way to weaken the corporatist power of organized labor. Specific patterns of consultation without representation differ between Japan and Korea because the conservative governments developed specialized strategies for utilizing the tripartite institutions on the basis of unique political resources for labor movements in each country. In Japan, the Abe cabinet made use of Rengo's orientation toward policy partnership to confine labor unrest to an institutional boundary. Shingikai functioned as a container that prevented the grievances of Rengo from turning into a society-wide dissidence. Meanwhile, Korea's Park government utilized the radical ideology of labor movements to disqualify them as negotiation partners. The Tripartite Commission was used as a blockade to hinder militant labor movements from influencing the policy-making process. This paper examines the processes of the Worker Dispatch Law revisions in Japan and in Korea to corroborate the argument. This analysis indicates that the conservative rulers have found a new utility of corporatism for neoliberal reforms.