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James Babb

In: The SAGE Handbook of Modern Japanese Studies

Chapter 19: Political ‘Science’ and the Study of Japanese Politics

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Political ‘Science’ and the Study of Japanese Politics
Political “Science” and the Study of Japanese Politics
James Babb

As with much of modernity, the Japanese were present at the early stages of the development of the study of politics. This might not always have been obvious because before the war, Japan largely followed the German model of political studies and since the war there has been a shift to the Anglo–Saxon (mostly the US) model of political ‘science.’ Nonetheless, the legacy of both approaches is significant even today. Within the United States, three major approaches have had the most systematic and sustained impact on the study of Japanese politics – structural–functionalism, historical institutionalism, and rational choice. This chapter will examine key trends in the study of Japanese politics, both inside Japan and outside, to demonstrate how the reintegration ...

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