SISA 490/590

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Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies SISA 490/590, Spring 2005
Japan in the Contemporary World

Instructor: Professor Robert Pekkanen

Office: Thomson 318
Office Hours: TBA
Telephone: (206) 685-1527

Meeting Times and Locations

Day:    Friday

Time:   9:30 AM -12:20 PM

Location: Balmer 415

Course Description:

The focus of this class is on political parties in Japan. Democracy, representation, and governance are addressed through that lens. Modern representative democracy is inconceivable without political parties. We will also investigate South Korean political parties, but the bulk of our attention is on Japan. The class will combine theoretical readings on political parties with an intensive study of Japanese political parties. Students with either a good general understanding of Japan’s postwar political history or a thorough knowledge of political party theory (but both are not required) will be best positioned to succeed in the course.  Topics include: democracy and representation, parties and party competition, Japanese political parties pre-1993, party system change, Japanese political parties since 1993, electoral reform causes and consequences, factions in Japanese parties, koenkai (personal support organizations), policy-making and PARC, the Diet, coalition government, interest groups and political parties, parties and voters.

Course Goals:

This course is designed to provide an in-depth examination of how representative, or party, democracy functions in Japan. Students will learn theoretical perspectives on political parties and democracy, and we will also examine South Korean party politics.


Long Paper Option:

1 page weekly papers                          10 Papers                                                          10%

March 18th                                           Paper Prospectus                                             10%

June 6th                                                Final Paper                                                      50%

Throughout Term                                Class Participation                                          30%

Short Papers Option

1 page weekly papers                          6 Papers                                                             6%

4 times in term                                    Short Papers                                                    64%

Throughout Term                                Class Participation                                          30%

You have two options for papers. You may select the short papers option or the long paper option. The long paper option requires you to produce a Paper Prospectus of 2-5 pages that clearly outlines the topic, argument, and sources for a paper to be turned in at the end of the quarter.  The final paper should be 20-30 pages, although shorter or longer papers are permissible.

The short paper option requires four short papers (5 pages maximum) throughout the quarter. Each paper is due at 3 PM the day before class meets. No late papers will be accepted for short papers. These papers are based on the readings for that particular week and are written in response to questions provided in advance. These papers should make reference to all relevant readings for that week, but not use any outside sources (the optional readings are okay).  If you take the short paper option, you do not have to write a 1 page weekly paper on the weeks for which you write a short paper.

March 9 2005, 10:12 AM

Announcements will be posted here.