nl en

BA1 Seminar: Introduction to Domestic Politics


Admission requirements

BA1 students Japanstudies only.


This course is divided into three parts designed to cover a broad introduction to the history, institutions, actors and policies relevant to contemporary Japanese politics. Part One outlines political developments in Japan after the Second World War. Students will examine the revival of party politics after the war, social and political tension of the 1950s, and the political consequences of rapid growth, a bubble economy and economic decline thereafter. Part Two then considers how public opinion and interests have been and are currently channelled in Japan to create policy. This will include a discussion of elections and the formal organs of government. It will also consider the relationship between state and society and show how groups within the public sphere communicate their policy preferences to political elites and vice-versa. The third part of the course considers salient political issues and policy debates in Japan. The goal of this final part of the course is for students to apply the information that they have learned earlier about the political system and groups within the system to analyse current political debates in Japan.

Course objectives

  1. To develop an understanding of the history, institutions, actors and policies relevant to contemporary Japanese politics
    1. To demonstrate key methodological concepts of comparative politics, using Japan as a central case study
    2. To enhance critical writing and communication skills through essays and class participation


Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

Assessment method

Students will sit an in-class test worth 30 percent, and write a 1,500-word essay for 50 percent. 20 percent of the grade will be allocated for active class participation.



Reading list