Thursday, March 29, 2012

"Building Democracy in Japan"

New from Cambridge University Press: Building Democracy in Japan by Mary Alice Haddad.

About the book, from the publisher:
How is democracy made real? How does an undemocratic country create new institutions and transform its polity such that democratic values and practices become integral parts of its political culture? These are some of the most pressing questions of our times, and they are the central inquiry of Building Democracy in Japan. Using the Japanese experience as starting point, this book develops a new approach to the study of democratization that examines state–society interactions as a country adjusts its existing political culture to accommodate new democratic values, institutions, and practices. With reference to the country's history, the book focuses on how democracy is experienced in contemporary Japan, highlighting the important role of generational change in facilitating both gradual adjustments as well as dramatic transformation in Japanese politics.
Among the early praise for Building Democracy in Japan:
"Mary Alice Haddad's book unravels some of the complex puzzles surrounding Japan's changing norms of democracy and how can coexist with vestiges of often undemocratic traditions. She shows that democracy is about far more than formal political institutions, involving as well the values and social interactions that embed democracy in the day-to-day behavior of people's lives. This book will be welcomed by students of Japan and also those interested in democracy, political institutions, and state-society relations."
—T.J. Pempel, University of California, Berkeley