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Political Research Exchange - PRX

Politics of Nuclear Power in the Post-Fukushima Era: East Asian Case

Civil Society
Comparative Politics
Environmental Policy
Green Politics
Sung Chull Kim
Seoul National University
Sung Chull Kim
Seoul National University

This article attempts a more nuanced understanding of changes in the persistence of nuclear power policy in Japan, Taiwan, and Korea. It undertakes two tasks. First, the article shows that in all three cases, the institution of nuclear power has survived the exogenous shock of the Fukushima nuclear incident, but that this shock has produced a host of internal dynamics (contention between civil activism and stakeholders) that are contributing to the exhaustion of the institution to varying degrees. Second, by tracing diverse modes of contention, this article identifies the circumstances under which complete exhaustion might occur: the interests of stakeholders should diverge; civil activism is able to come up with credible alternatives to nuclear power and press forward on two fronts, both the ruling and the opposition parties; and finally, the issue is politically prioritized at the national level.
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