POL215Y1 Lecture Notes - Repeatability, Democracy Index
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Lecture #4-Japan’s rise to democracy Part 1
•Japan is a remarkable case and to some extent defies generalization
oFirst late comer nation
•First late modernizing state that followed earlier modernizers
•Defeating China, Russians, French, English colonial empires, and China
oOverreached themselves in Pearl Harbor
•First Asian power to defeat European countries
•Nation of the Asian Developmental state was developed as a result of
•Second wave of democratizationMilitary occupying power transplants
democratic institutions into an environment that is relatively infertile.
Enduring political change and may not result from Military imposition.
(USA to Japan at the End of World War II)
oDemocratic changes in Indonesia, Taiwan, India etc…
•Late 1990scorrupt democracy with money problems and the Liberal
Party ruled for close to 50 years. (until 1993 was occupied)
oDoes Japan qualify as a soft authoritarian system?
oIs Japan a false democracy?
•Political contestation with three characteristics:
oEx-anti-uncertaintybefore an election, you don’t know who’s
going to win. Not easily
oEx-post-irreversibilityOnce party loses, they can’t hold onto
power (e.g. Burma)
•Democracy is a system where incumbent parties lose the elections.
•Japan is a paradigm case of unbroken LEP election. They lose control of
the upper house
•Japan is a democracy with a difference. (what kind of democracy does
Japan have? next discussion)
•Japanese had detoured from their modernization, encouraging
democratic development. But the events of the Depression and the
rise of Soviet Union doomed the country.
•NEGATIVE VIEW Defensive modernization contained the seeds of
Japan imperialism. Capitalist oligarchy that dominated Japanese
politicsargument that Japan had no democratic future. They were
marching on the road to modernization and FASCISM
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