The Development of Political Science in Japan

The Development of Political Science in Japan

Inoguchi T.,

Eminent Scholar-Professor, Institute of Asian Cultures, J.F. Oberlin University; Professor Emeritus, University of Tokyo,

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2019.04.05

For citation:

Inoguchi T. The Development of Political Science in Japan. – Polis. Political Studies. 2019. No. 4. P. 57-68. (In Russ.).


The article is a journal version of the 6th chapter in Political Theory by a prominent Japanesepolitical scientist Inoguchi Takashi (Inoguchi Takashi. Seiji riron. Tokyo: Minerva, 2015. P. 143-158). Theauthor identifies the key trends of Japanese political science in the second half of the twentieth century anda range of topics, and also analyzes its methodological approaches. He dwells on the main questions facingthe Japanese thought. In particular, he asks what the secret of Western democracies that have achievedgreat success by maintaining the concentration of wealth and freedom is. Why does the Japanese policydepend on bureaucracy? Why do party affiliations of electoral candidates have little effect on the votingbehavior of the Japanese? How are politics and economics intertwined in the adoption of specific policies?Inoguchi identifies three major trends that emerged in the first quarter of the new century. These include:1) the historical approach to the regulatory and institutional origins of Japanese politics; 2) considerationof Japanese policy in a comparative perspective, and 3) newly intensified self-reflection, focused on datacollection and the elaboration of theories. The author points to the serious influence of American researchmethods and political science journals, analyzes the specifics of Japanese political science as comparedto Western ones, and identifies factors that determine the high degree of originality and independence of Japanese political thought, primarily the strength of its traditions and linguistic features. 

political science, Japan, USA, traditions, political science journals, comparative politics, international relations.


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Content No. 4, 2019

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