Updated on 2024/07/18


SALA, Adrienne Yumiko
Faculty of International Research and Education, School of International Liberal Studies
Job title
Assistant Professor(non-tenure-track)
Mail Address

Research Experience

  • 2023.09

    Waseda University   School of International Liberal Studies   Assistant Professor   Assistant Professor

  • 2019.09

    French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs (MEAE)   French Research Institute on Japan at Maison Franco-Japonaise   Researcher   Researcher

  • 2019.09

    The University of Tokyo   Institute of Social Science   Visiting Researcher   Visiting Researcher

  • 2017.09

    Science Po Lyon and École Normale Supérieure de Lyon   Lecturer

  • 2016.01

    Paris Cité University   The Graduate School of East Asian Studies   Postdoctoral Researcher

  • 2013.09

    National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilizations (INALCO)   Department of Japanese Studies   Lecturer

  • 2011.04

    Hitotsubashi University   Faculty of Commerce and Management   Visiting Doctoral Researcher, MEXT Scholarship

  • 2010.09

    Cergy University   Applied Foreign Languages (LEA)   Teaching Assistant

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Education Background

  • 2010.09

    School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS)   Institutional Economics   PhD  

  • 2009.09

    School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS)   Japan Research Center (CRJ)   Mphil  

  • 2004.09

    INALCO (French National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilizations)   Department of International Business   MBA  

  • 2000.09

    INALCO (French National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilizations)   Department of Japanese studies and International Business   M.A.  

Research Areas

  • Politics   Political Economy, Institutionalism, Sociology of Law, Law & Politics (Governance, Legalism, Judicialization), Comparative Politics

Research Interests

  • Political Sociology, Historical Institutionalism, Law and Society, Japanese Studies

  • Social and Legal Mobilization, Judicialization



  • Introduction. The Judicialization of Social and Environmental Issues in Japan. Continuities, transformations, evolutions (In French : La judiciarisation des enjeux sociaux et environnementaux au Japon : continuités, transformations, évolutions)

    Adrienne Sala, Isabelle Giraudou

    Ebisu. Études japonaises   60   7 - 20  2024.02  [Refereed]

  • External ideas or traditional values? A reappraisal of Japanese ‘neoliberal’ reforms

    Adrienne Sala, Nobuo Haruna, Gilles Campagnolo

    Japan Forum   36 ( 2 ) 1 - 26  2023.12  [Refereed]

    Authorship:Lead author



  • Exploring Litigation, Court Rulings, and Legal Mobilization in Response to Death and Suicide from Overwork: Implications for Labor Law Reform Policy Making in Japan

    Adrienne Sala

    Law & Social Inquiry     1 - 34  2023.12  [Refereed]

     View Summary

    This article analyzes how litigation, court rulings, and legal mobilization have influenced law and policy making related to death from overwork (karōshi) and suicide from overwork (karōjisatsu) in Japan over the course of half a century. It highlights the gradual, but substantial, impact of litigation and court rulings on different levels of governmental measures. By taking a longer-term perspective to assess the political effects of different stages of the judicialization process and focusing on the actors of legal mobilization—particularly, cause lawyers—this study provides a more accurate depiction of the overall process of social and legal changes observed in the recent Japanese labor law reform.

    DOI DOI2


  • Japan - Kishida new capitalism - between ruptures and continuity” (in French: Japon : le « nouveau capitalisme » de Kishida entre rupture et continuité)

    Sala Adrienne, Campagnolo Gilles

    Revue L’Économie Politique par Alternatives Économiques   4 ( 96 ) 102 - 112  2022.11

  • Japan's Response to Natural Disasters and Climate Change: A Multi-Level Governance Perspective on Spatial and Political Dynamics (In French: Des catastrophes naturelles au changement climatique – La gouvernance multi-niveaux et l’articulation de plusieurs échelles spatiales et politiques au Japon)

    Sala Adrienne, Scoccimarro Remi

    Cahier des UMIFRE   ( 9 ) 32 - 34  2022

  • Freedom of the Press and Public Interest: The Journalist, Michihito Fuji (in French: Liberté de la presse et intérêt général : A propos de la série The Journalist de Michihito Fuji)

    Sala Adrienne

    La Vie des Idées    2022  [Refereed]

  • Judicialization of Death and Suicide by Overwork and Japanese Cause Lawyering?” (in French : Judiciarisation de la mort et du suicide par surmenage et cause lawyering à la japonaise ?)

    Sala Adrienne, Kasagi Eri

    Droit et Société   109  2021.12  [Refereed]

    Authorship:Lead author

  • The Creativity of the Judge faced with new health-at-work problems : the Japanese case of karôshi and karôjisatsu (in French : La créativité du juge à l’épreuve des nouveaux problèmes de santé au travail : l’exemple du cas japonais du karôshi et karôjisatsu)

    Sala Adrienne

    Comparative Labour Case Law Review (in French : Revue de Droit Comparé du Travail et de la Sécurité Sociale)    2021  [Refereed]

  • Japan Crisis Management Policy and Covid-19 Epidemic: A delicate Balance between Freedom and Security

    Sala Adrienne

    GIS ASIE (French Academic Network on Asian Studies)    2020.04

  • Japan Facing the Epidemic : Crisis Management and Civic Responsibility” (in French : Le Japon face à l’épidémie. Gestion de crise et responsabilité civique)

    Sala Adrienne

    La Vie des Idées    2020  [Refereed]

  • The Japanese Moneylenders « sarakin » and the Construction of the Consumer Credit since the 1960s (in French : Les sarakin et la construction du marché du prêt à la consommation au Japon depuis les années 1960)

    Sala Adrienne

    Ebisu. Études japonaises   ( 56 ) 101 - 131  2019.12  [Refereed]

  • The Japanese Consumer Credit Regulation Change – Over indebtedness as a Public Problem? (in French : L’évolution de la réglementation du crédit aux ménages au Japon – l’endettement comme problème public ?)

    Sala Adrienne

    Critiques Internationales   ( 82 ) 137 - 161  2019  [Refereed]

  • Developments in Well-Being at Work in Japan: A Survey and a Comparison with France

    Sala Adrienne, Baudrand Louise, Castellvi César, Kinoshita Nao, Lechevalier Sébastien

    EHESS, Discussion Paper Series    2018.09

  • The Japanese Consumer Finance Market and its Institutional Changes since the 1980s

    Sala Adrienne

    Japan Forum   29 ( 1 )  2017.12  [Refereed]

  • Usury, debt, and social movement in Modern Japan (1869-1937) – Toward a Social Credit Institutionnalization? (In French : Dette usurière et mouvements sociaux dans le Japon moderne (1868-1937). Vers une institutionnalisation de l’offre de crédit social ?)

    Sala Adrienne

    Histoire & Mesure   XXX ( 1 ) 43 - 68  2015  [Refereed]

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Books and Other Publications

  • Special Issue : The Judicialization of Social and Environmental Issues in Japan. Continuities, transformations, evolutions (in French : Dossier. La judiciarisation des enjeux sociaux et environnementaux au Japon : continuités, transformations, évolutions)

    Sala Adrienne, Giraudou Isabelle( Part: Joint editor)

    Journal Ebisu. Études japonaises, special issue, No. 60  2024.02

  • Judicialization of social and environmental issues in France and Japan - Challenges and Opportunities

    Sala Adrienne, Kasagi Eri( Part: Joint editor)

    Horitsu Jiho Journal (vol 94, n°11)  2022.10

  • Mapping COVID-19 in Japan and Greater Tokyo Area, Socio- Spatial and Political Analysis of the Epidemic

    Sala Adrienne, Scoccimarro Remi( Part: Joint author, Book Chapter)

    M. Yano, F. Matsuda, A. Sakuntabhai et S. Hirota (ed.), Socio-Life Science and the COVID-19 Outbreak, Springer  2021

  • Japan Economic Power and its Challenges” (in French : Puissance et défis économiques du Japon)

    Book Chapter( Part: Sole author, Book Chapter)

    Delamotte Guibourg (ed.), Japan in the World (Le Japon dans le monde), CNRS Editions  2019

  • The Japanese Consumer Finance Market and its Institutional Changes since the 1980s

    Book Chapter( Part: Sole author, Book Chapter)

    Chiavacci David and Lechevalier Sébastien (ed.), Japanese Political Economy Revisited. Abenomics and Institutional Change, 1st Edition, Routledge  2018


  • From Legal Mobilization to Law and Policy-making in Japan: the case of labor law reforms

    Sala Adrienne

    Asian Law and Society Association Meeting 

    Presentation date: 2023.12

  • Political Sociology of Legal Mobilization in Japan (In French: Une sociologie politique des mobilisations du droit au Japon)

    Sala Adrienne  [Invited]

    French Research Institute on Japan at the Maison Franco-Japonaise 

    Presentation date: 2023.09

  • Maintaining the Social Order? Individuals' Dilemma within Organizations: Two Japanese Series Case Studies

    Sala Adrienne

    Workshop “How TV Series Change the World, IFRJ-MFJ 

    Presentation date: 2023.03

  • Interroger le rôle politique de l’institution judiciaire face aux logiques instituées du capitalisme japonais - Enjeux théoriques et méthodologiques des études de cas : du travail à l’environnement

    Sala Adrienne

    Who Speaks for the Future of the Earth ? Insights from (critical) social science, IFRJ-MFJ 

    Presentation date: 2023.03

  • Judicialization of Labor Issues in Japan. Political and Institutional Approach

    Sala Adrienne

    SASE Annual Conference, Network Q: Asian Capitalism 

    Presentation date: 2022.07

  • A Political and Institutional Approach of Misperception and Disinformation

    Sala Adrienne

    10th Japanese French Frontiers of Science Symposium, CNRS and JSPS 

    Presentation date: 2022.06

  • Judicialization of Politics in Japan – Cause Lawyering and Labor Law

    Sala Adrienne

    7th Global Meeting on Law and Society 

    Presentation date: 2022.06

    Event date:
  • Judicialization of Occupational Health Political Process: The Case of Karôshi-karôjisatsu and the Articulation of Multiple Temporalities

    Webinar TCJS Early-Career Scholar Forum at the University of Tokyo, Center for Contemporary Japanese Studies, 

    Presentation date: 2021.09

  • Is the recent Japanese labor reform the result of a judicialization of labor? Analysis of the politics of rights in the Japanese case of karôshi

    International Conference, European Association of Japanese Studies (EAJS) 

    Presentation date: 2021.08

  • Covid19 in Japan, A socio-political analysis of the epidemy

    International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS) 

    Presentation date: 2021.08

  • The rise of 'responsibility' and the transformation of 'solidarity' in contemporary Japan? Questioning the definitions and uses of two key notions in the policy-making process

    Online Workshop “Solidarity and Mutual Aid in Modern and Contemporary Japan (1603-2020)” organized by the French Institute of Research on Japan (MFJ) and Dokkyo University 

    Presentation date: 2021.03

  • Mapping COVID-19 in Japan and Greater Tokyo area, socio-spatial and political analysis of the epidemic

    Online Workshop « The COVID-19 Outbreak and Public Health Issues: an Interdisciplinary Approach », organized by the French Institute of Research on Japan (MFJ) with Institut Pasteur, RETI, Kyoto university 

    Presentation date: 2020.12

  • From Collective Bargaining to Legal Mobilization: Japanese Transformation of the Contestation’s Form?

    SASE 31th Annual Meeting, Network E: Political Economy of Industrial Relations and Welfare States, Panel « Legitimate Social Order in Crisis – Is Japan the Happy Exception? » 

    Presentation date: 2020.07

  • Lawyers and legal mobilizations in Japan: a comparative case study between "over-indebtedness and predatory lending" (kure-sara mondai) and "death by overwork" (karôshi mondai)

    INCAS Annual Workshop, Freie University of Berlin 

    Presentation date: 2018.09

  • Japanese lawyers and social movements

    the British Association for Japanese Studies Annual Conference 2018, Sheffield University 

    Presentation date: 2018.09

  • Over-Indebtedeness and Consumer Credit Regulation - the Japanese Case

    SASE 29th Annual Meeting - Network N: Finance and Society, Doshisha University 

    Presentation date: 2018.06

  • Japanese Lawyers and Social Movements

    SASE 29th Annual Meeting – Network Q: Asian Capitalism, Doshisha University 

    Presentation date: 2018.06

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Research Projects

  • Energy Transitions Litigation, an Observatory of Energy and Climate Governance Challenges at the Local Level (ConTE) (in French: Le contentieux des transitions énergétiques, observatoire des enjeux de la gouvernance énergétique et climatique au niveau local)

    French Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) 

    Project Year :


    Dreyfus Magali (CNRS), Sala Adrienne (Waseda University), Giraudou Isabelle (University of Tokyo), Ichihara Masako (KCCAC, RIHN), Töller Annette Elisabeth (FernUniversität)




Academic Activities

  • International Workshop “Television series : global circulation and cross-cultural differences”

    Academic society, research group, etc.

    Université Paris 1 and Waseda University  

  • Symposium: 'Responsibility in France and Japan: From Individual to Institutions - Reflections, Actions, and Contestations'

    Academic society, research group, etc.

    IFRJ-MFJ, University of Tokyo and CNRS  

  • Online International Symposium “The Future of Liberalism. Japan, France and Germany in Global Context”

    Academic research

    IFRJ-MFJ, DIJ and NIRA  

  • Online Symposium "Judicialization of social and environmental issues in France and Japan"

    Academic society, research group, etc.

    IFRJ-MFJ, university of Tokyo and CNRS  

  • International Online Workshop “Justice and Interest / Judicialization”

    Academic research

    IFRJ-MFJ and CNRS  


Internal Special Research Projects

  • Local Resistance and Climate Litigation: Unraveling Multi-Level Governance in Energy Transition

    2023   Sophie Houdart

     View Summary

    Report on Tokuteikadai Funded Research Project 2023C-700Project title: Local Resistance and Climate Litigation: Unraveling Multi-Level Governance in Energy TransitionInvestigator: Adrienne Sala, Assistant Professor, School of International Liberal Studies (SILS)Research OverviewThis project, initiated under the Tokuteikadai funding (October 2023-March 2024), examines the dynamic interface of litigation, environmental governance, and public involvement in Japan's energy transition sector. It aims to analyze how legal processes shape risk perception, information dissemination, and civic engagement in environmental policy-making.Literature Review and Field ResearchThis project began with an extensive literature review focusing on the themes of risk and power dynamics within the nuclear energy sector, both in Japan and internationally. Subsequently, the research delved into an in-depth analysis of judicial decisions. This examination was crucial for appreciating the legal constructs surrounding nuclear issues and their broader societal implications. It helped unravel how legal frameworks have shaped, and have been shaped by, societal perceptions and reactions to nuclear energy.The fieldwork component, conducted at the Rokkashô nuclear fuel reprocessing facility in March 2024, represented a critical phase of the research. By attending a trial and engaging with a variety of primary sources, including policy documents and firsthand observations of policy discussions, this stage provided rich, empirical insights. It illuminated the complexities of local resistance to nuclear energy initiatives, enriching the understanding of grassroots-level reactions and strategies overtime.Moreover, this phase shed light on the narratives surrounding climate change used to bolster support for nuclear energy as a component of the energy transition. These narratives are pivotal in understanding the justifications for nuclear energy in the context of evolving environmental policies and the balancing of various energy sources to meet climate goals.A notable part of the study involved a collaborative analysis with French researchers such as Sophie Houdart (CNRS, French Research Institute on Japan at the Maison franco-japonaise), comparing Japan's Rokkashô movement with France's La Hague anti-nuclear movement. This comparative aspect of the study enriches our understanding of nuclear energy resistance movements within different cultural and legal contexts, shedding light on global patterns of environmental and nuclear activism as well as specific trajectories. For instance, after Fukushima, a pivotal shift was observed from probabilistic risk assessments to a more integrated approach in nuclear litigation, incorporating scientific, medical, and local knowledge in both countries, which resulted in distinct legal strategies used by lawyers and different judicial decisions.The research also extends to examining the role of media, particularly TV series like “The Days,” in influencing public memory and understanding of nuclear incidents. This media analysis illuminates the complex interaction between fictional narratives and public perception of environmental governance.