Consensus in Conflict: Competing Conceptual Structures and the Changing Nature of Japanese Politics in the Postwar Era
The events of 1993 can be seen to be indicative of a fundamental change in the nature of Japanese politics. In the postwar era Japanese politics can be seen to have been characterised by two competing visions of the polity — ‘the constitutional’ and ‘the bureaucratic’. Each of these visions were underpinned by fundamentally different conceptual structures, and subsequently legitimated different concepts of politics and different centres of power. The hybrid institutional structure left by the Allied Occupation of Japan has been able to accommodate and facilitate either of the two visions, creating a political system with no clear centre of legitimacy and no clear centre of power. The relative prominence of the two visions has shifted over time; the bureaucratic vision dominating in the early postwar period, and the constitutional vision coming to the fore during recent events.
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