Seminar Series

Learn from ‘experts’ ? Covid-19 and Policy learning, a case from Japan

Thursday, 2 March 2023 | 9:00 - 10:00 (JST)
Zoom Webinar
  • Chiaki Ishigaki Associate Professor, Department of Human Welfare, Yamanashi Prefectural University
  • Rieko Kage Professor, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo
Event Description

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19), which became a pandemic in 2020, has had a significant impact on countries. In order to respond to the virus that mankind encountered for the first time, policy-maker in both international and domestic politics are highly influenced by the opinions of “experts”. The relationship between science and politics has been actively discussed. In Japan, too, the views of expert meetings and the infectious disease control subcommittee impacted policies. In order to obtain insights into the relationship between experts and politics, theories of epistemic community and policy learning are very effective. When the government tries to acquire highly technical knowledge, “epistemic learning” is carried out by learning from a cognitive community composed of scientists, but as the government’s learning progresses, the role of the expert group is said to change to a “contributor ” to ask experts only what they want to know. This has been confirmed in the course of Japan’s COVID-19 responses up to the present, but even so, experts have been united internally to serve as “teachers” to amend government policy partially.

About the Speaker

Chiaki Ishigaki is an Associate Professor at the Department of Human Welfare, Yamanashi Prefectural University. She obtained her Ph.D. at the University of Tokyo. She published “Comparative politics on healthcare reforms in Japan, UK and US. -Focusing on Guidelines and professionals” (in Japanese), which is originally her doctoral dissertation. Her research interest is expert knowledge (including professionals) and policy making. After the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, she wrote some articles in the digital paper of Asahi Shinbun (main newspaper in Japan) about policies against Covid-19 in European countries. Currently, she is interested in state-private company relations as an operator of health insurance.