Journal Name: Japanese Journal of Political Science:
May 2001, Vol. 2, No. 1
China's First Direct Election of the Township Head: A Case Study of Buyun (pp1-22)
Baogang He (Associate Professor at the School of Government, the University of Tasmania, Australia, and Senior Research Fellow at East Asian Institute, National University of Singapore) and Youxing Lang (Associate Professor at the Department of Political Science, Zhejiang University, People's Republic of China, Ph.D candidate at East Asian Institute, National University of Singapore)
This paper is a detailed case study of China's first direct election of the township heads, examining the driving forces for and obstacles to direct township election, and Chinese utilitarian approach toward local democracy. The paper discusses the prospect of direct township election in China and highlights the Chinese paternalist model of democracy being implemented in practice.
Taiwan's Party Primaries in Comparative Perspective (pp23-45)
Chung-li Wu(Department of Political Science, National Chung Cheng University, Taiwan).and Dafydd Fell (Ph.D candidate at the Department of Political Studies, London School of Oriental and African Studies, England)
There has been a lack of research into candidate selection outside the developed world. In this paper we attempt to fill this gap, with a detailed examination of the factors leading to the introduction of party primaries, their operations and their future prospects, in a third wave democracy, Taiwan. Although Taiwan is a late democratizer, the high degree of party institutionalization makes it more appropriate to compare its nomination system with those of older political parties, we particularly contrast it with the leading German and British political parties. Our discussion also finds many similar trends with developments of intra-party democracy in European parties, particularly in terms of a decentralization of candidate selection and reduced mediation between party centre and members. In addition, despite technical changes in electoral campaigning, parties in Taiwan have not abandoned the mass membership model. In Taiwan, direct primary elections have been a controversial subject. By analyzing relevant data, we argue that the core problem of the party primary was its lack of fairness, because party cadres tried to monopolize the candidate selection and thus failed to remain neutral. We find signs that leaders in all parties are wary of allowing inner party democracy to go too far and losing their control over nomination. When the party centre fears the wrong candidates will be selected, they are prepared to manipulate the rules in their favour or re-centralize the selection process.
Informality and Institutional Inertia: the Case of Japanese Financial Regulation (pp47-66)
Jennifer A. Amyx (Department of Political and Social Change, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University, Australia)
This article examines the case of institutional inertia in Japanese financial regulation, focusing on the reasons why institutions centered on informal modes of organization and interaction proved particularly 'sticky.' The Japanese case serves as a particularly tough test for theories of institutional adaptation and change because even crisis – a time when the costs of inaction tend to far exceed the benefits – failed to produce timely institutional change. The paper argues that informal, exclusionary and opaque relational ties served as a functional substitute for formal regulation and promoted cooperative government-bank relationships in an earlier period. Yet, when the informal attributes of the system began to impede the sound functioning of the financial system, the very opacity of these ties and the informational dynamics underlying them meant that the Diet and the general public were less than fully aware of the extent of dysfunction present as time went on.
Public Opinion and International Policy Choices: Global Commitments for Japan and Its Peers? (pp67-95)
Davis B. Bobrow (Professor of Public and International Affairs and Political Science, University of Pittsburgh) and Mark A.Boyer (Professor of Political Science and Director of the Connecticut Project in International Negotiation (CPIN), University of Connecticut)
To understand the prospects for global order and progress in the coming years, we explore the joint implications of three premises: (1) states advantaged by the current international order have stakes in its regularity and predictability, and thus in moving to counter or prevent threats to those stakes; (2) along impure public and club goods lines, they are more likely to make efforts to do so when some private or club benefits result; and (3) public opinion provides a bounded policy acceptance envelope offering incentives and disincentives to national political elites to act as envisioned by the first two premises. We present a mosaic of public opinion in major OECD countries (the US, Japan, and major EU members) on three policy areas – foreign aid, UN peace-keeping operations, and environmental quality – that contain international public goods elements. Actual contribution tendencies in those areas found in our previous work largely conform to the public opinion patterns reported here. Within the limits of available data, domestic political incentives as represented by public opinion warrant neither extreme optimism nor pessimism about the prospects for continuing contributions by OECD states to sustaining orderly functioning of the current world system.
Japan's Images of China in the 1990s: Are They Ready for China's 'Smile Diplomacy' or Bush's 'Strong Diplomacy'? (pp97-125)
Both the US and China are pressing Japan to tilt its foreign policy in their direction. Japan's response depends on views of China, which turned negative as assumptions proved incorrect. Early expectations were challenged in 1990–94, despite hopes of becoming a bridge between the US and China, and were dashed from 1995. The struggle among four schools of thought intensified. The full engagement group lost the most ground. The predominantly engagement, potential threat group was attacked as the mainstream, but it survived as the best option for global political leverage. The predominantly containment, possible engagement group gained as China allowed rising nationalism to target Japan. The full containment group also gained, boosted by Japanese nationalism anxious to rationalize the war era. More than reacting to Chinese or US actions, Japanese views are driven by instability in national identity. The US should be wary of encouraging containment of China because of its impact on rising Japanese nationalism.
Thailand's Relations with Malaysia and Myanmar in Post-Cold War Southeast Asia (pp127-146)
N. Ganesan (Department of Political Science, National University of Singapore)
This article examines Thai policy towards Malaysia and Myanmar in the post-Cold War period and argues that bilateral relations between Thailand and these countries have deteriorated considerably. The immediate reason for the change is the collapse of structural arrangements associated with the Cold War, in particular the Indochina Security Complex and domestic political developments in Thailand and Myanmar. Whereas a number of issues like illegal migration, fishing and insurgency have contributed to the deteriorated relations, the situation has been reasonably well managed. Factors contributing to the stability of the situation include regular bilateral dialogue and exchanges as well as common membership in a number of multilateral fora like ASEAN, ARF, AFTA and APEC.
Japanese Journal of Political Science (2001), Cambridge University Press
Copyright ©2001 Cambridge University Press
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