Japan’s electoral district began its history in 1889 with the introduction of the single-seat constituency system. Since then, it has changed among large-constituency, middle-constituency, and single-seat systems over the years, and is today using combination of single-seat constituencies and proportional representation. On the other hand, the allocation of the individual electoral districts has been implemented with reasonable continuity since the Meiji Era. In understanding Japan’s electoral system, perceiving electoral districts as a spatial political regime and discussing its historical developments will become an imperative task.
This paper will elucidate the process in which the original 1889 districts were decided upon, based on multiple proposals considered at the time. Only including the Cabinet, Ministry of Interior, and prefectural governors in formulating its decision resulted in a method that retained the former clan districts for stable operations of elections, as well as from an administrative aspect of managing election administration. Notably, the inheritance of the old order and the adoption of the single-seat system allowed local worthies to retain their influence on the elections, and therefore left an significant impact on the development of constitutional government in Japan.
In California, means by which political parties nominate candidates for public office have transformed many times. How can we explain these transformations? Marty Cohen et.al. have proposed a theory of political parties in which policy demanders such as interest groups, mass media, and activists are the principal actors of political parties. Namely, coalitions of policy demanders develop common political agendas and choose candidates for party nominations that are loyal to their interests. Seth Masket has explained the case of California as due to the influence of intensive policy demanders. However, there is a room for reexamination of this explanation. Adopting the method of process tracing, I found evidence to show that the influence of policy demanders was quite limited, and could not have been a decisive factor in the case of California.
Giovanni Sartori’s typology of party systems has long been dominant in Japanese political science. However, it has lost its relevance, at least in its initial formulation. There has been controversy regarding party system and electoral system ever since the so-called political reforms (1988-94): the identifiability/accountability argument for the two-party and first-past-the-post systems versus the representation argument for moderate pluralism and proportional representation. Yet Sartori’s typology cannot defend either of them, for it underestimates the difference between a two-party system and moderate pluralism. What is required is to modify Sartori’s typology in order to fill in the gaps (See Table 3 in Section 4). Then, it may be possible to classify party systems in a more structured way. Moreover, by distinguishing the three types of moderate pluralism (consociational, negotiational and bi-coalitional), the modified typology will make it possible to identify the party system that satisfies both the arguments. This would be the bi-coalitional type of moderate pluralism.
This article is an attempt to re-conceptualize the theoretical core of parliamentary democracy in twentieth century Europe. The article builds on the work of Hans Kelsen and reconstructs the logic of contemporary democracies. In his view, a sort of “integration” by political parties and their compromise in the shadow of majority decision is crucial to the working of parliamentary democracy. In this theoretical foundation of party democracy, “competition” is even redundant. It also suggests that a rather monist view of democratic institutions, which puts the parliament in the center, had underlain European party democracies in the twentieth century, in contrast to the prevailing “rule of law” views teressing the separation of the executive and the legislature. As an implication, this article highlights the importance of social preconditions which are not amenable to constitutional engineering, which elucidates the limits of institutionalist view of politics.
A prime minister’s campaign visits to candidates during elections are one of the most valuable resources that contribute to the electoral success of a party and its candidates, as well as campaign funds and legislative posts. This study discusses how a party allocates resources to its members by examining a prime minister’s visits to districts during elections. An analysis of the campaign behavior of a prime minister in Upper House elections in Japan finds that a prime minister’s visits are strategically designed to maximize party membership. In particular, a prime minister is more likely to visit those candidates who depend on party reputations for their electoral success and those who faces competitive races.
Recent studies have shown new views concerning the government led by the Liberal Democratic Party in its early days. Especially, my previous papers demonstrated that the “Jizen-shinsasei”, the procedure in which cabinets had to get prior approval from the LDP to send bills to the Diet, was introduced just after the foundation of the LDP.
Given this theory, it would be expected that the Policy Affair Research Council of the party (PARC) of those days, which was given authority to decide policies of the party, coordinated policies not only within the party but also between the party and the government. Thus, this paper examines how the PARC actually functioned, focusing on a specific case: the law revision process in 1956 about Government-managed Health Insurance.
In conclusion, this case study will show that the PARC functioned well to coordinate general policies, though there were certain limitations in coping with highly contested policies.
Previous literature has discussed how populism could be beneficial to existing democracies by covering issues that mainstream political parties failed to address, the purpose of these studies being to attract public attention to revitalize politics. Some argue that, in order to counter right-wing populism that emphasizes the unity of ‘the people’ by using a xenophobic rhetoric, it is necessary to foster left-wing populism that creates ‘the people’ by determining an adversary represented by neoliberal forces. This article examines how left-wing populist parties influenced democracies in the cases of SYRIZA in Greece and PODEMOS in Spain. The findings of this study show that the two parties had surged due to the countries’ specific socio-economic and political conditions and eventually failed to alter the prevailing mode of the democracies. The problems with the left-wing populist parties included the assumption of homogeneity among ‘the people’, lack of coordination between horizontal social movements and the vertically structured parties, weak influence of the European Parliament on domestic politics, and the lack of a narrative as tangible as that of the right-wing populist parties.
This article examines the influence of party support on voting behavior on the basis of survey experiments conducted in Japan. Contrary to previous studies arguing that party support has a strong influence on voting behavior, this paper indicates that the causal effect of party support on voting behavior is not strong. The results of three survey experiments in Osaka City and the Kansai area demonstrate the following findings. First, party labels may not be as important as heuristics for a large number of votes in Japan. Second, supporters of a specific political party do not always vote for a candidate supported by their own party. Particularly, supporters of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party frequently voted for candidates belonging to other political parties. These findings imply that the influence of party support is not as strong as was mentioned in previous studies.
Beginning with the 1997 election, Bolivia introduced a mixed-member electoral system wherein constituencies vote through two ballots. The first ballot is a fused ticket based on proportional representation, where votes are cast for the president, the vice president, a party list for the senate, and another list constituting half the members of the Chamber of Deputies. In the second ballot, the electorates vote for a candidate in a single-member district (SMD). Since then, five elections have been held under this system; in all of them, clear signs of split ticket voting can be observed, especially from the third election onward. The most common pattern of split ticket voting showed in the case of popular presidential candidates with party lists and one blank vote. In this study, I conducted a multivariable regression analysis on aggregate electoral data and found that for the first two elections, the ticket splitting was driven by personal voting; however, after the rise of Movimiento Al Socialismo in 2005, an additional factor, a decrease in political efficacy, has started affecting constituencies with regard to casting blank votes in an SMD.
With growing awareness that a supply of highly-educated workforce is vital to their economic competitiveness and social cohesion, many industrialized countries have pursued education reforms since the 1980s.
From the perspective of social learning theory (Hall 1993), I examine the process of elementary and secondary education reforms in the U.S., focusing on the transformation of policy paradigms underlying this process. In this analysis, I also explore how institutional structure affects the process of social learning. Since the 1990s, education reforms based on a new policy paradigm have been ascendant at the federal and state levels. However, some local authorities and school teachers have developed different ideas on the “true” causes of poor academic performance, and actively exploited the newly introduced education standards to promote their own reform objectives. By studying the case of school finance litigations, I illustrate how American system of federalism and judicial independence have provided opportunities for such institutional ‘conversion’ by local actors.
In contrast to the original Hall’s theory based on a punctuated equilibrium model, I reconstruct the process of social learning as more gradual one, with enduring conflicts between ‘rule makers’ and ‘rule takers’ over policy paradigms unfolding within the institutional framework, which subsequently generates various impacts on the course of institutional development.
Hospitalization Preliminary Review Program (HPRP) is the Germany’s Health Insurance System that examines the necessity of hospital treatment in advance. In Japan, HPRP used to be known before WW II that was later abolished. However, lately there have been some discussions on adapting HPRP to Japan in terms of reducing inappropriate hospitalization. This paper aims to analyze the policy decision-making process involving Japan’s HPRP including reference of undisclosed documents. The main findings are as the followings: (1) The Japan’s HPRP was abolished for simplifying administrative business during wartime. (2) Policy-makers in Ministry of Health and Welfare have considered internally adapting HPRP again until 1980s. (3) Due to lesson-drawing in the early of 1990s, Idea (2) has fundamentally been changed. As a result, those who tried to adapt HPRP in 1994 were not existing, therefore Insurer Function Reinforcement still hasn’t achieved.
This paper analyzes the formation of Dokusei (the Independent Youth League) in 1949, which triggered a fierce left-right factional conflict within labor movement and the then-JSP, and its organizational scale, organizational theory, and ideology. The findings show that the right-leaning younger union members belonging to Sōdōmei (JFL) and Mindō (Democratization League factions) instigated the formation of Dokusei. However, due to the failure of JSP to build cooperative relationships within its organization, Dokusei was denounced by left-leaning factions within Sōdōmei and Mindō, and by JSP’s youth wing. Given the intentions of the GHQ Labor Section, the conflict over Dokusei became a left-right factional conflict within labor movement and the JSP, which resulted in the leftist dominance. The analysis implies that even till today, the inter-organizational and human relationships shaped by the formation and denunciation of Dokusei remain unresolved within RENGO (JTUC) and the Democratic Party, and could be argued to represent the initial germination of the factional conflict between the Sōhyō (GCTUJ) -JSP bloc and the Dōmei (JCL) -JDSP bloc.
This paper employs a political and social historical approach to reexamine the debate over the abolition of income tax in Britain. After the end of the Napoleonic wars, a heated controversy erupted in Parliament in 1816 over the repeal of income tax. At that time, as a result of a major petition movement for the repeal, a government bill to extend the income tax was defeated in the House of Commons. In this paper, by emphasizing the relevance to other taxes that have conventionally been overlooked, my analysis considers the controversy over the abolition of income tax from an angle different from that of previous studies. First of all, I analyze the fact that the controversy did not arise solely over opposition to the extension of income tax, but also stemmed from dissatisfaction with the many wartime tax increases. In addition, I analyze on how the wealthy classes who insisted on the abolition of income tax and the middle and lower classes who did on the abolition of malt duty worked closely together with respect to their demands for tax relief.
By 1973, the Asia-Pacific regional order had experienced a dynamic transformation due to President Richard Nixon’s trips to Beijing and Moscow in 1972, as well as to the settlement of the Vietnam peace negotiations. This transformed international environment posed the U.S. and Japan a challenge of redefining the rationale for their close relationship. This article examines how both countries overcame this challenge and solidified their relations by the mid-1970s. It argues that they did so by emphasizing their “shared values,” particularly, their commitments to the principles of liberal democracy and economic liberalism. It demonstrates that the U.S. and Japan came to recognize these values as the foundation of their alliance as they dealt with the easing of the Cold War confrontation and the politico-economic turmoil across the western industrial countries. As a result, the U.S.-Japan alliance came to take on multilayered significance beyond a sheer military meaning.
This paper aims to consider the semantic content of ‘prudence’ in the political thought of Hans J. Morgenthau, Raymond Aron, Yōnosuke Nagai, and Masataka Kōsaka and suggests the two contents. First, in contradistinction to zweckrational understanding of prudence typified as ‘consideration of consequences’, they asserted the states must define their ends/interests in terms of available means and hence both the ends/interests and the means must be moderate ones. Second, in order to retain an ample margin of choice for the states, they rejected thinking political problems in abstract terms and understood the present situation in thoroughly concrete terms. Furthermore, two preconditions were essential for them to understand the situation concretely. First, the states must be understood as actual existing ones with particular characteristics. Second, not only the impacts of political events but also revolutionary changes of the twentieth century typified as the development of nuclear weapons must be heeded.
People often have trouble delineating the legitimate boundaries of “demos,” or people who are entitled to govern themselves. This article addresses the democratic boundary problem by examining the principle of affected interests (PAI), which states that everyone affected by a decision should be able to participate in making it. PAI is used to expand on three points: 1) the definition of affected interests, 2) how to consider the indeterminacy of affectedness, and 3) whether the preferences of different stakeholders hold different weights. Global Stakeholder Democracy (GSD), proposed by Terry Macdonald, interprets PAI in a particular way; namely, Macdonald argues that “public power,” which may threaten individuals’ autonomy, should be controlled during deliberations among stakeholders, all of whom have an equal weighted voice. This article concludes that GSD introduces multiple ways to take part in collective self-determination processes through various functional demos―in addition to conventional legal demos―and thus can promote a more appropriate delineation of boundaries.