090 304: Contemporary Japanese Politics  (APO)

Modul: APO, 2st.

Empfohlenes Semester: ab 3.

CP: 5

Requirements for participation:
Communicative level of English to read, discuss and present argument during the class is required (but if problems arise, we will try to work around them).

Aims/Description:
Japan has come a long way since the tragedy of the WWII up to the tragedy of the Great Tohoku Earthquake. In this module, we will investigate how Japanese politics reached this point and how it may develop from here.

The module will explore the main features and transformation of Japanese politics starting from the end of WWII in 1945 up until 2011. It will begin with a brief introduction of the country’s political traditions and concise presentation of the most significant developments in the early postwar period (1955 system, developmental state). We will examine how they turned into the multiple ‘crises’ in the 1990s and their impact on Japanese politics and economy. The students will be encouraged to critically re-examine the commonly-held notion of ‘the lost decade’ often applied to describe Japan’s situation in the 1990s. Next, we will discuss the ‘tectonic’ shifts in Japanese political life that took place in the last decade with a special emphasis on the significance of Koizumi administration, trend towards remilitarising of Japan and consequences of the electoral victory of the Democratic Party of Japan. Lastly, we will study the set of challenges to Japanese politics, economy and society in the post-3/11 reality.

The main objectives of the module are threefold: 1) to provide students with extended knowledge on both historical trajectory of Japan’s political development and the most recent challenges facing Japanese state, 2) to encourage critical analysis of academic arguments concerning Japanese politics and 3) to develop students’ presentation and communication skills in English.

Lectures and workshops:

  1. Japan after the Defeat: Continuity and Change AND The Cornerstones of Postwar Politics: the 1955 System and the Developmental State
  2. Multiple ‘Crises’ in the 1990s and Realignments on Japanese Political Scene
  3. Koizumi Administration and Beyond – LDP’s Last Hurray?
  4. WORKSHOP: Public Policy in Japan (student presentations on various aspects of foreign and domestic policies in Japan; discussion)
  5. DPJ Rise to Power and the Triple Disaster of 3/11
  6. WORKSHOP: Japan after the 3/11 (student presentations on meaning and consequences of the 3/11 for Japanese politics and the wider region; discussion)

*A detailed content of classes will be presented during the first meeting.

Lectures and Workshops

Date and Time

Introduction
Japan after the Defeat: Continuity and Change
AND
Cornerstones of Postwar Politics: the 1955 System and the Developmental State (L)
April 24, 2012 (Tuesday)
12-2 pm GBCF 04/354
Multiple ‘Crises’ in the 1990s and Realignments on Japanese Political Scene (L) May 8, 2012 (Tuesday)
12-2 pm GBCF 04/354
Koizumi Administration and Beyond – LDP’s Last Hurray? (L) May 22, 2012 (Tuesday)
12-2 pm GBCF 04/354
DPJ Rise to Power and the Triple Disaster of the 3/11 (L) June 5, 2012 (Tuesday)
12-2 pm GBCF 04/354
WORKSHOP: Public Policy in Japan The exact time and date to be agreed on the first meeting with students
(week: June 18 – 22/23)
WORKSHOP: Japan after the 3/11 The exact time and date to be agreed on the first meeting with students
(week: July 2-6/7)

Essential literature
Gerald, Curtis, Logic of Japanese Politics, New York: Columbia University Press.
(or)
Stockwin, Julian A. A., Governing Japan: Divided Politics in a Resurgent Economy, Malden, Mass.: Blackwell Publishing.

Note: Students are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus available at http://japanfocus.org/. The website contains a wealth of articles and commentaries on variety of topics concerning Japan and East Asia

Recommended literature
Dobson, Hugo (2003), Japan and UN Peacekeeping: New Pressures, New Responses, London: RoutledgeCurzon.
Dower, John W. (1999), Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of WWII, New York: Norton.
Freeman, Laurie (2000), Closing the Shop: Information Cartels and Japan’s Mass Media, New York: Princeton University Press.
Ikenberry, John G. and Inoguchi, Takashi (eds.) (2003), Reinventing the Alliance: U.S. – Japan Security Partnership in an Era of Change, New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Johnson, Chalmers (1995), Japan – Who Governs? The Rise of the Developmental State, New York, London: Norton.
Katz, Richard (2003), Japanese Phoenix: the Long Road to Economic Revival, Armonk N.Y.: M.E. Sharp. 
Mikuni, Akio and Taggart, Murphy (2002), Japan’s Policy Trap: Dollars, Deflation and the Crisis of Japanese Finance, Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press.
Mulgan, Aurelia G., Japan’s Failed Revolution: Koizumi and the Politics of Economic Reform, Canberra: Asia Pacific Press.

Schaede, Ulrike and Grimes, William (eds.) (2003), Japan’s Managed Globalisation: Adapting to the 21st Century, Armonk, N.Y: M.E. Sharp.

Schwartz, Frank J. and Pharr, Susan, J. (eds.) (2003), The State of Civil Society in Japan, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
*A detailed breakdown of literature will be provided during the first meeting.
Assessment method:
To be discussed with students during the first meeting