The Ainu and Indigenous politics in Japan: negotiating agency, institutional stability, and change

  title={The Ainu and Indigenous politics in Japan: negotiating agency, institutional stability, and change},
  author={El{\'e}onore Komai},
  journal={The Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Politics},
  pages={141 - 164}
  • Eléonore Komai
  • Published 7 July 2021
  • Political Science
  • The Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Politics
Abstract In April 2019, the Japanese government officially legally recognized the Ainu as Indigenous people. Building on an institutionalist framework, the paper suggests that a phenomenon of institutional layering has taken place, resulting in tensions between the desire to preserve the legitimacy of old institutions and the pressure to develop more progressive policies. To explain this process, policy legacies, and institutional opportunities are relevant. First, the narrative that equality… 

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