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Dilemmas of regime shift in one-party dominated states: A case study of Japan Dr. Christian Schafferer www.fule.at Overseas Chinese University.

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Presentation on theme: "Dilemmas of regime shift in one-party dominated states: A case study of Japan Dr. Christian Schafferer www.fule.at Overseas Chinese University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dilemmas of regime shift in one-party dominated states: A case study of Japan Dr. Christian Schafferer Overseas Chinese University

2 Content  Institutional setting  ’55 System  Electoral politics and the rise of the LDP  1994 Reforms and institutional limits  Policy-making process  Parliamentary caucus system  Political reform in the age of experience economy  Politicians as experience stagers  Prospective voting and the Manifesto

3 Institutional setting  ’55 System  Electoral machine: 1950s – koenkai  Corruption in 1970s: kinken-senkyo syndrom  Japanese ideal model of modern party system  Two-party system with different support base and policy orientations  Alternation of political parties in power  Political parties are strong and centralised  Voters loyal to the party not to the candidate

4 Institutional setting  ’55 System  One-and-a-half party system  No alteration of political parties in power  Voters loyal to candidates  Candidates were entrepreneurs and parties in general franchiser

5 1994 Reforms and institutional limits  Aims  Two-party system  Policy-oriented, party-controlled, inexpensive elections  Alteration of elites in power

6 1994 Reforms and institutional limits  Policy-making process in the LDP era  Policy Affairs Research Council  Parliamentary-strategy committees (kokutai)  Policy-making process in the coalition era  Hosokawa: replace kokutai politics with transparent institutionalised processes in parliament  Chairmen and secretaries-general of coalition parties (e.g. Ozawa, Japan Renewal Party)

7 1994 Reforms and institutional limits  Importance of parliamentary caucus system (innai kaiha)  Size determines power in parliament  Unified kaiha (toitsu kaiha)  First step towards merger  Ozawa Ichiro’s strategy  Form largest kaiha: minimise power of LDP and JSP  After election of Hata: new kaiha without consulting JSP

8 1994 Reforms and institutional limits  Important aspects of the reform era  Role and rise of the independent voter  Reform is the catchword that attracts voters  Decline in retrospective voting behaviour

9 Political reform in the age of experience economy  Economies: agrarian – industrial – service – experience  Experience economy: companies stage experiences that sell  Applied to the political domain:  Elections are staged events  They are part of popular culture  Participants want to obtain memorable experiences  They have high expectations and are eager to experience something new

10 Political reform in the age of experience economy  Sophisticated media strategy  2000 election onwards  Seko Hiroshige  Miura Hiroshi

11 Political reform in the age of experience economy  Heroic figures  Koizumi Junichiro – the lionheart

12 Political reform in the age of experience economy  Hatoyama Yukio – the alien spaceman

13 Political reform in the age of experience economy  Party manifestos


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