This book is about why and how central and local governments clash over important national policy decisions. Its empirical focus is on the local politics of Japan which has significantly shaped, and been shaped by, larger developments in national politics. The book argues that since the 1990s, changes in the national political arena, fiscal and administrative decentralization, as well as broader socio-economic developments have led to a decoupling of once closely integrated national and local party systems in Japan. Such decoupling has led to a breakdown of symbiotic relations between the centre and regions. In its place are increasing strains between national and local governments leading to greater intra-party conflict, inter-governmental conflicts, and more chief executives with agendas and resources increasingly autonomous of the national ruling party.
Although being a book primarily focused on the Japanese case, the study seeks to contribute to a broader understanding of how local partisans shape national policy-making. The book theorizes and investigates how the degree of state centralization, vertical integration for party organizations, and partisan congruence in different levels of government affect inter-governmental relations.
Japan’s experience is compared with Germany, Canada, and the UK to explore sources of multi-level policy conflict.
Table of Contents
List of figures/tables
Chapter 1: Theories of local power and multi-level conflict
Chapter 2: Local autonomy and partisan linkages in post-war Japan
Chapter 3: Campaigning against the capital: Multi-level conflicts within the LDP
Chapter 4: The politics of local opposition: Multi-level conflicts under the DPJ
Chapter 5: Governors and governments: Multilevel conflicts between executives
Chapter 6: Multilevel conflicts in Canada, Germany, and the UK
Praise for the first edition:
'Rather than taking a standard public administration approach to local government, Hijino focuses on the relationship between local and national parties and politicians. This approach generates many new insights and exciting new research agendas. It also makes the study of local government much more relevant to the study of Japanese politics and should thus be of interest to a very wide audience.' - Steven R. Reed, Professor in the Faculty of Policy Studies, Chuo University. Author of Japanese prefectures and policymaking; "Structure and behaviour: Extending Duverger's Law to the Japanese case"; and editor/co-author Japan Decides 2014: The Japanese General Election.
'This book is a masterpiece of Japanese local and multi-level politics in English. Hijino not only shows how intensely integrated intergovernmental relations have been dismantled over the past twenty years, but also clearly analyses how and why this transformation has changed the Japanese polity in comparative perspectives. He makes a valuable contribution by introducing the essence of works by Japanese scholars for English readers, as well as by showing the usefulness of regarding Japanese multi-level politics as a case comparable with other industrialized countries like Canada and Germany.' - Satoshi Machidori, Professor in the Faculty of Law, Kyoto University. Author of Shusho Seiji no Seido Bunseki: Gendai Nihon Seiji no Kenryoku Kiban Keisei [The Japanese Premiership: An Institutional Analysis of the Power Relations]; Co-author of Nihon no Chiho Seiji: Nigen Daihyosei Seifu no Seisaku Sentaku [Japan's Local Politics: Continuity and Change in the Presidential System]; Contributor of Examining Japan's Lost Decades