Accepted paper:

Broken trust and mutual alienation in three emerging areas of super-diversity: post-Fukushima Japan, Sudan's borderlands and East Africa


Akira Okazaki (Hitotsubashi University)

Paper short abstract:

Fukushima nuclear accident has not only shattered Japanese blind trust in nuclear professionals, industrial circles, politicians and the mass media but has also created mutual alienation among ordinary people. This paper seeks to disclose and displace their alienation through comparing three cases.

Paper long abstract:

This paper is concerned with devastating events. Three cases I take here appear quite different in regional terms, but they have many things in common: trust has been broken; the manipulation of trust has led further alienation among the people; the problem has not been solved yet; and I have been involved in all three cases with a different degree of participation. Fukushima disaster is not simply caused by the mismanagement of TEPCO but it is said to involve the defects in the makeup of the whole social fabric. In any case, the government's crude attempts to avoid a panic have only made people more suspicious about authorities and even served to divide people into pros and cons, and created mutual alienation among them to an unprecedented level. The 2011 ill-prepared secession (so-called independence) of southern Sudan from Sudan created a huge number of internally displaced people of diverse ethnic origins in the borderlands. Some 200,000 IDPs fled their homelands because of the bombing attacks by the northern army. They now stay in a few extremely crowded makeshift camps with little water, food and medicine. But they have no space to alienate each other; they can only try to maintain mutual trust for survival. As will be presented in this panel, devastating events have recently occurred in the emerging environments of economic, political, medical, religious super-diversity in East Africa. By comparing these three cases, I seek to explore diverse forms of broken trust and the possibility of displacing alienation.

panel G20
Trust in super-diversity