1st Edition

Protecting the Weak in East Asia Framing, Mobilisation and Institutionalisation

    292 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    292 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book investigates public claims for the protection of weak groups and interests in Japan and China from the nineteenth century to the present day. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, it engages with ongoing global debates relevant to both Western and non-Western societies whilst also providing an historically informed analysis of contemporary issues.

    Using case studies on disaster victims, employee well-being, cultural heritage and animal welfare, this book analytically distinguishes between framing, mobilisation and institutionalisation processes. It examines these processes at the intersections of international and domestic spheres and, in doing so, demonstrates how drives for protection are formulated, contested and played out in practice. Ultimately however, this book argues that claims for protection do not necessarily translate into effective measures, but may in fact entail ambiguous or negative outcomes for the protected ‘weak’.

    Protecting the Weak in East Asia makes a significant contribution to the empirical and theoretical research into the transformation of East Asian societies. As such, it will appeal to students and scholars of Asian history, Asian culture and society and East Asian Studies more broadly.

    1. Introduction, Iwo Amelung, Moritz Bälz, Heike Holbig, Matthias Schumann and Cornelia Storz

    Part I: Historical and Conceptual Background Studies

    2. Protecting the Weak or Weeding out the Unfit? Disaster Relief, Animal Protection, and the Changing Evaluation of Social Darwinism in Japan and China, Matthias Schumann

    3. Processes of Appropriation: Welfare and Cultural Heritage in East Asia, Iwo Amelung

    4. Shifting Relations between State and Social Actors: Ambiguous Strategies of Protecting the Weak in Japan and China, Heike Holbig and Moritz Bälz

    5. Theories on Institutional Change: An Application to the Dynamics of “Protecting the Weak”, Cornelia Storz and Heike Holbig

    Part II: Comparative Studies of Empirical Cases in Contemporary Japan and China 

    6. From Natural Hazard to Man-Made Disaster: The Protection of Disaster Victims in China and Japan, Elisa Hörhager andJulius Weitzdörfer 

    7. Employee Well-being in China and Japan: A Media Content Analysis, Markus Heckel, Stefan Hüppe and Na Zou 

    8. Animal Protection in China and Japan: The Ambiguous Status of Companion Animals in Rapidly Changing Societies, Kazushige Doi & Jean-Baptiste Pettier 

    9. Protecting the Weak? Tracing UNESCO’s Influence on Intangible Cultural Heritage Regimes in Japan and China, Christina Maags and IoanTrifu

    Part III: Conclusions

    10. Weak v Strong: Ambiguities of Protection, Iwo Amelung, Moritz Bälz, Heike Holbig, Matthias Schumann and Cornelia Storz


    Iwo Amelung is Professor of Chinese Studies at Goethe-University Frankfurt/Main, Germany.

    Moritz Bälz holds the Chair of Japanese Law and its Cultural Foundations at the Goethe University Frankfurt/Main, Germany.

    Heike Holbig is Professor of Political Science at Goethe University in Frankfurt/Main and a senior research fellow at the German Institute of Global and Area Studies in Hamburg, Germany.

    Matthias Schumann is a postdoctoral research fellow at the International Consortium for Research in the Humanities "Fate, Freedom and Prognostication" at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany.

    Cornelia Storz is Professor of Economic Institutions, Innovation and East Asian Development at the Goethe University Frankfurt/Main, Germany.