This book investigates Japanese politics in the postwar era from theoretical and comparative perspectives. After providing historical context, it offers an in-depth exploration of postwar political institutions, political reform in the 1990s, the policymaking process, and the politics of economic growth and stagnation. The author draws attention to key policy issues including women and work, immigration, Japanese aging/low fertility society, and Constitutional revision. By delving into Japan’s international relations, the book sheds light on Japan’s security and trade policies, Japan’s role in the Asian region, and Japan’s bilateral relations with the U.S., China, South Korea, and the EU.
Themes and questions addressed throughout the text include:
How and why did Japan modernize so successfully when so many other countries fell prey to colonialism and authoritarianism?
What explains the Japanese economic miracle and its subsequent economic stagnation?
What accounts for Japan’s successful democratization?
In the international realm, why has Japan achieved economic superpower status without achieving political superpower status?
What has or has not changed since the historic election of the Democratic Party of Japan in 2009, and why?
What is the future trajectory of Japanese politics?
Connecting Japan to larger themes in comparative politics and linking Japan’s history, institutions, policymaking process, and international relations to experiences and structures in other countries, this book is essential reading for any course on Japanese or Asian Politics.
Table of Contents
- Introduction: Why Japan matters
- The making of a modern state
- The postwar settlement
- The postwar political system
- Political parties
- Elections and Electioneering
- The economic miracle
- Economic slowdown
- State-society relations
- Prime ministerial leadership
- National security and foreign policy
Alisa Gaunder is a Professor of Political Science at Southwestern University, USA. Her previous publications include the Routledge Handbook of Japanese Politics (Routledge 2011) and Political Reform in Japan: Leadership Looming Large (Routledge, 2007).