Lecture #4-Japan’s rise to democracy Part 1
• Industrial Confucianism
• Japan is a remarkable case and to some extent defies generalization
o First late comer nation
• First late modernizing state that followed earlier modernizers
• Defeating China, Russians, French, English colonial empires, and China
o Overreached themselves in Pearl Harbor
• Imperial expansion
• 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)
o Democratic 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)
o Does Japan qualify as a soft authoritarian system?
o Is Japan a false democracy?
• Political contestation with three characteristics:
o Ex-anti-uncertaintybefore an election, you don’t know who’s
going to win. Not easily
o Ex-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 VIEWDefensive 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 • POSITIVIE VIEWLate comer modernization with the democratic
elements in the reform.
• Norman came under suspicion because of his years as a scholar in
Britain and it was security agencies believed that he had been
converted to communism as a student in Oxford and the witch hunt in
the US targeted Americans but also Canadians.
How does it shape the equality of democratic life/institutions that
Why is Japan so successful in domesticating these alien democratic
• This was not an initial democratization in a hostile environment but
rather a redemocratization.
• If there is one thing we should understand from the third wave
democratization theory, the repetition of times you try to
democratize, the more you consolidate it more.
o Japan had tried before but had failed until the second time
where they were bombed and occupied.
• Early constitution development
• Iraq is a case where it is not impossible to democratize the country
despite the bleak conditions
Early Japan and China’s similarities
• Role of the United States
• People who drafted the Japanese Constitution were naïve and knew
nothing about the Japanese culture. (thought US system was the best
system in the world)
• Have soldiers where they thought was the best system for Japan
• There is a program and t