CfP: Conference on Japanese Democracy, December 10-12, Jerusalem

Nissim Otmazgin's picture

The 5th International Conference of the Israeli Association for Japanese Studies (IAJS)

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, December 10–12, 2019

Call for Papers


Seven Decades of Japanese Democracy: Challenges and Strengths


The conference seeks to examine the challenges of Japanese democracy and offer new ways for understanding its strengths and weaknesses. By employing a multi-disciplinary perspective, the conference aims to explore different aspects of the making and remaking of Japanese democracy insofar as they pertain to politics, law, philosophy, social change, culture, and the arts. The panels will bring Israeli and international scholars together and critically examine the historical foundations of Japanese democracy, the manifestation of political, social, and cultural participation and opposition in Japan, and Japanese democracy in a wider regional and comparative perspective.

We hope that the quality of the debates in the conference will allow us to move beyond the obvious and apparent and to offer innovative theoretical tools and a deeper empirical understanding of Japanese democracy.

We warmly encourage research students to apply to designated panels in the conference and outstanding papers would be supported. 


Confirmed Keynote Speakers:

Prof. Kohno Masaru, Waseda University

Prof. Mary Alice Haddad, Wesleyan University


Proposals for an individual paper or for an organized panel should be submitted by September 30, 2019, or earlier to the steering committee at

We encourage proposals from a wide range of disciplines, including, but not limited to, anthropology, history, political science, sociology, economics, cultural studies, international relations, media, art, and literature. We welcome ideas for innovative panel formats. Possible topics for papers/panels may include but are not limited to:

  • The historical and intellectual foundations of Japanese democracy
  • Multiculturalism, immigration, and social change
  • Race, Nationalism, and democracy
  • Authority, power, and democracy
  • Democratic and non-democratic legislation
  • Democracy and populism
  • Article 9 and the decline of Japanese Pacifism
  • Comparative studies of Japanese democracy
  • Actors, agency, and elections
  • Environmental activism after Fukushima
  • Keyboard nationalism, cyber-activism, and computer-mediated political participation
  • Cool Japan and Cool democracy


Proposals should include the following information:

For organized Panels

  • Panel title
  • Panel abstract (limited to 200 words)
  • Abstracts of papers in the panel (limited to 100 words each)
  • Name of panel chair including institutional affiliation and contact details
  • Names of all participants including institutional affiliation and contact details


For Individual Papers

  • Paper Title
  • Paper abstract (limited to 200 words)
  • Institutional affiliation and contact details


For inquiries please contact Dr. Alon Levcowitz or Prof. Nissim Otmazgin


The Israeli Association for Japanese Studies (IAJS) was established in February 2012 as an umbrella organization for scholars of Japan in Israel. Its primary aim is to support Japan-related academic initiatives in Israel and to increase the visibility of Israeli Japanese-studies scholars abroad. More importantly, it seeks to maintain a lively community of Japanese-studies scholars, teachers, and students in Israel. (