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2017 Contemporary Japanese Politics (E)

[Lecture Course Basic Information]

Lecturer: TAKEDA Hiroko
Other Lecturers:
Course Type: Lecture
Semester: Spring
Year: 1
Course Periods: Fri 10:30-12:00
Credits: 2
Whether mandatory or not: elective course
Classroom: 905 / GSL Bldg.

 

Outline of Lecture Course

Japanese Politics has long been discussed with reference to a set of stereotypes---strong economy versus weak politics, the passive and reactive nature of the political process, a lack of leadership, bureaucracy-led state system, inactive civic sector and the structure of male dominance to name but a few. In this way, ‘Japan’ has been differentiated from other industrially advanced countries as a political entity.

 

This introductory course investigates different aspects of contemporary Japanese politics to first, consider if these stereotypes are still or were ever valid, and if not, to identify how political dynamics actually work in Japan. Such queries help us to understand in a concrete manner the ways in which Japanese politics shares common qualities with those of other industrially advanced countries while exhibiting ‘uniqueness’.

Course Objectives

This course is divided into three parts, besides the introductory and wrapping-up sessions. The first part discusses major topics concerning political institutions in Japan. Then, the second part examines different actors operating in contemporary Japanese politics. The third part concentrates on the normative elements to analyse political ideas and values observed in the Japanese political system. Towards the end, the students are requested to make a presentation in a group based on independent research. Between these three parts, the course also offers a film and debate session through which students are expected to obtain more concrete pictures of the subject matter under consideration. At the end of the course, the students are expected to be equipped with basic knowledge of Japanese politics as well as of political analysis. 

Textbooks

There is no textbook. The reading list will be included in the course outline which will be circulated in the first week.

Course Materials/Supplementaries As above.
Assessment
  1. Debate Paper (20%)
  2. Group Presentation (20%)
  3. Final Paper (60%)
Prerequisites None

Other Notes

Cancellation of Class: 14th, 21st and 28th April

 

Lecture Theme Lecture Course Description Learning outside the class Related page
1 Orientation & Introduction

Studying contemporary Japanese politics

Please see the course outline.
2 Introduction ‘Postwar’ political regime As above.
3 Introduction_1

Parliamentary Democracy

As above.
4 Introduction_2

Bureaucracy

As above.
5 Introduction_3

Political Reforms since the 1990s

As above.
6 Film & Discussion

Pictures at an Election: or How to Get Votes in Japan, by Axel Klein.

As above.
7 Actors_1 Political Parties As above.
8 Actors_2

Interest & Civic Groups

As above.
9 Actors_3

Mass Media

As above.
10 Debate

‘Do you agree if anti-nuclear power movements have been politically influential in Japan?

As above.
11 Norms_1 The Constitution As above.
12 Norms_2

Equality

As above.
13 Norms_3

Conservatism and Nationalism

As above.
14 Group Presentation Why is Gender Equality so Politically Contentious in Contemporary Japan? As above.
15 Wrapping-up

Wrapping-up Discussion.

As above.

 

Assignments Summary:

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