Japanese Democracy: Power, Coordination, and Performance / Edition 1

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In this new analysis of democracy in Japan, Bradley Richardson refutes the widely accepted hypothesis that postwar Japan has been a semiauthoritarian and consensual state, heavily influenced by corporations and led by the government bureaucracy. On the contrary, Richardson's extensive newspaper and documentary research shows that Japanese political life has been extremely fragmented and discordant at all levels - in the bureaucracy, legislatures, parties, and interest groups and in business and industry. In Japanese Democracy, Richardson explores power relations and demonstrates how Japan's political system is unlike Great Britain's and similar to those of the United States and Italy, where politics is decentralized and decisions are made at many levels. He draws some important conclusions: that Japan's postwar industrial policy has not always been successful, that the country is as much an economic welfare state as it is an economic "miracle," and that the lack of strong leadership has kept Japan from playing a more assertive role in the international arena. As in the United States, private interests hold central policymaking processes hostage, and weak leadership prevails.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300076646
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/1998
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations
1 Postwar Politics: Images and Questions 1
2 Political Culture and Electoral Behavior 12
3 Parties Under the "1955 System" 49
4 Party Fragmentation and Coalition Dynamics 74
5 Executive and Bureaucratic Power 95
6 Legislative Politics 127
7 Interests, Policy, and Power 152
8 Business Interests and Political Life 174
9 The Government and the Economy 200
10 Japan as a Bargained Distributive Democracy 240
Notes 267
Index 317
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