Comparing Asian Politics: India, China, And Japan
Comparing Asian Politics: India, China, And Japan

Comparing Asian Politics: India, China, And Japan

by Sue Ellen Charlton


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Comparing Asian Politics presents an unusual comparative examination of politics and government in three Asian nations: India, China, and Japan. Sue Ellen Charlton artfully points out both the unique and shared features of politics in these Asian countries. The author elucidates the links between politics and each nation's distinctive cultural and historical contexts and, at the same time, demonstrates the intermingling and grafting of Asian traditions with the influence of Western values and institutions.National identity, political cohesion, and socioeconomic change emerge as central to how politics has developed in each nation-state. Charlton provides insight into such topics as the significance of constitutions in the political process; the parliamentary system in Asia; the regionalization of politics and the importance of levels of government; the decay of one-party rule; state authority; and the development of grassroots politics. Selected public policy questions for each country are introduced early in the book in order to acquaint readers with political controversies that are important both domestically and internationally. Often these focus on the role of ethnic minorities, women, and regional groups in Asian political processes.Unlike many comparative studies, this book not only illuminates the politics of India, China, and Japan in relation to one another, it also suggests to readers how their own experience of politics can be informed by understanding the politics and government of these three Asian nations.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813385846
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 09/18/1997
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.04(d)

About the Author

Sue Ellen M. Charlton is professor of political science at Colorado State University where she teaches courses in comparative politics, international relations, and international development.

Table of Contents

List of Tables and Illustrations xi

Preface to the First Edition xv

Preface to the Second Edition xvii

Preface to the Third Edition xix

1 Introduction: Themes in Asian Politics 1

Why Asia? 1

Themes in Asian Politics: Culture and Tradition 3

Themes in Asian Politics: Development, State, and Nation in International Context 7

Lenses 9

Organization and Approach 16

Exploring Further 18

Notes 18

Part 1 People and Politics 21

2 India 23

Population Size and Distribution 23

Gender 27

Caste and Class 29

Language 34

Religion 36

Summary 43

Exploring Further 44

Notes 44

3 China 49

Population Size and Distribution 49

Gender 56

Regions, Religion, and Ethnic Minorities 61

Summary 67

Exploring Further 68

Notes 69

4 Japan 73

Population Size and Distribution 73

Gender 78

Minority Populations 80

Religion 86

Summary 92

Exploring Further 93

Notes 93

Part 2 The Foundation of Politics 97

5 Indian National Identity: Secular or Hindu? 101

Early India: Empire and Village 102

Creating the Indian State: The Mughal and British Empires 104

Defining the Indian Nation-State 108

Swaraj and Partition 116

A Divided Subcontinent: Ayodhya and Kashmir 119

Summary 122

Exploring Further 124

Notes 124

6 Recreating the Chinese Nation-State 127

Confucianism: Social Harmony and Virtuous Rule 128

Opium, Humiliation, and Failed Reform 132

Republican and Communist Revolution 137

The Historical Legacy: Hong Kong and Taiwan 142

Summary 146

Exploring Further 146

Notes 147

7 Japan: Tension in Tradition 151

The Tokugawa Shogunate 152

The Meiji Period 156

The Twentieth Century:Pluralistic and Authoritarian Legacies 162

A New Constitutional Order 165

Summary 170

Exploring Further 171

Notes 171

Part 3 Government Structures: Form and Substance 175

8 Constitutions 177

India 177

Japan 184

China 189

Summary 195

Exploring Further 196

Notes 196

9 The Parliamentary System in India and Japan 199

Introduction: Structuring Power at the National Level 199

Legislative Frameworks 202

Dual Executives: Political and Symbolic Roles 205

Tensions and Controversies 209

Coalition Governments 218

Summary 219

Exploring Further 219

Notes 220

10 China: The Party-State System 223

The Party-State System 224

The Leading Role of the Party 230

The Evolution of Party-State Relations 232

Assessing the Party-State System 240

Exploring Further 242

Notes 243

11 Levels of Government and Regionalism 247

Federal and University Systems 247

(Dis) Unity in the Indian Federation 248

The Regionalization of Politics 250

Regions and Regionalism in China 254

Crafting "Local Autonomy" in Japan 260

Summary 264

Notes 265

Part 4 The Individual and the State 269

12 Elusive Democracy: The Decay of One-Party Rule 271

The Congress, Liberal Democratic, and Chinese Communist Parties 271

Opposition Parties and Coalition Politics 281

Election Dynamics 289

Summary 293

Notes 293

13 Developments, Democratization, and Governance in Asia 297

Measuring Development 298

The Political Economy of Development 301

Governance 308

Environmental Voices Transforming Asian Politics 312

Summary 320

Notes 320

14 Asian Politics and Global Transformation 327

Globalization 327

The Confluence of National, Transnational, and Global Politics 329

Identity Politics and Cultural Rights 333

Human Security in the Twenty-First Century 337

Learning from Asia 341

Conclusion 346

Notes 347

Glossary 351

About the Book and Author 359

Index 361

What People are Saying About This

Jana Everett

Jana Everett, University of Colorado, Denver
This text skillfully integrates the history of China, India, and Japan with a thoughtful comparative analysis of the institutions and processes of political development. Charlton is sensitive to the roles of gender and ethnicity in politics which enables students to make comparisons with the United States. Students will be able to appreciate the importance of understanding Asian cultural traditions, as Charlton demonstrates their relevance in contemporary political conflicts.

Ronald J. Hrebenar

A very solid, well-written comparative analysis of the three Asian superstates-China, India, and Japan. An impressive synthesis of culture, history, politics, and economics. A mountain of valuable information and interpretations nicely organized around six well-chosen themes.
— (Ronald J. Hrebenar, author of The Japanese Party System)

Jean C. Robinson

Jean C. Robinson, Indiana University
By highlighting issues not typically raised in comparative politics texts, Charlton has provided us with a novel approach to Asian politics. Putting gender issues, environmental concerns, and ethnic divisions on center stage enables students to see ways in which Asian societies are maintaining their connection to the past while forging into the future. A singular and important new textbook for all who teach Asian and Pacific Rim courses.

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