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2020 Introduction to Politics (Contemporary Japanese Politics) (E) / Contemporary Japanese Politics (E)

[Lecture Course Basic Information]

Lecturer: TAKEDA Hiroko
Other Lecturers:
Course Type: Lecture
Semester: Spring
Year: 1
Course Periods: Monday 13:00-14:30
Credits: 2
Whether mandatory or not: elective course
Classroom: Lectures will be delivered online. Students are requested to abstain from coming to the university.

 

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 has two major objectives. First, it investigates different aspects of contemporary Japanese politics to consider if these stereotypes are still or were ever valid, and if not, to identify how political dynamics actually work in Japan. Second, in so doing, this course exposes students to some basic concepts and theories in the field of political studies. Such endeavours enable students 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 sessions, which explore the concept of politics while locating contemporary Japanese politics in the historical context. 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 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 skills and 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.

Instructions for Out-of-Class Study

1. Read the assigned readings before class.

2. Download the lecture slides from NUCT and review the lecture. 

Responding to Student Questions

1. after class

2. make an appointment via email. 

Other Notes

This course uses the NUCT system instead of CANVAS. Please go to the relevant NUCT site for further information on the 2020 Spring Semester. Students who cannot access the relevant NUCT site should contact the course instructor by email. 

 UPDATE (15 April 2020)

A course guidance ppt file will be uploaded on 20 April 2020. If you have any questions, please contact the course instructor via email or NUCT. 

 

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

Studying 'Politics' and 'Contemporary Japanese Politics'

The course outline distributed in the first week includes a list of readings. Read the assigned materials before class. 
2 Introduction_2 What is Politics and What is Democratic Politics? Read the assigned materials before class. 
3 Introduction_3

'Postwar’ Political Regime in Japan

Read the assigned materials before class. 
4 Institutions_1

Parliamentary Democracy

Read the assigned materials before class. 
5 Institutions_2

Bureaucracy

Read the assigned materials before class. 
6 Institutions_3

Political Reforms since the 1990s

Read the assigned materials before class. 
7 Actors_1 Political Parties Read the assigned materials before class. 
8 Actors_2

Interest & Civic Groups

Read the assigned materials before class. 
9 Actors_3

Mass Media

Read the assigned materials before class. 
10 Debate

Do you agree if social movements have been politically influential in Japan?

Prepare for the debate. 
11 Norms_1 The Constitution Read the assigned materials before class. 
12 Norms_2

Equality

Read the assigned materials before class. 
13 Norms_3

Conservatism and Nationalism

Read the assigned materials before class. 
14 Group Presentation Why is Gender Equality so Politically Contentious in Contemporary Japan? Prepare for the presentation. 
15 Wrapping-up

Wrapping-up Discussion

Prepare discussion questions.

 ※Students who wish to enroll as a member should access the URL below.
Log in using the Nagoya University ID and password, and click on "Enroll in Course".

https://canvas.law.nagoya-u.ac.jp/enroll/ETX4DC

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