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Advice and Consent: The Politics of Consultation in Japan (Hardback)
  • Advice and Consent: The Politics of Consultation in Japan (Hardback)
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Advice and Consent: The Politics of Consultation in Japan (Hardback)

(author)
£67.00
Hardback 343 Pages / Published: 28/04/1998
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If the postwar era has witnessed a pluralizing trend in Japan, that is not to say that many diverse, fluctuating groups compete equally in the political marketplace. Instead, small sets of well-organized, narrowly-focused interest groups typically join specific bureaucratic agencies, groups of politicians, and individual experts to dominate policymaking in relatively self-contained issue areas. One useful window on interest-group politics is Japan's system of consultative councils. More than 200 of these councils, or shingikai, are attached to the ministries. Composed of business people, bureaucrats, scholars, journalists, union members, and others, they deliberate on virtually every aspect of public policy. This book reviews the functions and operations of Japan's council system, and presents three case studies of specific governmental decisions involving the use of shingikai in the late 1980s.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521580489
Number of pages: 343
Weight: 658 g
Dimensions: 235 x 160 x 25 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
'... this book is a valuable data resource. Published in 1998, when central government reform was being widely debated, it is also timely and useful in understanding the character of recent Japanese administrative reform. if students read the case studies carefully - especially the passages where Schwartz's interviewees give blow-by-blow accounts of specific debates - they will surely discover important materials for future studies in this area.' Social Science Japan Journal
"Advice and Consent provides an original and illuminating study of the numerous government advisory committees in which much of the complex thrashing and conciliation among Japan's powerful interest groups takes place. Using numerous participant interviews, a close reading of committee reports, and three detailed case studies, Schwartz gives us valuable insights into a key slice of Japanese policymaking." T.J. Pempel
"Shingikai, or advisory commissions, have been little studied outside Japan, despite their growing importance in the ever more fragmented Japanese polity. Frank Schwartz's book is thus a welcome development, as well as a distinguished contribution to scholarship. The author's research is deep and comprehensive, his analyses are balanced and judicious, and his conclusions are measured and illuminating. This is a work that dramatically advances our understanding of political institutions and practices in contemporary Japan." Gary D. Allinson, University of Virginia
"In a cogently written book well grounded in social science theory, Frank Schwartz takes shingikai, the ubiquitous consultative councils attached to Japan's ministries, and puts them at the center of a fascinating study of interest-group politics. Do these councils merely rubber-stamp what bureaucrats want as critics often charge, or do they reflect genuine and growing pluralism? In three disparate, highly readable, and well researched case studies - involving policy struggles over creating a Japanese futures market; shortening the work week; and cutting the rice price - Schwartz shows neopluralism, Japanese-style, at work, and reveals what interest groups lose and gain from it. This is a first-rate book. Indeed, it's absolutely the best book published to date on interest-group politics in contemporary Japan in comparative perspective." Susan J. Pharr, Harvard University
"How does Japan achieve such a high level of consensus and loyalty among its citizens? One major way is through the use of shingikai, consultative councils. In this pioneering and authoritative study, Schwartz contributes to our understanding of Japan and to political science theory." Ezra F. Vogel, Harvard University
"...this first-rate book analyzes one of the important functions of the Japanese policy-making process from critical and comparative perspectives. Recommended for all levels." Choice
"...the revealing interviews of this book will bolster all arguments. The book will be a true discussion generator...." Richard Leitch, Perspectives on Political Science
"The work is especially valuable for the window it provides on the domestic politics of Japan. However, its value as a comparative text should not be underestimated. As the globalization of public policy increases, understanding and appreciating how other countries approach policy decisions is crucial." Lisa R. Stimatz, Journal of Government Information
"Frank Schwartz's study is...a welcome addition to the field, for he shines the spotlight directly on interest groups as he explores the role they play across a range of issue areas in the Japanese policymaking process." Leonard J.Schoppa, Journal of Japanese Studies
"Advice and Consent is compact and sensibly organized...Thanks to Cambridge University Press for providing footnotes rather than the increasingly popular back-of-book endnotes...Schwartz's book will be welcomed by instructors preparing both graduate and undergraduate course syllabi." Pacific Affairs Vol. 73 No. 4 Winter 01

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