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Building Democracy in Japan

$35.99 (C)

  • Date Published: February 2012
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107601697

$ 35.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • How is democracy made real? How does an undemocratic country create new institutions and transform its polity such that democratic values and practices become integral parts of its political culture? These are some of the most pressing questions of our times, and they are the central inquiry of Building Democracy in Japan. Using the Japanese experience as starting point, this book develops a new approach to the study of democratization that examines state–society interactions as a country adjusts its existing political culture to accommodate new democratic values, institutions, and practices. With reference to the country's history, the book focuses on how democracy is experienced in contemporary Japan, highlighting the important role of generational change in facilitating both gradual adjustments as well as dramatic transformation in Japanese politics.

    • Explains how a nondemocratic country (Japan) has successfully democratized
    • Offers new information and perspective on contemporary Japanese culture and politics
    • Offers a variety of perspectives on democratization - government, civil society and individual citizens - in a single volume
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "Mary Alice Haddad’s book unravels some of the complex puzzles surrounding Japan’s changing norms of democracy and how can coexist with vestiges of often undemocratic traditions. She shows that democracy is about far more than formal political institutions, involving as well the values and social interactions that embed democracy in the day-to-day behavior of people’s lives. This book will be welcomed by students of Japan and also those interested in democracy, political institutions, and state-society relations."
    T. J. Pempel, University of California, Berkeley

    "This book offers a fresh and original perspective on Japan's democratization and on democratic transitions more generally. Surprisingly, given Japan's importance, most theories of democratic change fail to explain why Japan's top-down democracy took root. Mary Alice Haddad offers a new ‘state-in-society’ model to show how citizens at the grassroots level embraced and advanced an alien set of arrangements and made them work. Haddad offers a compelling argument and at the same time tells a fascinating story. Here is a book that merits a wide readership."
    Susan J. Pharr, Harvard University

    "At a time when nations like Tunisia and Egypt are embarking on paths toward democracy, Mary Alice Haddad offers us a reminder that nations that have trod this road before have taken a long time to get there. Her fascinating portrayal of the fits and starts experienced by Japan over the postwar period is a reminder that we likely won't see "real" democracy in these most recent transitions until today's children make up a majority of the voters."
    Leonard Schoppa, University of Virginia

    "By intensive interviews of Japanese citizens and broad reading, Mary Alice Haddad has found how ordinary Japanese citizens played an active role in shaping a more democratic political structure. The trend toward greater democracy had been developing after World War II. It accelerated when a tipping point was reached as a new generation of young people with different perspectives replaced the seniors and began to take a more active role in expanding democracy."
    Ezra F. Vogel, Harvard University

    "… comes as a long-awaited, welcome piece … empirically rich and theoretically challenging … will rejuvenate the debate on Japanese democracy … is a valuable asset in the discipline of Japanese politics and deserves wide readership."
    Sunil Kim, Japanese Journal of Political Science

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2012
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107601697
    • length: 272 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.4kg
    • contains: 13 b/w illus. 10 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Making democracy real
    2. The 'tipping point' model of generational change
    3. Building the institutions of democracy:
    4. Power to the people: democratization of the government
    5. From state to society: democratization of traditional, community-based organizations
    6. Inclusive diversity: new-style civil society organizations and Japanese democracy
    7. More access but less power?: Women in Japanese politics
    8. Conclusion: where do we go from here?

  • Author

    Mary Alice Haddad, Wesleyan University, Connecticut
    Mary Alice Haddad is an Assistant Professor of Government at Wesleyan University. Her publications include Politics and Volunteering in Japan: A Global Perspective (Cambridge, 2007) and articles in journals such as Comparative Political Studies, Democratization, the Journal of Asian Studies and Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly. She has received numerous grants and fellowships from organizations such as the Institute of International Education (Fulbright), the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies, the Japan Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Mellon Foundation, the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation and the East Asian Institute. She is currently working on a project about environmental politics in East Asia.

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