Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

EIJS Working Paper Series,
Stockholm School of Economics, The European Institute of Japanese Studies

No 102: Diverging Accounts of Japanese Policymaking

Linus Hagström ()
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Linus Hagström: European Institute of Japanese Studies, Postal: Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, S-113 83 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: In this paper different schools of Japanese policymaking are classified according to two variables: a) Defense/criticism of Japanese practices; and b) Number of actors. Then the common focal point of all such schools on the relevant actors and their relationships is reiterated and discussed. Finally, departing from Quansheng Zhao’s Japanese Policymaking: The Politics Behind Politics: Informal Mechanisms and the Making of China Policy (Oxford UP, 1995), culture and informal mechanisms in Japanese Foreign Policy are discussed. The paper is concluded by a few remarks about the connection between the concepts of policymaking and power, and the usefulness of cultural explanations.

Keywords: Japanese policymaking; cultural mechanisms; informal mechanisms; power

JEL-codes: A00

20 pages, February 9, 2001

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