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Fall 2018

Shunji Fueki '21, Japan’s Democracy: Factors of Its Cause, Transition, Consolidation, and Sustainability. 

This paper examines Japan’s democracy from the perspectives of its causes, transition, consolidation, and sustainability. The paper engages in questions such as; what caused Japan’s democracy?; how did Japan transition to democracy and how did it become consolidated?; how is democracy sustained in Japan? The paper first measures the extent of the current democracy in Japan, then identifies different factors that led Japan’s democracy to the current state. Japan’s democracy was born with foreign influence from the United States, whose occupation force democratized Japan after World War II. Japan’s democracy seems consolidated in the 1970s, when the democracy survived a national economic crisis, and when the dominant political party came to have a new type of the prime minister who did not go through an elite career during World War II. In terms of its sustainability, Japan’s democracy is supported by high income per capita, high intuitional performance and the robust civic society. In the end, the paper engages in some future improvements for Japan’s democracy. Japan’s democracy includes some shortcomings in political engagement, factionalism and corruption, and women’s representation in politics.

Kazuna Nakaya '21, The Dokdo/Takeshima Dispute and the San Fransisco Peace Treaty. 

Japan and South Korea have been engaging in a serious territorial dispute over a group of islets called Dokdo in Korean, Takeshima in Japanese, and Liancourt Rocks in English. This paper addresses the following questions: When and what was the first failure to resolute the Dokdo/Takeshima dispute? How and why did it fail? To answer those questions, this paper first examines the causes of the dispute by analyzing the differing South Korean and Japanese narratives concerning which country first recognized Dokdo/Takeshima, which country established sovereignty over the island first, and whether either country legally transferred the island into its territory. This paper argues that the Dokdo/Takeshima dispute stems from the conflicting Japanese and South Korean interpretations of the same historical evidence. This paper then goes on to discuss the first failure in the settlement of the Dokdo/Takeshima dispute: the San Francisco Peace Treaty. Arguing that the San Francisco Peace Treaty could have and should have resolved the dispute, this paper claims that the treaty neglected the issue and failed to provide sovereignty of Dokdo/Takeshima to either Japan or South Korea. As a result, this treaty further led Japan and South Korea to develop self-serving interpretations and thus exacerbated the dispute. 

Eiji Toda '21, The Human Mobility of Venezuelans:The Realities of Migration Experiences in Quito.

Every month between January and May 2018, approximately 56,000 Venezuelans entered Ecuador on average, fleeing from the extreme economic and political crisis their country and seeking better opportunities to survive. This short ethnography (1) investigates the primary struggles of the Venezuelans recently entering Quito, especially regarding discrimination and economic challenges; and (2) examines under which political status Venezuelans are categorized by Quiteños, local humanitarian organizations, and uprooted Venezuelans themselves. Based on the participant observation and interviews, this study suggests that despite the general perception of Venezuelans as immigrants, many Quiteños are increasingly noticing that Venezuelans’ desperation has reached the point where they practically could be, or might have to be, called refugees. Venezuelans often struggle to secure a job because of their nationality and/or lack of legal documents in Ecuador. Although Venezuelans may not feel or has not personally encountered discrimination in Quito, Ecuadorians’ rejection of Venezuelans exists and seems to be growing. Ecuadorians’ memories of their own economic crisis and subsequent massive emigration in the past do not seem to have nurtured an empathic attitude towards the immigrants in Ecuador. Yet, some Venezuelans feel that rejection and xenophobia are much less in Ecuador than in other neighboring countries. 

Samikchhya Bhusal '19, Commonwealth Games 2010: Economic, Social, and Environmental effects.

Hosting mega sporting events is considered to be a prestigious opportunity for cities to accelerate infrastructure development and to gain global recognition. The implications of mega sporting events extend beyond stated objectives concerning the city’s image and status. This paper aims to trace the case of the 19th Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India to examine the economic, social, and environmental effects that resulted from hosting a mega sporting event. Urban development leading up to the Commonwealth Games in Delhi was anti-poor, hastily planned, and environmentally unsustainable. This paper found that (1) accelerated development of Delhi’s transportation infrastructures, (2) construction and renovation of sporting facilities, (3) increase in tourism, (4) evictions of residents and street vendors, (5) violation of workers’ rights, and (6) destruction of ecologically sensitive areas and open spaces all resulted from the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.  

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