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Accidental ActivistsVictim Movements and Government Accountability in Japan and South Korea$
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Celeste L. Arrington

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780801453762

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801453762.001.0001

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Victimhood and Governmental Accountability

Victimhood and Governmental Accountability

(p.1) Introduction Victimhood and Governmental Accountability
Accidental Activists

Celeste L. Arrington

Cornell University Press

This introductory chapter provides an overview of the book’s main themes. This book shows that the process of mobilizing third-party supporters and the interactions among claimants and their supporters over time have significant implications for redress outcomes. In particular, it argues that gaining an elite ally too early in the claims-making process can be detrimental, even if outsider groups ultimately need elite allies to affect policy. By contrast, claimants who gain elite allies only after mobilizing broader societal support tend to achieve more redress. The book examines three paired comparative case studies of movements that formed around similar claims in both Japan and South Korea. These are part of the burgeoning global phenomenon of “victim redress movements,” which mobilize on the basis of perceived injury. The remainder of the chapter outlines the contested, interactive, and dynamic processes by which people who feel they experienced some collective injury use that injury to gain leverage over the state they hold accountable by mobilizing third parties to their side in the conflict. This is followed by a description of the approach and plan of the book.

Keywords:   victim redress movements, elite allies, victimhood, victims, Japan, South Korea

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