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East Asia, Government & politics, Centre for the Study of Global Japan

JPOSS #38: "Comparative One-Party Rule: Japan and Mexico Compared"

The thirty-eighth session of the Japanese Politics Online Seminar Series (JPOSS) took place on May 18, 2023. Charles Crabtree (Dartmouth College) chaired the seminar and moderated the Q&A session.

Keely McNeme (Southern Methodist University) presented a paper co-authored with Hiroki Takeuchi (Southern Methodist University) examining the different trajectories of party adaptation from positions of single-party rule by the Liberal Ruling Party (LDP) in Japan and the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) in Mexico. The authors argue that the party structure and clientelist strategy in each case incentivized different patterns of behavior when conditions became less conducive for clientelism. Whereas PRI’s use of electoral manipulation to sustain an overwhelming majority led to its downfall, LDP’s turn to coalition-building to sustain a slim majority led to a path of strength through sustained moderation of its policies.

Masaaki Higashijima (University of Tokyo) and Len Schoppa(University of Virginia) offered insightful comments on alternative theories and case selection. During the Q&A session, participants furthered suggestions on literature, theory, and possible extensions to the paper.

The organizers would like to thank the presenters, discussants, and participants, as well as the staff at the Harvard Program on U.S.-Japan Relations, who provided administrative support. We look forward to seeing you at the next session of JPOSS:


Originally published on the Japanese Politics Online Seminar Series blog. Original publication can be found here.