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CJS Thursday Lecture | Dynasties and Democracy in Japan

Daniel M. Smith, Associate Professor, Department of Government, Harvard University
Thursday, October 26, 2017
11:30 AM-1:00 PM
Room 110 Weiser Hall Map
Political dynasties exist in nearly all democracies, but have been conspicuously prevalent in Japan, where over a third of all legislators and two-thirds of all cabinet ministers in recent years come from families with a history in parliament. Such a high proportion of dynasties in a developed democracy is unusual, and has sparked concerns over whether the democratic processes in Japan are working properly. In his forthcoming book, Dynasties and Democracy: The Inherited Incumbency Advantage in Japan, Smith introduces a comparative theory to explain the persistence of dynastic politics in democracies like Japan, focusing in particular on electoral rules and party recruitment processes. Original legislator-level data from twelve democracies and candidate-level data from Japan are used to explore the implications of this theory for candidate selection, election, and cabinet promotion, as well as the consequences of dynasties for democratic representation.

Daniel M. Smith is Assistant Professor in the Department of Government at Harvard University, where he is also affiliated with the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, and the Institute for Quantitative Social Science. His research focuses on the impact of political institutions, especially electoral systems and candidate selection processes, on aspects of democratic representation and behavior in Japan and Western Europe.

Co-sponsored by the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership.
Building: Weiser Hall
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: Asia, Japanese Studies, Politics
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Center for Japanese Studies, International Institute, Asian Languages and Cultures