Book written by 2009 Abe Fellow Mary Alice Haddad based on her project “Environmental Politics and Civic Participation in East Asia.”
How is democracy made real? How does an undemocratic country create new institutions and transform its polity such that democratic values and practices become integral parts of its political culture? These are some of the most pressing questions of our times, and they are the central inquiry of Building Democracy in Japan. Using the Japanese experience as starting point, this book develops a new approach to the study of democratization that examines state–society interactions as a country adjusts its existing political culture to accommodate new democratic values, institutions, and practices. With reference to the country’s history, the book focuses on how democracy is experienced in contemporary Japan, highlighting the important role of generational change in facilitating both gradual adjustments as well as dramatic transformation in Japanese politics.