The Evolution of Japan's Party System: Politics and Policy in an Era of Institutional Change

Edited by Leonard J. Schoppa

© 2011

In August 2009, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) won a crushing victory over the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), thus bringing to an end over fifty years of one-party dominance. Around the world, the victory of the DPJ was seen as a radical break with Japan's past. However, this dramatic political shift was not as sudden as it appeared, but rather the culmination of a series of changes first set in motion in the early 1990s.

The Evolution of Japan's Party System analyses the transition by examining both party politics and public policy. Arguing that these political changes were evolutionary rather than revolutionary, the essays in this volume discuss how older parties such as the LDP and the Japan Socialist Party failed to adapt to the new policy environment of the 1990s. Taken as a whole, The Evolution of Japan's Party System provides a unique look at party politics in Japan, bringing them into a comparative conversation that usually focuses on Europe and North America.

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Product Details

  • Series: Japan and Global Society
  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 256 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.6in x 9.0in
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Quick Overview

The Evolution of Japan's Party System analyses the transition by examining both party politics and public policy. This volume discusess how older parties such as the LDP and the Japan Socialist Party failed to adapt to the new policy environment of the 1990s.

The Evolution of Japan's Party System: Politics and Policy in an Era of Institutional Change

Edited by Leonard J. Schoppa

© 2011

In August 2009, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) won a crushing victory over the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), thus bringing to an end over fifty years of one-party dominance. Around the world, the victory of the DPJ was seen as a radical break with Japan's past. However, this dramatic political shift was not as sudden as it appeared, but rather the culmination of a series of changes first set in motion in the early 1990s.

The Evolution of Japan's Party System analyses the transition by examining both party politics and public policy. Arguing that these political changes were evolutionary rather than revolutionary, the essays in this volume discuss how older parties such as the LDP and the Japan Socialist Party failed to adapt to the new policy environment of the 1990s. Taken as a whole, The Evolution of Japan's Party System provides a unique look at party politics in Japan, bringing them into a comparative conversation that usually focuses on Europe and North America.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Japan and Global Society
  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 256 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.6in x 9.0in
  • Reviews

    ‘This very timely volume offers extremely valuable information on the latest developments in Japan’s political economy from many different perspectives.’
    Kuniaki Nemoto
    Pacific Affairs vol 86:01:2013

    ‘The book provides useful framework for understanding recent Japanese politics - even in the years after the book was published. This book skillfully illustrates how Japan transformed from the 1955 system to ultimately arrive at the dramatic 2009 election in which LDP lost power.’


    Ethane Scheiner
    Journal of Japanese Studies, vol 40:01:2014
  • Author Information

    Leonard J. Schoppa is a professor in the Department of Politics at the University of Virginia.

  • Table of contents

    Introduction: From the 1955 System to the “2000 System” by Leonard J Schoppa (University of Virginia)

    1. Path Dependence in the Evolution of Japan’s Party System Since 1993 by Leonard J Schoppa
    2. The Evolution of the LDP’s Electoral Strategy: Toward a More Coherent Political Party by Steven R Reed (Chuo University)
    3. The Evolution of the DPJ as a Party: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back by Robert Weiner (Naval Postgraduate School)
    4. Issue Evolution and Electoral Politics in Contemporary Japan by Sherry L Martin (Cornell University)
    5. Ideas, Interests and Institutions: Japanese Postal Privatization in Comparative Perspective by Patricia L Maclachlan (University of Texas at Austin)
    6. Reforming Government Financial Institutions by A Maria Toyoda (Villanova University)
    7. The Impact of Two-Party Competition on Neo-liberal Reform and Labor Unions by Mari Miura (Sophia University)

    Conclusion: The Evolutionary Dance Continues With the DPJ Victory in 2009 by Leonard J Schoppa and Aiji Tanaka (Waseda University)