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Provides a comprehensive analysis of political reforms in Japan since the 1990s
Covers the processes that underlie institutional changes and offers an integrated theoretical understanding
Sheds light on why comprehensive reforms can unexpectedly produce varied outcomes
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Table of contents (8 chapters)
About this book
This Open Access book provides a comprehensive analysis of political reforms in Japan since the 1990s, emphasizing the role of ideas in shaping their goals and outcomes.
For more than fifteen years following the collapse of Japan’s economic bubble, politicians, business people and academics tackled a range of institutional reforms. The sweeping changes they enacted—covering almost all facets of the public sphere, including elections, public administration, courts and the central bank—fundamentally altered Japanese political processes and policies. Taken together, they arguably represent the final touches of Japan’s political modernization, which had been unfolding since the mid-19th century.
Throughout the reform process, advocates were inspired by a combination of liberal and modernist ideas. This book examines those guiding concepts and illustrates the often messy process of applying them to real-world institutions. While most reforms began from common goals, they ultimately produced different—and frequently unexpected—institutional outcomes, which continue to shape Japanese politics. By focusing on the relationship between the ideas and processes that shaped Japan’s reforms, this book presents a broad vision of institutional change in comparative politics.
- Open Access
- Post-War Japan
- Bubble Economy
- Single-seat constituency
- Proportional representation
- Japan's Lower House
- Japan's Upper House
- Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)
Authors and Affiliations
Graduate School of Law, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan
About the author
About the author of this book
Satoshi Machidori is professor of political science at the Graduate School of Law, Kyoto University. he obtained his M.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1997 and Ph.D. from Kyoto University in 2003. His research focus is on comparative study of political institutions such as legislative and executive branches. He has published many books and articles mainly in Japanese, including Shusho Seiji no Seido Bunseki (The Japanese Premiership: An Institutional of the Power Relations) (Tokyo: Chikura Shobo, 2012), awarded the Suntory Prize. Some works are written in English, including a chapter of Examining Japan’s Lost Decades, edited by Yoichi Funabashi and Barak Kushner (London: Routledge, 2015). He also serves as a public intellectual, giving short commentaries on major newspapers and online news sites such as nippon.com.
About the translator and author of the afterword
Tobias S. Harris is a leading expert of Japanese politics, widely quoted in leading world publications and a regular guest on television and radio programs. He is the Deputy Director of the Asia Program at German Marshall Fund of the United States.
After working on the staff of a Japanese legislator in 2006-2007, he ran the popular blog “Observing Japan” and conducted graduate research at MIT and the University of Tokyo. From 2013 to 2021, he was the Japan analyst at Teneo Intelligence, the political risk division of Teneo, a leading CEO advisory firm. He was also Economy, Trade, and Business Fellow at the Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA, a Washington, DC-based think tank focused on U.S.-Japan relations, from 2014 to 2020. He then served as senior fellow for Asia at the Center for American Progress till October 2022.
He was born in Chicago, and currently lives in Bethesda, Maryland with his wife and their two sons. He has an M.Phil in International Relations from the University of Cambridge and a BA in Politics and History from Brandeis University.
Book Title: Political Reform Reconsidered
Book Subtitle: The Trajectory of a Transformed Japanese State
Authors: Satoshi Machidori
Translated by: Tobias S. Harris
Publisher: Springer Singapore
Copyright Information: Kreab K.K. 2023
License: CC BY-NC-ND
Hardcover ISBN: 978-981-19-9432-6Published: 07 March 2023
Softcover ISBN: 978-981-19-9435-7Published: 26 March 2023
eBook ISBN: 978-981-19-9433-3Published: 05 March 2023
Edition Number: 1
Number of Pages: XVIII, 215
Number of Illustrations: 1 b/w illustrations