Comparative Political Studies article published!

My article exploring how Japan has been able to maintain walk-to-school rates of 98% for elementary school students–most of them walking without accompanying adults–has been published in Comparative Political Studies.   The article emphasizes the role that community volunteers (PTA members; neighborhood associations) play in maintaining the safety of public spaces and attributes the high level of local civic engagement in Japan to the absence of “exit” opportunities for parents of school children.  Local school districts don’t provide school buses, parental drop off is not allowed, and housing markets make it costly to sell a used home and move to a new neighborhood, so parental anxiety is channeled into keeping neighborhoods safe instead of being diffused into a scramble of individual exit strategies.  See “Residential Mobility and Local Civic Engagement in Japan and the United States: Divergent Paths to School,” Comparative Political Studies 46:9 (September 2013), pp. 1058-1081.

See the link to “work in progress” above to learn how I’m working to present some of the ideas in this article in the form of a documentary film.

One thought on “Comparative Political Studies article published!

  1. jake

    The other day I was talking to my Japanese friend about cultural differences, and one of the things I pointed out was how children walk home from school every day, catch trains, all by themselves.

    My perspective on the issue was more about the distancing between children and parents during the child raising perspective (my friend recently had a child and we were talking about child raising. I myself don’t have children, but was trying my best to turn my observations into debatable arguments), which, what I see as, causes children to develop a sense of maturity from a young age (compared to children in my home country). I then, of course, pointed to the differences between the sense of public safety in Japan compared to Australia, which is usually a common topic.

    I find it interesting to come across by chance an article such as this while looking for resources on different study topics. I look forward to reading it when I have some more spare time.


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