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July 02 , 2007

Japan's Multilayered Democracy


This book introduces a multilayered approach to the study of democracy, combining specific knowledge of Japan with theoretical insights from the literature on democratization. It examines different aspects of Japanese democracy—historical, institutional, and sociocultural—to provide a conscious understanding of the nature and practice of democracy, both in Japan and beyond. The book's chapters give testimony to the dynamic nature and continuity of Japanese democracy and analyze its strengths and weaknesses.

The central argument of this book is that Japan’s democratization should be seen as a multilayered experience shaped by the gradual process of absorbing democratic ideas, forming democratic institutions, and practicing democratic behaviors and rituals at various levels of society. As the case of Japan shows, democracy is neither a structured formula nor only a set of democratic laws and institutions, but a continuous, gradual process.

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