Tuesday Seminar – 2 March

Party Strategy and Public Mood in Japan

Lewis Luartz (University of California, Riverside)

What impacts do Japanese party strategies have on their electoral outcomes? Although the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has a near continuous hold of government in Japanese politics, many have simplified competition to a state of competition among other parties for the opposition position. It is such that most studies within the literature on Japanese party politics will either focus on policies that help keep the LDP in power or the politics surrounding parties in the opposition. Comparisons among parties have been limited, at best, to comparisons along specific policy dimensions and usually within the aforementioned framework. The result is that, to date, there are no studies on Japanese party strategies that identify where parties within this system stand in relation to each based on their party strategies, much less identifying the real political effects of taking variable strategic positions. I attempt to resolve this gap in the literature by examining Japanese party strategies over time to determine what effects they have on electoral outcomes. I find that there is a significant relationship between a party’s strategic positioning and electoral outcomes over time in Japan, such that the LDP experiences negative electoral outcomes when it significantly changes its strategic positioning. This suggests party competition is more complex than a simple dichotomy between the party-in-government and opposition.

Contact Semih Çakır if you would like to participate in the seminar.

This content has been updated on 11 March 2021 at 14 h 24 min.