社研セミナー

Diversity and Democratic Reconstruction: Japan as a Character Foil for Canada
Jackie F.STEELE (社会科学研究所)

日時:2012年 9月11日 15時-17時
場所:センター会議室(赤門総合研究棟5F)

報告要旨

 The lack of “representativity,” or of “effective representation” within contemporary political institutions, is increasingly cited as evidence of the various “democratic deficits” that flow from both past exclusions and contemporary forms of systemic discrimination, marginalization and exclusion. The rise of nationalisms, inter-ethnic and religious tensions, the steady decline of voter turnout, and the persistent under-representation of intra-national diversity, such as women, ethno-cultural minorities, persons with disabilities, and youth likewise contribute to the ongoing crisis of representative democracy and liberal-democratic institutions. Japan is a unique character foil for Canada and other G-8 countries, when focusing on the intersections of “diversity” and “democracy” within representative democracies. This comparative research programme falls within an interdisciplinary (philosophy, political science, constitutionalism, law, federalism, multinational democracy, minority rights, post-colonialism, women’s studies, queer theory, critical race studies) field of social inquiry. I am interested in advancing practical philosophy (Tully, Young) to support the democratic (re)construction of “diverse citizenship“ through a) critical discourses of national/political belonging, b) the diversification of parliamentary processes of representation through critical electoral systems design and social movement access, and c) public policy processes and outputs that are responsive to the needs of an increasingly diverse population.

 In this presentation, I will first present an overview of the critical theoretical heritage that informs my analysis, notably, diversity feminism, neo-republicanism, and multinational democracy. Second, I will briefly discuss my work on women's representation worldwide and critical electoral systems design and then introduce the applied research and qualitative interviews I have completed with parliamentarians in Japan (House of Representatives and Okinawa), and Canada (Quebec and Nunavut). Third, I will introduce my current research through the “Network on Gender, Diversity and Tohoku Reconstruction”, an interdisciplinary and international research team established during my position as Visiting Japan Chair at the University of Victoria. I will conclude with some thoughts, and questions to the audience, pertaining to the unique challenges of working within and across various theoretical heritages, academic disciplines, and linguistic communities.

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