Japanese Politics Courses

East Asian Politics: Introductory Seminar (Asian 019)

Surveys the diverse political, social, and economic arrangements across East Asia. China, Japan, and North and South Korea are the main focus, but attention is also paid to the other countries in the region. Examines the relationship between democracy and economic change in East Asia, and asks if the relationship is different in Asia than elsewhere in the world. Other questions include: Are there common “Asian values” and if so, what are they? What is the role of Confucianism in shaping social, political, and economic life in the region? How are economic and technological developments affecting traditional social institutions such as families? How is the status of women changing? What lies ahead for Asia?


Japanese Politics and Society (Asian 282)

Comprehensive overview of modern Japanese politics in historical, social, and cultural context. Analyzes the electoral dominance of the Liberal Democratic Party, the nature of democratic politics, and the rise and fall of the economy. Other topics include the status of women and ethnic minorities, education, war guilt, nationalism, and the role of the media.


Advanced Seminar in Japanese Politics (Asian 332)

Analyzes the political, social, and cultural underpinnings of modern politics, and asks how democracy works in Japan compared with other countries. Explores how Japan has achieved stunning material prosperity while maintaining among the best healthcare and education systems in the world, high levels of income equality, and low levels of crime. Students are also instructed in conducting independent research on topics of their own choosing.


Advanced Seminar in Democracy and Development in Asia (Asian 337)

Examines development from a variety of political, economic, moral, and cultural perspectives. Is democracy a luxury that poor countries cannot afford? Are authoritarian governments better at promoting economic growth than democracies? Does prosperity lead to democratization? Are democratic values and human rights universal, or culturally specific? Emphasis on Japan, China, India, and the Koreas.