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Japan’s Political Marketplace

Japan’s Political Marketplace

With a New Preface

J. Mark Ramseyer, Frances McCall Rosenbluth

ISBN 9780674472815

Publication date: 03/25/1997

Mark Ramseyer and Frances McCall Rosenbluth show how rational-choice theory can be applied to Japanese politics. Using the concept of principal and agent, Ramseyer and Rosenbluth construct a persuasive account of political relationships in Japan. In doing so, they demonstrate that political considerations and institutional arrangements reign in what, to most of the world, looks like an independently powerful bureaucratic state.


  • Ramseyer and Rosenbluth present a view of Japanese politics that coherently links voters, politicians, bureaucrats, and judges into patterns of interaction governed by the logic of the ‘political marketplace.’ They succeed in demonstrating that many of the analytical tools developed to study the politics of advanced Western democracies are not only applicable in the Japanese context, but also are capable of yielding novel interpretations of politics in Japan.

    —Amy Searight, Pacific Affairs


  • J. Mark Ramseyer is Mitsubishi Professor of Japanese Legal Studies, Harvard University Law School.
  • Frances McCall Rosenbluth is Professor of Political Science at Yale University.

Book Details

  • 272 pages
  • 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press