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Title: Money politics and the transformation of the Japanese political system
Author: Schuller, Philipp A.
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 1998
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In 1994, in response to repeated scandals of political corruption, or of money politics as it was also called, the Japanese Diet passed a comprehensive package of political reform laws. By placing the focus on a change in the election system, this package suggested that money politics was primarily a problem of the incentive structures that the political system provided. This dissertation is based on the premise that political reforms and the debate that produces them are a good indicator of how the Japanese themselves evaluated money politics and what they hoped to change about it. The dissertation shows that both money politics and the political reforms designed to address it have not been a recent phenomenon but have existed more or less continuously for at least 70 years. It analyses the history of three case studies of political reforms that were aimed partly or exclusively at changing money politics: first a political education initiative, second the establishment and amendment of the law controlling political finance and fund-raising, and finally the attempted creation of a law on defining and regulating political parties. These three case studies suggest that reformers saw money politics predominantly as a function of political culture, not of the electoral system. Specifically, they placed this political culture in an evolutionary process of modernisation which sometimes did, sometimes did not resemble Westernisation. They were concerned especially about the role of organisations such as labour unions, companies and political parties as mediators in the relationship between the Japanese voters and the state. Finally, the fact that a changing coalitions of politicians, bureaucrats and independent activists supported the modernisation of the political culture suggests that this interpretation of money politics was widely shared.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Political science