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Home > Books & Journals > Journal Abstracts Last Updated: 14:23 03/09/2007
Journal Abstracts #243: August 4, 2006

Japanese Journal of Political Science

Journal Name: Japanese Journal of Political Science:
April 2006, Vol. 7, No. 1

ISSN: 1468-1099


Social Modernization and the End of Ideology Debate: Patterns of Ideological Polarization (pp1-22)
RUSSELL J. DALTON (Irvine University of California, 3151 Social Science Plaza, Irvine, CA 92697-5100)

Over 40 years ago, Daniel Bell made the provocative claim that ideological polarization was diminishing in Western democracies, but new ideologies were emerging and driving politics in developing nations. This article tests the End of Ideology thesis with a new wave of public opinion data from the World Values Survey (WVS) that covers over 70 nations representing more than 80 per cent of the world's population. We find that polarization along the Left/Right dimension is substantially greater in the less affluent and less democratic societies than in advanced industrial democracies. The correlates of Left/Right orientations also vary systematically across regions. The twin pillars of economic and religious cleavages remain important in European states; cultural values and nationalism provide stronger bases of ideology in Asia and the Middle East. As Bell suggested, social modernization does seem to transform the extent and bases of ideological polarization within contemporary societies.

Regime Type, Post-Materialism, and International Public Opinion about US Foreign Policy: The Afghan and Iraqi Wars (pp23-39)
BENJAMIN E. GOLDSMITH (School of Policy, University of Newcastle, NSW 2308, Australia)

Previous research (e.g., Horiuchi, Goldsmith, and Inoguchi, 2005) has shown some intriguing patterns of effects of several variables on international public opinion about US foreign policy. But results for the theoretically appealing effects of regime type and post-materialist values have been weak or inconsistent. This paper takes a closer look at the relationship between these two variables and international public opinion about US foreign policy. In particular, international reaction to the wars in Afghanistan (2001) and Iraq (2003) are examined using two major multinational surveys. The conclusions of previous research are largely reinforced: neither regime type nor post-materialist values appears to robustly influence global opinion on these events. Rather, some central interests, including levels of trade with the US and NATO membership, and key socialized factors, including a Muslim population, experience with terrorism, and the exceptional experiences of two states (Israel, Albania) emerge as the most important factors in the models. There is also a consistent backlash effect of security cooperation with the US outside of NATO. A discussion of these preliminary results points to their theoretical implications and their significance for further investigation into the transnational dynamics of public opinion and foreign policy.

Democracy and Modernity When the Twain Shall Meet? Reflections on the Asian Conundrum (pp41-58)
JOHAN SARAVANAMUTTU (Centre for International Studies, School of Social Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang)

This article examines the trajectory of Asian politics in terms of modernization and democratization. Going beyond broad generalizations about democracy's Third Wave, empirical evidence is adduced to show an affective orientation and lively appetite for democracy among Asian citizens and even states. However, in many instances, while the citizens are willing to democratize, the state is institutionally weak. Conversely, strong, high performance states ofen block the path of democratization. Historically speaking, modernity and its social and economic concomitants have been coterminous with the emergence and arrival of democracy, but, owing to socio-economic and historical disjunctures in Asian social fromations, such an emergence or arrival of democracy has remained tortuous and problematic. The institutionalization of middle-class driven 'bourgeois' democracy is clearly evident in many cases. However, civil society and political culture in some instances remain mired by a lack of political maturity and sophistication and a superficial attachment to economic performance. Many Asian politics have remained starkly authoritarian or simply undemocratic, even as modernization has advanced rapidly. Ultimately, the agency for democratization rests with a vibrant civil society. Again no necessary automatic correspondence obtains between modernization and the development of a vibrant civil society. The agency for such a social transformation has to be contestualized for different social formations. Finally, an important distinction has to be made between procedural and substantive democracy. For the latter to be sustained, it necessitates the engagement of citizens and civil forces on a multiplicity of social and political terrains outside of electoral politics.

Factional Influence on the 2001 LDP Primaries: A Quantitative Analysis (pp59-69)
GEORGE EHRHARDT (Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice Institution: Appalachian State University)

For the first time in 20 years, the prefectural level 2001 LDP primaries offer a chance to reevaluate the relationship between Diet members and the LDP rank and file. Since 1982, scholars have agreed that Diet members use their support organizations to control how rank and file vote in LDP leadership contests; and the absence of any suitable data from the 1980s and 1990s has prevented a reassessment of this hypothesis in Japan's evolving political environment. This study uses regression analysis on prefectural-level primary ballot totals in order to measure Diet member influence over the rank-and-file primaries. The results suggest while national politicians did influence voters, their impact was too small to affect the outcome of the election. This implies that the relationship between LDP Diet members and the rank and file is changing and suggests directions for further study.

Japan's Top-Down Policy Process to Dispatch the SDF to Iraq (pp71-91)
TOMOHITO SHINODA (International University of Japan, Minami Uonuma City, Niigata 949-7277, Japan)

In July 2003, Prime Minister Koizumi successfully passed the legislation to dispatch ground SDF units to Iraq in the Diet. His top-down policy process was completely different from Japan's traditional bottom-up system, which Aurelia George Mulgan calls the 'Un-Westminster System' in which the bureaucrats in the ministries play a central role with the LDP being the only political power to negotiate with them. Mulgan also argues that the system has not changed despite recent institutional changes. On the contrary, this paper illustrates how Koizumi and his Cabinet took advantage of the strengthened authority of the Cabinet Secretariat to initiate policies, and successfully pushed the controversial national security legislation through LDP decision-making organs and the Diet by gaining support first from the coalition partners, presenting a new style of Westminster system.

Japanese Journal of Political Science (2006), Cambridge University Press
Copyright ©2006 Cambridge University Press

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