Consumer Politics in Postwar Japan: The Institutional Boundaries of Citizen Activism

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Overview

Providing comparisons to the United States and Britain, this book examines Japan's postwar consumer protection movement. Organized largely by and for housewives and spurred by major cases of price gouging and product contamination, the movement led to the passage of basic consumer protection legislation in 1968. Although much of the story concerns the famous "iron triangle" of big business, national bureaucrats, and conservative party politics, Maclachlan takes a broader perspective. She points to the importance of activity at the local level, the role of minority parties, the limited utility of the courts, and the place of lawyers and academics in providing access to power. These mild social strategies have resulted in a significant amount of consumer protection.

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Journal of Japanese Studies - Robin M. LeBlanc

Consumer Politics in Postwar Japan is likely to prove a classic study of Japanese policymaking.... Maclachlan's work [is] excellent. It is rigorous and systematic in the tradition of the best social science without doing unnecessary violence to the complexity of political reality.... Specialists will find Maclachlan's book useful, but students at most levels will also be able to read it.

Journal of Japanese Studies
Consumer Politics in Postwar Japan is likely to prove a classic study of Japanese policymaking.... Maclachlan's work [is] excellent. It is rigorous and systematic in the tradition of the best social science without doing unnecessary violence to the complexity of political reality.... Specialists will find Maclachlan's book useful, but students at most levels will also be able to read it.

— Robin M. LeBlanc

Sheldon Garon
Superbly researched...Maclachlan offers a compelling portriat of a Japanese consumer movement that rests on very different assumptions than those underlying its American counterpart...The result is one of the most thought-provoking accounts of Japanese politics in recent years.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231123471
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 12/19/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 270
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Patricia L. Maclachlan is assistant professor of Asian studies and adjunct professor of government with the Center for Asian Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

Part 1: Japanese Consumer Advocacy from Theoretical, Comparative, and Historical Perspectives 1. Toward a Framework for the Study of Consumer Advocacy2. Consumer Advocacy in the United States and Britain3. The Politics of an Emerging Consumer Movement: The Occupation Period5. The Post-1968 Consumer Protection Policymaking System and the Consumer Movement's Response4. Consumer Politics Under Early One-Party Dominance: 1955 to the Late 1960s7. The Right to Safety: The Movement to Oppose the Deregulation of Food Additives6. The Right to Choose: The Movement to Amend the Antimonopoly Law9. The Right to Be Heard: The Past, Present, and Future of the Japanese Consumer Movement8. The Right to Redress: The Movement to Enact a Product Liability LawIntroductionPart 2: Case Studies: The Impact of Japanese Consumer Advocacy on Policymaking

Columbia University Press

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