1300 36 33 32

When discussing Japanese politics or the Japanese legal system, many scholars point to the peculiarities of the country's culture - its need for consensus, its rejection of individualism, its Confucian fascination with loyalty. Other scholars simply invent new theories ad hoc to explain what they see. But is Japan really so different that general social scientific theories don't apply? Ramseyer and Rosenbluth don't think so, and in this book they show how rational-choice theory can be applied to Japanese politics, with telling results. Contrary to general assumptions, the authors argue that the institutional framework of government - the rules of the game among political players - decisively shapes the character of political competition and incentives in Japan. They show how players in this competition adapt their organizations to the existing framework and at the same time try to manipulate it to their own advantage. The ruling Liberal Democratic Party is a case in point. In a detailed analysis, we see the LDP working within Japanese electoral rules to maximize its success with voters, and within constitutional constraints to enforce its policies on bureaucrats and judges. Surprisingly, the authors find that Liberal Democratic Party backbenchers effectively control factional and party bosses; that the LDP collectively keeps bureaucratic action closely in line with its preferences; and that the Japanese judiciary is also an agent of the legislative majority. Using the concept of principal and agent, Ramseyer and Rosenbluth construct a persuasive account of political relationships in Japan. In doing so, they demonstrate that political considerations and institutional arrangements reign in what, to most of the world, looks like an independently powerful bureaucratic state. Their book aims to influence our understanding of the Japanese political order and legal system. As a rational-choice analysis of an entire national political system, it should also affect the way we approach comparative politics and comparative law more generally.

Buy Japan's Political Marketplace book by J. Mark Ramseyer from Australia's Online Bookstore, Boomerang Books.

Book Details

ISBN: 9780674472815
ISBN-10: 0674472810
Format: Paperback
(235mm x 155mm x 14mm)
Pages: 272
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 6-Mar-1997
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions

Reviews

» Have you read this book? We'd like to know what you think about it - write a review about Japan's Political Marketplace book by J. Mark Ramseyer and you'll earn 50c in Boomerang Bucks loyalty dollars (you must be a member - it's free to sign up!)

Write Review


Author Biography - J. Mark Ramseyer

J. Mark Ramseyer is Mitsubishi Professor of Japanese Legal Studies, Harvard University Law School. Frances McCall Rosenbluth is Professor of Political Science at Yale University.

Books By Author J. Mark Ramseyer

Second-Best Justice by J. Mark Ramseyer

Second-Best Justice

Hardback, December 2015
$79.20
Odd Markets in Japanese History by J. Mark Ramseyer

Odd Markets in Japanese History

Paperback, January 2008
$71.96
Fable of the Keiretsu by J. Mark Ramseyer

The Fable of the Keiretsu

Hardback, June 2006
$71.10
Distribution in Japan by J. Mark Ramseyer

Distribution in Japan

Hardback, January 2002
$267.26