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The dynamics of coalition politics in Japan

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Over the past seven years, Japan's party system has undergone a transition from single-party rule to multi-party coalitions, albeit under continuing LDP dominance. The LDP's propensity for coalition politics has been influenced not only by the loss of its Diet majorities but by a number of other factors including the end of the polarized party politics of the Cold War period. In this article, Aurelia George Mulgan, Associate Professor of Politics at the University of New South Wales, Australian Defence Force Academy, explains the LDP's complex Diet management strategy underlying its choice of coalition partners. At the same time, Dr. George Mulgan argues that these strategies represent just a more developed form of the deal-making politics the LDP pursued during periods of evenly balanced Diet forces in the 1970s and 1980s. The key difference is the greater level of transparency and Diet-centered nature of inter-party negotiations.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 2000

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