The Effect of Social Movement Using SNS in Policy Innovation of Local Government -Based on the Case of the Policy Making Process on Shibuya City's “Same-Sex Partnership Ordinance”

Saturday, 21 July 2018: 11:10
Oral Presentation
Toshinari YOKOO, Graduate School of Media and Governance, Keio University, Japan
Based on the case of "The same-sex partnership ordinance" in Shibuya City, Tokyo, I analyzed how the policy innovation had been performed in the period when SNS was frequently used. This ordinance was the first case in Japan that acknowledged partner relationship between heterosexuals by issuing "partnership certificates” and the first case where the LGBT social movement left a result in political scene.

Since the 2011 Eastern Japan Great Earthquake Disaster and the movement against nuclear power plant, SNS is utilized as an important tool of social movement in Japan. In response to these circumstances, various researches have been conducted in recent years, but SNS has been recognized only as a tool to promote mobilization to demonstrations so far. However, as a local councilor, the author believes that the signature activities on the Internet and people's reactions on the SNS themselves show the effect of "framing" and widely affect political processes.

In order to see the effects of social movements using SNS, it is necessary to ask both activists’ aims and feelings, as well as policy makers and decision makers’. On the activists’ side, in addition to formal interview with activists, we analyzed people's reaction on Twitter. On the policy maker’s side, we interviewed the mayor and city councilors. Because there is a possibility that the effect of exercise may not be clearly recognized, hearing was done by unstructured interview method.

As a result, we found that Internet signature activities and people's reactions on the SNS themselves showed the effect of "framing", which was a broad sense of input to the polical process. Politicians have been losing a fixed support layer in recent years due to aging and the weakening of existing organizations. Meanwhile, they are seeking new supportive groups as a floating layer that heavily uses SNS.