S-Space Graduate School of International Studies (국제대학원) Dept. of International Studies (국제학과) 국제지역연구 국제지역연구 vol.11 (2002)
1990년대 일본의 신정치?: 변화와 지속성의 교차점
Japanese New Politics in the 1990s?: Continuity and Change
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 국제학연구소
- 국제지역연구, Vol.11 No.4, pp. 103-125
- This is a comprehensive review article of the recently published five books, i.e., The Logic of japanese Politics: Leaders, Institutions, and the Limits of Change(Gerald Curtis, 1999, N.Y.: Columbia University Press.), japan"s New Party System(Ronald J. Hrebenar., 2000, Boulder Co.: Westview Press), Governing japan: Divided Politics in a Major Economy, 3rd ed.(J.A.A. Stockwin., 1999, Mass.: Blackwell Publishers), Regime Shift: Comparative Dynamics of the japanese Political Economy(T. J. Pempel., 1997, Ithaca: Cornell University Press), and Arthritic japan: The Slow Pace of Economic Reform(Edward J. Lincoln., 2001, Washington D.C.: The Brookings Institution).
This essay compares the five academic products from the vantage point of their theoretical and empirical interests in the "continuities and changes" in the major aspects of japanese politics and political economy. I focus on the authors" definitions and explanations of the new political economic phenomena appeared in japan during the 1990s. By reviewing the former three prominent academic publications, I pick up the three main indicators of the changes in japanese politics, i.e., the regime type, party system, and electoral system and then qualitatively compare the changes in each of those political institutions with the continuing aspects.
Then, I tum to the issue of the mode of connections between politics and economy in the japanese political economic system. I highlight the issue of how the patterns of connections and interactions between japanese political decision making process and economic performance have been changed since the beginning of the economic malaise in the early 1990s. Given the general beliefs among the scholars that, in the 1990s, in Japan, a tendency of increasing correlation between political fortunes of ruling groups and economic performance has appeared, I specify that the authors of the latter two volumes share the view that while there have been fundamental institutional changes in Japanese economic system, politics and political decision making processes work against more fundamental overhauling of the economic system. In concluding this essay, I comparatively summarize the prospects of the five authors for the directions and developments of Japanese politics and political economy in the near future.