Diary from a UK-based Japanese community after the Tohoku catastrophe
Four moving tectonic plates crowd each other in the eastern vicinity of Japan, and on Friday 11 March at 2:45 in the afternoon Japan Standard Time, pressure that had built up between two of them for years, perhaps centuries, was suddenly released, causing one to slip under the other. The ocean above this rising sea floor also rose, and these displaced masses of water shortly after inundated the northeastern coats of Japan.
Today, the 10th
of March 2011, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama announced that he will transfer his
formal authority to the leader that the exile-Tibetans chose in the upcoming
elections for a Tibetan Prime Minister-in-Exile.
These are fascinating
times, as the uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East might well be the
beginning of a “Fourth Wave” of Democracy. The late political scientist Samuel
Huntington once likened clustered incidences of democratizations to “waves”. After
the apparent ebbing out of the “Third Wave”, which between 1974 and the early
1990s swept over Southern Europe, Latin America, Asia and Eastern Europe, the
time might have come for another democratic push. As a political scientist
studying stability and instability of authoritarian regimes, I am extremely