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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien

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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien
Jochi Kioizaka Bldg. 2F
7-1 Kioicho, Chiyoda-ku
Tokyo 102-0094, Japan
Tel: 03 – 3222 5198, Fax: 03 – 3222 5420


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The lecture will be given in English. It will take place on Thursday, February 12th 2009 at 6.30 p.m. at the DIJ.
Admission is free, please register with Ms. Dinkel at the DIJ.



The Japanese State and the Myth of Late Development

12. Februar 2009 / 18:30

Gregory J. Kasza, Professor, Indiana University

It has become a cliché to assert that the Japanese state played an especially strong role in guiding the process of modernization. This assertion is rooted in two comparative judgments. The first is that the Meiji government opted to emulate authoritarian Germany rather than democratic Britain. The second is that Japan is one of many late-developing societies whose governments naturally assumed a forceful role due to their economic circumstances. This presentation challenges both of these comparative assumptions. It offers empirical evidence that casts doubt upon the applicability of the theory of late development to Japan, and it presents an alternative theory to explain the role of the modern Japanese state.

Gregory J. Kasza is Professor of Political Science and East Asian Languages & Cultures at Indiana University. His research interests include state-society relations, war and politics, the mass media, and welfare policy. An abiding goal of his work is to examine Japanese politics from a comparative viewpoint. His latest book is the widely acclaimed „One World of Welfare – Japan in Comparative Perspective“.