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Home > Books & Journals > Journal Abstracts Last Updated: 14:23 03/09/2007
Journal Abstracts #264: January 15, 2006

Japanese Journal of Political Science

Journal Name: Japanese Journal of Political Science:
December 2006, Vol. 7, No. 3

ISSN: 1468-1099

Research Articles

A Survey Study of Voting Behavior and Political Participation in Zhejiang (pp225-250)
BAOGANG HE (School of Politics and International Studies, Deakin University, Australia)

Two existing models are used to conceptualize the constrained and limited participation in the communist system. The mobilization model suggests that participation was so mobilized by the party/state that it was largely meaningless, while the disengagement model supports the idea that many communist citizens adopted non-participatory behaviors such as non-voting as a means of protest. This paper attempts to demonstrate the importance of a third model the emergent democratic culture model. The survey results show that the participation index is in proportion to the number of elections in which a villager is involved; and a growing number of voters in Zhejiang are developing citizen-initiated participation, with rights consciousness.

This research finds that the level of participation is influenced by three major factors: the perceived worth of the election itself, regularity of electoral procedures, and the fairness of electoral procedures. It also finds that parochial political culture and political apathy still exist, and the emergent democratic consciousness falls short of an ideal democratic standard. While a highly democratic culture helps to develop village democracy, the apathetic attitude continues to support the authoritarian leadership and structure in many villages. The paper also gives an account of survey research in rural China and offers a thoughtful critique of the use of voting and non-voting as the sole indicator of political participation.

Public Opinion on the Role of Religion in Political Leadership: A Multi-level Analysis of Sixty-three Countries (pp251-271)
MATTHEW CARLSON (Department of Political Science, University of Vermont) and OLA LISTHAUG (Department of Sociology and Political Science, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway and Centre for the Study of Civil War, PRIO)

Are there significant variations across major religious faiths about the proper political roles of religion? Using recent World Values/European Values data from 63 countries we study the attitudes of mass publics on two separate aspects of this question. First, should religious beliefs be used as a criterion for selecting political leaders (dimension I)? Second, should religious leaders use their position for political influence (dimension II)? For dimension I we find that Muslims are somewhat more likely than followers of other faiths and denominations to say that religious beliefs are important in selecting leaders. The remaining results of our investigation somewhat weaken or modify this result. On dimension II we find that Muslims do not stand out as comparatively favorable towards the view that religious leaders shall use their position for political influence. Finally, we find a negative, albeit weak and somewhat irregular effect of education on attitudes towards a close link between religion and political leadership (dimension I). However, this effect holds up equally well for Muslims as for other denominations, suggesting that Muslims are not immune to the effects of secularization.

The Influence of Political Discussion on Policy Preference: A comparison of the United States and Japan (pp273-288)
SEAN RICHEY (Pace University) and KEN'ICHI IKEDA (University of Tokyo)

This research tests if political discussion influences policy preference. The literature greatly stresses the non-rational nature of political decision-making. Rational policy preferences require learning specific details in a competitive political environment. Yet, research shows that most people do not have the skills to understand policy. Social networking is one way to help people understand policy. Social network influence on policy preferences, however, is mostly ignored. We show that the likelihood of supporting a policy increases when one's social network supports a party that advocates that policy. We control for the political knowledge of the respondent, network size, partisanship, ideology, socioeconomic, and policy-specific determinants. Examining data from the 2000 American National Election Study and Japanese Election Study 3, we find strong results in the United States, but mixed results in Japan. Additional research we perform shows a stronger social network influence in Japan.

The Effect of Dual Candidacy on Voting Decisions (pp289-306)
YOICHI HIZEN (Hokkaido University, North 9, West 7, Kita-ku, Sapporo, 060-0809 JAPAN)

This article conducts a decision theoretic analysis of the effect of dual candidacy on voting decisions in the Japanese variant of the mixed electoral system, where each candidate can run in both a single-member district (SMD) and a proportional representation (PR) block, and dual candidates can be ranked either individually or equally in parties' PR lists: their post-election ranking is determined by their SMD votes. The model shows that dual candidacy differentiates the mixed system from merely the simultaneous use of the SMD and PR systems. That is, if an SMD candidate also runs in the PR block, it lowers voters' utility increment obtained by casting their SMD votes for him. If he is ranked equally in the PR list, however, SMD votes for him may help him win a PR seat against other equally ranked dual candidates, which enables dual candidacy accompanied by equal ranking to attract more SMD votes.

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

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