Paper $27.50 ISBN: 9780226638430 Published July 2019
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Black Wave

How Networks and Governance Shaped Japan’s 3/11 Disasters

Daniel P. Aldrich

Black Wave

Daniel P. Aldrich

264 pages | 12 line drawings, 12 tables | 6 x 9 | © 2019
Paper $27.50 ISBN: 9780226638430 Published July 2019
Cloth $82.50 ISBN: 9780226638263 Published July 2019
E-book $10.00 to $27.50 About E-books ISBN: 9780226638577 Published July 2019
Despite the devastation caused by the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and 60-foot tsunami that struck Japan in 2011, some 96% of those living and working in the most disaster-stricken region of Tōhoku made it through. Smaller earthquakes and tsunamis have killed far more people in nearby China and India. What accounts for the exceptionally high survival rate? And why is it that some towns and cities in the Tōhoku region have built back more quickly than others?
           
Black Wave illuminates two critical factors that had a direct influence on why survival rates varied so much across the Tōhoku region following the 3/11 disasters and why the rebuilding process has also not moved in lockstep across the region. Individuals and communities with stronger networks and better governance, Daniel P. Aldrich shows, had higher survival rates and accelerated recoveries. Less-connected communities with fewer such ties faced harder recovery processes and lower survival rates. Beyond the individual and neighborhood levels of survival and recovery, the rebuilding process has varied greatly, as some towns and cities have sought to work independently on rebuilding plans, ignoring recommendations from the national government and moving quickly to institute their own visions, while others have followed the guidelines offered by Tokyo-based bureaucrats for economic development and rebuilding.
 
Contents
Tables and Illustrations
Preface

Chapter 1: Introduction: The Story of Three Disasters
Chapter 2: Individual Level: Neighbors Saving Lives
Chapter 3: Village, Town, and City Level: Vertical Ties Bringing Resources
Chapter 4: Prefectural Level: Networks Making a Difference
Chapter 5: National Level: Governance Challenged
Chapter 6: International Level: How Institutions Save Lives
Chapter 7: Conclusions and Recommendations: Building Trust and Tying Us Together
 
Appendix 1: Interviewees and Surveyed Residents
Appendix 2: Statistical Tables
Notes
Sources
Index
Review Quotes
Eric Klinenberg, New York University, author of Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago
“Three disasters—an earthquake, a tsunami, and a nuclear meltdown—struck Japan on 3/11, generating one of the greatest catastrophes in recent history. In Black Wave, Aldrich asks a series of essential questions: How did so many people survive? Why did some places fare so much better than others? What does it mean to be resilient in a world of emerging risks? His findings are surprising and important. Everyone interested in disaster—or, really, survival—should read this excellent book.”
Thomas A. Birkland North Carolina State University
“Much has written about the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear accident that struck Japan in 2011. But few scholars can combine a deep knowledge of Japanese politics and society and a deep knowledge of contemporary research on the social response to natural and technological hazards. Aldrich is one such scholar, and this book sets the standard for scholarship in this field. The striking finding—that recovery among different communities in the most stricken areas of Japan was uneven—is likely to be of great interest to students of disasters, of technological hazards, and of contemporary Japanese politics.”
Arjen Boin, Leiden University
“There is much to learn from the 3/11 disasters. Aldrich brings the lessons together in this wonderful book, recounting tragic stories and offering smart analysis. To understand what happened in Japan, during and after the disasters, there is no better place to start than with Black Wave.”
Laura Grube, Review of Austrian Economics
"Aldrich’s book is an important contribution to our understanding of the role of social capital and formal governance in disaster response and rebuilding. His multiple method approach adds depth to our knowledge of the triple disasters. Aldrich presents his analysis with open eyes to the challenges and complexities in providing disaster relief and further highlights these by offering international comparisons."
The Review of Austrian Economics
"Aldrich’s book is an important contribution to our understanding of the role of social capital and formal governance in disaster response and rebuilding.His multiple method approach adds depth to our knowledge of the triple disasters. Aldrich presents his analysis with open eyes to the challenges and complexities in providing disaster relief and further highlights these by offering international comparisons."

 
James R. Elliott, Social Forces
"I recommend Black Wave to anyone interested in the social dynamics of mass disaster and resilience."
Choice
"Aldrich provides a lucid assessment of how well-developed social networks and good governance together guided and shaped the outcome of Japan’s survival and recovery from the March 2011 Tohoku earthquake. Communities with strong networks recovered faster and more completely, since they set up flexible communication and control structures and established links for afflicted communities to access important resources, information, and assistance. The disaster even opened policy windows with potential for change in several fields, and identified best practices and policy instruments for use in future disaster preparation. It further highlighted existing issues in Japan such as the long-term trend of rural depopulation, the lack of economic innovation and development of the periphery, and the growing popular desire to move away from nuclear power toward renewable energy sources such as solar, thermal, and wind. This was largely thanks to the Tohoku residents’ ability to connect with their decision-makers, who responded quickly and efficiently, enabling the region and the country to recover more quickly and thoroughly than anyone anticipated. As Japan now explores new energy solutions, it is also pursuing greater energy efficiency and conservation as a result. This presents a great model for other nations."
National Resilience, Politics and Society
"There is a significant variation in recovery, and Aldrich takes advantage of these nuances to guide a piece of quantitative and qualitative research from which we might be able to extract some basics of resilience. Recognizing the shortcomings of telling the story of survival and recovery by analyzing its ramifications on any one level alone, the book uses data from diverse levels, beginning with the individual and moving up through the city, the region, the nation, and finally – the international levels."
Political Science Quarterly
"Aldrich cuts through the thick fog of crisis management, reaching for—and often producing—a clarity that only the passage of time makes possible. He effectively draws upon a decade of research by Japanese social scientists as well as on his own field‐based survey and interview data. To his credit, he makes a special effort to ensure that his carefully curated data are accessible to the general reader."
Ariel University Press
"...Aldrich’s meticulous research is a wake-up call. The book gives us one more modern piece of proof of the importance of social ties between citizens, between communities, between governmental and non-governmental organizations, as well as between community, region and nation."
International Sociology
"This book is not only academically sound, with detailed analysis, but also readable for policy makers and the general population to ponder their future plans to protect themselves. If Japan, as well as any country, is to prepare for unforeseen disasters, this book can give guidance for what individuals, communities, regions, or nations should do in order to foster maximum resilience."

JANPORA: Japan NPO Research Association Prize
Won

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