- 北海道大学大学院国際広報メディア・観光学院 = Graduate School of International Media, Communication, and Tourism Studies, Hokkaido University
- vol.6, pp.113-134, 2008-03-21
Nowadays civil society in Japan is in the midst of a great transformation at a time when 'publicness', which used to belong to the authorities, should now involve those whom are concerned with administrative and fiscal reforms. Consequently, people in local communities have growing commitments to participate in policymaking directly, in a so-called 'partnership'. Furthermore, there is a growing interest in how the authorities should reform their environmental, welfare, and urban development policies at the regional level. It is certain that decision-making should depend on how well the residents of the local district facilitate consensus-building efforts among themselves. Prior to accomplishing agreement, mutual understanding is called for by means of communication in the local community. This is the reason why I discuss the theoretical possibilities of the Chonaikai (neighborhood association) within the framework of civil public sphere
(Harbermas 1973), that is described as a communication space in order to present an ideal model of the Chonaikai. I argue that the ideal model should be considered as a voluntary association, in which the people establish agendas relevant to self-evident 'living', some of which might result in the raising of political issues in civil society by means of intersubjective communication.