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The Politics of Oligarchy

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  • Ramseyer,J. Mark
  • Rosenbluth,Frances McCall

Abstract

In the latter-half of the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century, Japan underwent two major shifts in political control. In the 1910s, the power of the oligarchy was eclipsed by that of a larger group of professional politicians; in the 1930s, the focus of power shifted again, this time to a set of independent military leaders. In this book, Ramseyer and Rosenbluth examine a key question of modern Japanese politics: why the Meiji oligarchs were unable to design institutions capable of protecting their power. The authors question why the oligarchs chose the political institutions they did, and what the consequences of those choices were for Japan's political competition, economic development, and diplomatic relations. Indeed, they argue, it was the oligarchs' very inability to agree among themselves on how to rule that prompted them to cut the military loose from civilian control - a decision that was to have disastrous consequences not only for Japan but for the rest of the world.

Suggested Citation

  • Ramseyer,J. Mark & Rosenbluth,Frances McCall, 1998. "The Politics of Oligarchy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521636490, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:cbooks:9780521636490
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    Cited by:

    1. Daron Acemoglu, 2008. "Oligarchic Versus Democratic Societies," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, pages 1-44.
    2. Chiaki Moriguchi, 2000. "The Evolution of Employment Relations in U.S. and Japanese Manufacturing Firms, 1900-1960: A Comparative Historical and Institutional Analysis," NBER Working Papers 7939, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Jim Rose & Simon Hay, 2001. "Three Steps Towards More Effective Development Assistance," Treasury Working Paper Series 01/26, New Zealand Treasury.
    4. Carney, Richard, 2004. "Economic Backwardness in Security Perspective," MPRA Paper 3279, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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