Understanding governance in contemporary Japan

Transformation and the regulatory state

This book explores the transformation of the Japanese state in response to a variety of challenges by focusing on two case studies: Information and Communications Technology (ICT) regulation and anti-monopoly regulation after the 1980s, which experienced a disjuncture and significant transformation during the period, with particularistic approaches embracing competition. The case studies set up the state as the key locus of power, in contrast to pluralist and rational choice schools, which regard the state as insignificant. The analytical framework is drawn from key theories of governance and the state including the concepts of the core executive and the regulatory state. The book explores the extent to which there is asymmetric dominance on the part of Japan’s core executive through an examination of recent developments in the Japanese regulatory tradition since the 1980s. It concludes that the transformation of the Japanese state in the two case studies can be characterised as Japanese regulatory state development, with a view that the state at a macro level is the key locus of power. This book explores the transformation of the state and governance in a Japanese context and presents itself as an example of the new governance school addressing the state, its transformation, and the governance of the political arena in Japanese politics and beyond, setting out a challenge to the established body of pluralist and rational choice literature on Japanese politics.


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