A Comparative Study of Social Movements for a Post-nuclear Energy Era in Japan and the USA

  • Koichi HasegawaEmail author
Part of the Nonprofit and Civil Society Studies book series (NCSS)


In contrast with skepticism about nuclear energy in the USA and most advanced Western countries from late 1970s to early 2000s, Japan, South Korea, and China have shared a pro-nuclear energy policy during these years. These differences partly reflected the strength, influence, and the success of the anti-nuclear movement in the USA and Western countries like Germany, compared to its weaker Japanese counterpart. Using data from case studies of anti-nuclear movements in Japan and the USA, this study explains the different outcomes using the author’s “triangular model of social movement analysis (TRIM).” As a theoretical framework, the TRIM compares the two countries on three major factors: (1) political opportunity structure (openness of political system to popular input); (2) resources, actors, and major support base; and (3) framing based on culture and attitudes (for example, public confidence in technology).


Nuclear Power Plant Social Movement Nuclear Energy Electrical Utility Political Opportunity Structure 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Benford, R. D. and D. A. Snow. 2000. “Framing Processes and Social Movements: An Overview and Assessment.” Annual Review of Sociology 26:611–639.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Broadbent, J. 1998. Environmental Politics in Japan: Networks of Power and Protest. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Funabashi, H., K. Hasegawa and N. Iijima (eds). 1998. Kyodai chiiki kaihatsu no koso to kiketsu: Mutsu Ogawara kaihatsu to kakunenryo saikuru shisetsu (Vision versus results in a large-scale industrial development project in the Mutsu-Ogawara district: a sociological study of social change and conflict in Rokkasho village). Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press.Google Scholar
  4. Hasegawa K. 1995. “A Comparative Study of Social Movements for the Post- Nuclear Energy Era in Japan and the United States.” International Journal of Japanese Sociology 4:21–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Hasegawa K. 1996. Datsugenshiryoku shakai no sentaku: Shin enerugi kakumei no jidai (A choice for a post-nuclear society: The age of new energy revolution). Tokyo: Shin’yosha.Google Scholar
  6. Hasegawa K. 1999. “Global Climate Change and Japanese Nuclear Policy.” The International Journal of Japanese Sociology 8:183–197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Hasegawa K. 2003. “Kankyo undo no tenkai to shinka (Environmental movements in Japan: development and prospects).” pp.179–215 in Social Movements: Sociology in Japan 15, edited by Y. Shujiro. Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press.Google Scholar
  8. Hasegawa K. 2004. Constructing Civil Society in Japan: Voices of Environmental Movements. Melbourne: Trans Pacific Press.Google Scholar
  9. Hasegawa K. 2005. “The Development of the NGO Activities in Japan: A New Civil Culture and Institutionalization of Civic Action.” pp.110–122 in Civil Life, Globalization, and Political Change in Asia, edited by R. Waller. Oxford: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hasegawa K. and T. Yuko. 2001. JCO Criticality Accident and Local Residents: Damages, Symptoms and Changing Attitudes, Data and Analysis of the Results of a Field Survey of Tokai-mura and Naka-machi Residents. Tokyo: Citizen's Nuclear Information Center.Google Scholar
  11. Hasegawa K. and J. Broadbent. 2005. “From Idealism to Profitability: The Transformation of Participatory Incentives in Green Energy Movements.” A Paper for Presentation at the 100th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association.Google Scholar
  12. Hasegawa K., C. Shinohara and J. Broadbent. 2007. “Effects of ‘Social Expectation’ on the Development of Civil Society in Japan.” Journal of Civil Society 3(2):179–203.Google Scholar
  13. Jasper, J. M. 1990. Nuclear Politics: Energy and the State in the United States, Sweden and France. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Joppke, C. 1992. Mobilizing Against Nuclear Energy: A Comparison of West Germany and the United States. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  15. Kitschelt, H. P. 1986. “Political Opportunity Structures and Political Protest: Anti-Nuclear Movements in Four Democracies.” British Journal of Political Science 16:57–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Klandermans, B. 1986. “New Social Movements and Resource Mobilization: The European and the American Approach.” International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters 4:13–37.Google Scholar
  17. Klandermans, B. and S. Tarrow. 1988. “Mobilization into Approaches.” International Social Movement Research 1:1–38.Google Scholar
  18. Kriesi, H., R. Koopmans, J. W. Duyvendak and M. G. Giugni. 1995. The Politics of New Social Movements in Western Europe: A Comparative Analysis. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  19. Lovins, H. L. et al. 1992. “Energy Policy.” pp. 671–686 in Changing America: Blueprints for New Administration, edited by M. Green. New York, NY: New market Press.Google Scholar
  20. McAdam, Doug. 1996. “Conceptual Origins, Current Problems, Future Directions.” pp. 23–40 in Comparative Perspectives on Social Movements: Political Opportunities, Mobilizing Structures and Cultural Framings, edited by D. McAdam, J. D. McCarthy and M. N. Zald. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  21. McAdam, Doug, John D. McCarthy and Mayer N. Zald (eds). 1996. Comparative Perspectives on Social Movements: Political Opportunities, Mobilizing Structures and Cultural Framings. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  22. McCarthy, John D. and Mayer N. Zald. 1977. “Resource Mobilization and Social Movements: A Partial Theory.” American Journal of Sociology 82(6):1212–1241.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Melucci, Alberto. 1989. Nomads of the Present: Social Movements and Individual Needs in Contemporary Society. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Offe, Claus. 1985. “New Social Movements: Challenging the Boundaries of Institutional Politics.” Social Research 52(4):817–868.Google Scholar
  25. Snow, David A., E. Burke Rochford Jr., Steven K. Worden and Robert D. Benford. 1986. “Frame Alignment Processes, Micromobilization and Movement Participation.” American Sociological Review 51:464–481.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Takubo (Hirabayashi), Yuko. 1996. “Kariforunia shu ‘genshiryoku anzenho’ no seiritsu katei (The enactment of the ‘nuclear moratorium law’ in California).” Kankyo shakaigaku kenkyu (Journal of Environmental Sociology) 2:91–108.Google Scholar
  27. Touraine, Alain. 1985. “An Introduction to the Study of Social Movements.” Social Research 52(4):749–787.Google Scholar
  28. Yoshioka Hitoshi. 1999. Genshiryoku no shakaishi (Social history of nuclear energy in Japan). Tokyo: Asahi Shimbun.Google Scholar
  29. Zald, Mayer N. and John D. McCarthy. 1987. Social Movements in an Organizational Society: Collected Essays. New Brunswick, CT: Transaction.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tohoku UniversitySendaiJapan

Personalised recommendations