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Old party, new tricks: candidates, parties, and LDP dominance in Japan

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 June 2022

Jordan Hamzawi*
Affiliation:
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA
*
Corresponding author. E-mail: jordanhamzawi@gmail.com

Abstract

In 2009, after decades of single party rule under the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), Japan had its first taste of a real alteration of power. However, just 3 years later, the LDP regained control of government with no significant challenger in sight. Historically, LDP dominance is a common tale, but its resurgence in recent years poses a significant puzzle in Japanese politics. What exactly has contributed to the LDP's return to power? In the years that have passed, the LDP's strength has come from a combination of cash, clientelistic networks, and strong candidates, but recent research has found that Japanese politics has become more programmatic and party-focused. While LDP dominance since its return to power in 2012 can be attributed in part to its candidates, I find that the appeal of the party label has played a large role in securing the LDP's large majorities.

Type
Research Note
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press

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