Merits and Limits of Cleavage Theories’ Applications in Extra-European Context: The Japanese Case Cover Image
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Možnosti a limity aplikácie teórií konfliktných línií v mimoeurópskom kontexte: prípad Japonska
Merits and Limits of Cleavage Theories’ Applications in Extra-European Context: The Japanese Case

Author(s): Silvia Hudáčková, Roman Chytilek
Subject(s): Politics / Political Sciences
Published by: Česká společnost pro politické vědy
Keywords: political cleavage; value cleavage; party politics; Japan; Rokkan; Inglehart

Summary/Abstract: The aim of this study is to find out whether various conceptions of cleavage theories can be applied on the countries outside Europe. The case of Japan and its political history since 1868 is used here. Only few studies dealing with this topic has been written, but none in a scope this work aims to achieve. The last one analysed cleavages in Japan since 1890 to 1991. Since 1991, many attempts to reformulate and refine the theoretical concept of cleavages have emerged, it is, therefore, desirable to revisit the issue. The main finding is that Rokkanian cleavages can be found in the Japanese party system before the Second World War. The incipient centre–periphery and urban–rural cleavages emerged and after the First World War the socioeconomic cleavage appeared as well. However, the socioeconomic cleavage was not as significant in Japan as in the Western European countries. The Japanese case is specific because national and industrial revolutions appeared within a short period of time and partly overlapped. After the Second World War, only the value cleavage has been important for the party system since the 1970s. Moreover, it would be imprudent to try to explain the development of the Japanese party system via the concept of cleavages, as the linkage between the voter and the political party has become extremely loose. The application of the cleavage theories might be biased due to two phenomena of Japanese politics, “koenkai” and party factions, as well.

  • Issue Year: 17/2011
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 33-55
  • Page Count: 23
  • Language: Slovak