Alexander Brown is an Honorary in the School of International Studies and a JSPS International Research Fellow at Japan Women's University. He completed his PhD at the University of Wollongong in 2015 where he examined the politics of the anti-nuclear movement in Japan after the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
Alexander's research concerns the history and sociology of social movements in contemporary Japan with a focus on urban space. He has written a monograph on the anti-nuclear movement in Tokyo and is currently exploring the development of transnational connections between social movement actors in Japan and the region.
Alexanders is an active translator of Japanese social science texts and his translations have appeared in The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus and International Journal of Japanese Sociology as well as in current and forthcoming publications with Trans Pacific Press.
- Social movements
- Civil society
- Radical art
- Modern history of Japan
- Contemporary Japan
- In-Country Study (Japan)
Shimizu, H 2019, Hiromu Shimizu, Grassroots Globalization: Revitalization in the Philippine Cordilleras, Kyoto University Press and Trans Pacific Press.
This book explores the politics of anti-nuclear activism in Tokyo after the Fukushima nuclear disaster of March 2011. Analyzing the protests in the context of a longer history of citizen activism in Tokyo, it also situates the movement within the framework of a global struggle for democracy, from the Arab Spring to Occupy Wall Street.
By examining the anti-nuclear movement at both urban and transnational scales, the book also reveals the complex geography of today’s globally connected social movements. It emphasizes the contestation of urban space by anti-nuclear activists in Tokyo and the weaving together of urban and cyber space in their praxis. By focusing on the cultural life of the movement—from its characteristic demonstration style to its blogs, zines and pamphlets—this book communicates activists’ voices in their own words. Based on excellent ethnographic research, it concludes that the anti-nuclear protests in Tokyo after the Fukushima disaster have redefined social movement politics for a new era.
Providing an analysis of a unique period in Japan’s contemporary urban history from the perspective of eyewitness observations, this book will be useful to students and scholars of Japanese Politics, Sociology and Japanese Studies in general.
Brown, A 2019, 'From Ranger to Fukushima', Chain Reaction, no. 136.
Alexander Brown explores the origins of the nuclear connection between Australia and Japan and the transnational movement for a nuclear free future.
Brown, A 2019, 'Introducing Anti–nuclear Protest in Post–Fukushima Tokyo: Power Struggles', DISASTER, INFRASTRUCTURE AND SOCIETY: Learning from the 2011 Earthquake in Japan, vol. 7, pp. 39-43.
Brown, A 2019, 'review of Azumi Tamura, Post-Fukushima Activism: Politics and Knowledge in the Age of Precarity (Routledge, 2018)', Interface: a journal for and about social movements, vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 110-113.
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd Affects such as anger, fear and love have compelled Tokyoites to take to the streets in protest in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster of March 2011. One of the characteristic forms these protests have taken has been the anti-nuclear “sound demonstrations” in which bands, DJs and rappers perform from the backs of trucks that lead demonstrators through the streets. Projecting their emotive music through urban space with the aid of powerful sound systems, these demonstrations disrupt the everyday noises of the neoliberal city and create a public space for the vocalisation of dissent. After the demonstrations, these same artists and demonstrators move to the underground live houses and social centres that constitute a subterranean backbone to the visible demonstrations in the street. Expressing emotions through musical protest is a powerful motor for what Stevphen Shukatitis has called affective composition, the process via which collective political subjectivities are formed through the expression of shared emotions. This paper outlines the emotional geography of anti-nuclear music in post-Fukushima Tokyo. It examines the dynamic interplay between aboveground political protest and the city's subterranean network of musical performance spaces.
Brown, AJ 2015, 'Remembering Hiroshima and the Lucky Dragon in ChimPom’s Level 7 feat. “Myth of Tomorrow”', Asia-Pacific Journal : Japan Focus, vol. 13, no. 6.3.
In May 2011, just one month after the 3/11 triple-disaster, the Chim↑Pom artist collective conducted an unauthorised installation of a panel depicting the crippled nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant next to Okamoto Tarō's large-scale mural Myth of Tomorrow in Shibuya railway station. In this paper I read the installation as a commentary on the history of nuclear power and anti-nuclear art in post-war Japan. This commentary reconnects the historical issue of nuclear weapons with contemporary debates about nuclear power.
Brown, AJ & Mackie, V 2015, 'Introduction: Special Issue on Art and Activism in Post-disaster Japan', Asia-Pacific Journal : Japan Focus, vol. 13, no. 6.3.
Brown, AJ & Bender, CT 2016, 'The Global Hiroba: Transnational Spaces in Tokyo’s Anti-nuclear Movement' in The Practice of Freedom Anarchism, Geography, and the Spirit of Revolt, Rowman & Littlefield International, London, pp. 133-152.
Part of a trilogy of volumes on anarchist geographies, this book examines a range of social and spatial practices to examine the potential of left-libertarian principles in geography.
Brown, AJ 2012, 'Precarious Times: The Revolutionary Potentiality of the Present' in Lawrence, C & Churn, N (eds), Movements in Time Revolution, Social Justice and Times of Change, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne, pp. 175-186.
This book brings together essays from fields such as politics, cultural studies and philosophy in order to reinterpret and reorient current thinking on the possibilities for new understandings of concepts of time to bring about social ...
Brown, AJ 2013, 'A Society in Which People Demonstrate: Karatani Kōjin and the Politics of the Anti-nuclear Movement', Proceedings of the 18th Conference of the Japanese Studies Association of Australia, 18th Conference of the Japanese Studies Association of Australia, Australian National University, Canberra.