Why Grassroots Groups Result in Different Consequences of Contribution to Local Public Goods?: A Case Study of Maintenance of Public Squares in Japan

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 17:30
Oral Presentation
Takahiro DOMEN, Hitotsubashi University, Japan
This research focuses on why grassroots groups result in different consequences of contribution to local public goods, though they participate in a public project which has a goal and is carried out by a municipal government. Although many researchers have shown that grassroots groups can be categorised from the perspective of the relationship between governments and NPOs, as far as I see it, reasons for them to result in these different consequences on the Japanese context are not clarified yet. Saitama City Office in Japan established an ordinance to use unused public lands as squares for ball games in 2010. Moreover, the Office has added a condition that it is necessary for grassroots groups to maintain the lands. There are 14 multi-purpose squares at present. Interviews with members of grassroots groups in each square have been conducted from 2014 to 2016. The conclusion is as following. Firstly, these squares are classified roughly into three types. The first type is correspondence that grassroots groups such as sports clubs use and maintain squares. The second type is separation that grassroots groups such as volunteer groups maintain squares and other people use them. The final type is nest that grassroots groups such as neighbourhood associations maintain squares and a group or some groups which use them are included in them. Secondly, it is easier for neighbourhood associations in the type of nest to maintain squares than for the others because they conventionally have a system which makes almost all new households members, so that they have enough members to maintain them. And finally, it is difficult for sports clubs in the type of correspondence to continue maintenance of squares because they lose their motivation to maintain them when they find another place that they enjoy ball games without the burden of maintenance.