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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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Constructing Victimhood and Villainy in Japan and Korea

Constructing Victimhood and Villainy in Japan and Korea

(p.39) 2 Constructing Victimhood and Villainy in Japan and Korea
Accidental Activists

Celeste L. Arrington

Cornell University Press

This chapter outlines the parameters within which victim groups campaign to gain third parties’ support in Japan and Korea. In so doing, it illuminates the contingent and interactive mechanics of conflict expansion. It shows that Japan’s relatively more autonomous legal profession, homogeneous mainstream media, and volunteer-based activist tradition facilitate tactics aimed at mobilizing societal supporters before gaining elite allies. In comparison, Korea’s politically connected legal profession, diverse media environment, and professionalized and centrally organized activist sector encourage challenger groups to seek support from politicians earlier. Each country’s mediating institutions developed these characteristics over time through social learning processes, much as victimhood claims developed particular connotations in each country.

Keywords:   victims, victimhood, conflict expansion, Japan, Korea, redress, victim groups

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