1st Edition

Civil Society and International Students in Japan The Making of Social Capital

By Polina Ivanova Copyright 2024
    172 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book explores encounters and interactions between international students and local civil society organizations (CSOs) in Japan.

    Based on the results of a cross-case analysis, this study reveals the possibilities for international students in Japan of creating social capital in the short term in culturally and socially diverse groups. While a conventional approach sees universities as the main support providers, this research shows the role of local CSOs as alternative actors offering international student support. Unlike the long-standing paradigm viewing Japanese civil society as top-down and closely following the government, this book uncovers many decentralized and bottom-up organizational types. Furthermore, it highlights an active part taken by foreign staff and volunteers in Japanese CSOs, which challenges the guest–host dichotomy of the previous literature.

    Presenting a reconsidered insight into the role of international students and their interaction with CSOs in community building, this book will appeal to students and scholars of Asian studies and migration studies as well as organizers of CSOs and faculty of international higher education institutions.

    Foreword by Prof. Dr. Gabriele Vogt  Introduction  1. Theories of civil society and social capital  2. International students and their support groups in Japan  3. Expectations and disillusionment in interactions between international students and civil society organizations (CSOs)  4. International students and their support groups during the COVID-19 pandemic  5. Can social capital be generated in the short term?  Conclusion  Appendices


    Polina Ivanova is Senior Researcher at the Asia-Japan Research Institute of Ritsumeikan University, Japan. Her research interests lie in the areas of migration, civil society, and international education in Japan.

    'Ivanova's research question is a very important one--can social capital be generated in the short term? The particular context in which she explores this-- foreign students in Japan--is especially important for Japan, but also for almost all states in this era of globalized education. I very much enjoyed reading this book and I learned much from it.'

    Robert Pekkanen, Professor, University of Washington

    'Polina Ivanova has opened a new chapter in research on international education. Building social capital in the country of education enables cross-border students to make a meaningful contribution. It matters not just for their careers but for their survival and happiness.'

    Simon Marginson, Professor of Higher Education, University of Oxford