This paper articulates an interpretation of neighborhood community reconstructionin Seoul, Beijing, and Tokyo, as instances of social governance from the perspective ofrisk society: an important historical backdrop for community reconstruction in EastAsia. The paper is composed of six sections. The first clarifies conceptual strategies andhistorical assumptions. Theories of social governance and risk society are merged toproduce the core conceptual framework of this research. The second section explainswhy the three community reconstruction cases presented, namely Seongmisan inSeoul, Qinghe in Beijing, and Setagaya in Tokyo, were chosen for this research. Thethird section attempts to trace the origin of risk society to specific developmentalstrategies in East Asia, rooted in the state-centered bureaucratic-authoritarian rush fordevelopment. Such analysis clarifies the dual aspects of East Asian modernity, brightachievement and risk society, as two sides of the same coin. The fourth section examinespublic perception of risks in Seoul, Beijing, and Tokyo, based on citizens’ survey data. The fifth section is an empirical analysis of risk society formation in terms of socialconstruction and discursive formation. The final section extends to cover public anxietyand risk demonstration as a driving force for the social governance of risk.
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