This course examines the politics and policy of contemporary Japan, applying a range of theoretical perspectives to analyze both recent history and current events. After a brief historical review, we survey the core political institutions of the postwar era, examine patterns of political interaction, and investigate current debates over policy issues. We focus particularly on political change since 1993, including the new electoral system and party realignment. Specific topics include social issues, the economic crisis, political and economic reform, U.S.-Japan relations, defense and foreign policy.
This course falls under the Comparative Politics subfield.