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The State-In-Society Approach To Democratization With Examples From Japan, Mary Alice Haddad Sep 2010

The State-In-Society Approach To Democratization With Examples From Japan, Mary Alice Haddad

Mary Alice Haddad

How does an undemocratic country create democratic institutions and transform its polity in such a way that democratic values and practices become integral parts of its political culture? This article uses the case of Japan to advocate for a new theoretical approach to the study of democratization. In particular, it examines how theoretical models based on the European and North American experiences have difficulty explaining the process of democratization in Japan, and argues that a state-in-society approach is better suited to explaining the democratization process diverse cultural contexts. Taking a bottom-up view of recent developments in Japanese civil society through ...


From Undemocratic To Democratic Civil Society: Japan's Volunteer Fire Departments, Mary Alice Haddad Jan 2010

From Undemocratic To Democratic Civil Society: Japan's Volunteer Fire Departments, Mary Alice Haddad

Mary Alice Haddad

How do undemocratic civic organizations become compatible with democratic civil society? How do local organizations merge older patriarchal, hierarchical values and practices with newer more egalitarian, democratic ones? This article tells the story of how volunteer fire departments have done this in Japan. Their transformation from centralized war instrument of an authoritarian regime to local community safety organization of a full-fledged democracy did not happen overnight. A slow process of demographic and value changes helped the organization adjust to more democratic social values and practices. The way in which this organization made the transition offers important lessons for emerging democracies ...