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Robert Oppenheim, Director WCH 4.134, Mailcode G9300, Austin, TX 78712 78712 • 512-471-5811

The End of LDP Dominance & The Rise of Party-Oriented Politics in Japan

Fri, April 22, 2011 • 12:00 PM • BAT 5.108

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Dr. Ethan Scheiner of UC-Davis to give a talk at the Department of Government

The LDP’s loss of power after more than 50 years of dominance was the most obvious major outcome of the 2009 HR election, but the election meant even more than that.  Viewed in combination with the results of the 2005 HR and 2007 HC elections, the 2009 outcomes demonstrate that there have been significant shifts in the foundations of party support in Japan and in the type of electoral politics we see in Japan.  Through 2005, elections in Japan’s rural areas were principally coronations of LDP candidates.  After 2005, elections in the countryside became competitive.  Moreover, beginning in 2005 Japan moved from a system dominated by locally-based, individual candidacies to a largely two-party system in which electoral success or failure is due at least as much to the candidates’ party affiliation as the candidates’ personal characteristics.

ABOUT DR. ETHAN SCHEINER: Dr. Ethan Scheiner is a faculty member in the Department of Political Science at the University of California, Davis.

His research focuses on Japanese politics and general issues surrounding democratic representation. He received a B.A. in Politics in 1991 at U.C. Santa Cruz, an M.A. in Political Science at the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1994, and a Ph.D. in Political Science at Duke University in 2001.  He has been an Advanced Research (postdoctoral) Fellow in the Program on U.S.-Japan Relations at Harvard University (2001-02), and a postdoctoral fellow at the Stanford Institute for International Studies (2002-2004).

His work examines parties and elections within both Japan-specific and explicitly comparative contexts.  He has published articles on political parties, elections and electoral systems in the American Political Science Review, Annual Review of Political Science, British Journal of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies, Electoral Studies, Japanese Journal of Political Science, and Legislative Studies Quarterly

His first book, Democracy Without Competition in Japan: Opposition Failure in a One-Party Dominant State (Cambridge University Press) offers an explanation for opposition party failure in Japan, a democracy dominated by one party since 1955.  The book offers analysis of not only Japanese opposition failure, but party competition failure in other countries as well.  For more information on Democracy Without Competition in Japan and additional information (including statistics) cut from the manuscript (for space reasons), click here.

Professor Scheiner is currently working on a book manuscript on mixed-member electoral systems, where voters are offered two ballots, one for a candidate in single member district (SMD) balloting and one for a party in proportional representation (PR) (with Robert Moser of the University of Texas at Austin).  The project examines the impact of mixed-member systems in 15 countries throughout the world.

Sponsored by: Department of Government and the Center for East Asian Studies


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