Institutions, Incentives and Electoral Participation in Japan

Cross-Level and Cross-National Perspectives

By Yusaku Horiuchi

© 2004 – Routledge

164 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415648592
pub: 2012-07-13
US Dollars$48.95
Hardback: 9780415331760
pub: 2005-02-18
US Dollars$178.00

About the Book

American and European political scientists have claimed that subnational elections almost always record lower voter turnout than national elections. In Japan, however, municipal elections often record considerably higher turnout than national elections, particularly in small towns and villages. Institutions, Incentives and Electoral Participation in Japan theoretically and empirically explores this puzzling 'turnout twist' phenomenon from comparative perspectives. Based on the rational-choice approach, the book hypothesizes that relative voter turnout in subnational vs. national elections is determined by the relative magnitudes of how much is at stake ('election significance') and how much votes count ('vote significance') in these elections.


'Unquestionably a major contribution to the literature on political participation … an important work in comparative politics.' - Japanese Journal of Political Science

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. Turnout Twist: Higher Voter Turnout in Lower-Level Elections 3. A Rational Choice Model of Relative Voter Turnout 4. Three Levels of Quantitative Tests 5. Culture or Institutions? Elections in a Traditional Society 6. Conclusion Appendix A. Cross-National Analysis: Data Sources Appendix B. French Communal Elections Appendix C. Survey Data Analysis: Question Wording and Coding Appendix D. A Single Vote Can be Decisive: Examples from Japan Bibliography

About the Author

Yusaku Horiuchi is Associate Professor in the Department of Government at Dartmouth College and hold the Mitsui Chair in the Study of Japan. He earned a Ph.D. in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and specializes in comparative politics (electoral politics, political economy, public opinion, Japan) and political methodology (statistical methods, research design). His articles appeared in American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, World Politics, British Journal of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies, Journal of Conflict Resolution, among others.

About the Series

Nissan Institute/Routledge Japanese Studies

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Asia / Japan
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General