Japan: Government and Politics
Politics, International Relations, and Political Philosophy
Students will explicitly compare the American political system to the Japanese political system as a case study of the comparative political method. In addition, students will be encouraged to research and write on a comparison of Japan to other countries.
Faith and Political Analysis
Students will study and analyze moral issues such as colonialism, paternalism, government transparency, using immoral means to accomplish moral ends, corruption, pacifism, and war crimes.
Political Process, Theory, and Thought
A third of the course is devoted to learning the historical context of Japanese politics. The remaining two thirds of the course explores theories and political processes in Japan. Students will show their mastery of these materials in exams and papers.
Effective Research and Analysis
Required course readings will use both qualitative and quantitative methods and students will learn how to interpret and criticize both types of research. A significant portion of the readings will also use historical comparison, and students will also be expected to use interdisciplinary studies, especially from the fields of sociology, history, and anthropology.
Effective and Professional Writing
Students will have the option of writing a high quality research paper that requires significant research and argumentation or translating and discussing current news accounts of relevant Japanese events written in Japanese newspapers.
Critical Thinking and Analysis
Students will be given specific questions to prepare in advance of each day’s assigned readings, and they will be expected in class to answer and discus those questions.
Integrity in Daily and Civic Activities
By analyzing important ethical decision such as Hara Kei’s lukewarm defense of democracy in the 1910s, the US decision to use information gained from illegal medical experiments, the US decision to extensively censor Occupation publications, and motivations surrounding Japan’s 1994 electoral reforms, students will better understand the role that ethics plays in the daily decisions and activities of any political leader or citizen.
Participation in Political Process
Students will learn how the Japanese experience informs many of the pressing political issues that we face in the United States. They will make connections between Japan and these issues and be able to discuss how the Japanese experience sheds light on these important topics of current political discourse.