Dynasties continue to dominate Japan's top leadership. My post for @monkeycageblog on new Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and his cabinet. Bonus 🧵 1/11 #JapanDecides2021 #dynasticpolitics @ColumbiaSIPA @Columbia_APEC @ColumbiaCJEB
Kishida was elected Japan's 100th PM (64th individual in the post) on Monday. He's a third-generation politician, following his father and grandfather into politics. He defeated another "legacy" politician, Taro Kono, in the LDP's presidential runoff last week. 2/11
Kishida pledged to “regenerate” the LDP: “We have to show the general public that the LDP has been reborn.” This goal is partly reflected in his cabinet picks: old-guard ministers like Taro Aso are out, and 13 of 20 appointees are first-timers. 3/11 asahi.com/ajw/articles/1…
But in the LDP, "generational change" often means swapping out fathers for their sons, daughters, and other relatives. Aso, for example, has been replaced as finance minister by his brother-in-law, Shunichi Suzuki, who is also the son of former PM Zenko Suzuki. 4/11
Including Kishida, 9 cabinet ministers come from political dynasties, and 3 others have relatives in local politics or who followed them into office. In other words, for 57% of the new Kishida cabinet, politics is a family affair. 5/11
This is in keeping with patterns I document in my 2018 book, Dynasties and Democracy (@stanfordpress, @StanfordSAPARC). While the share of dynasties in the LDP is around 30%, they are overrepresented in cabinet, capturing as much as 60% of posts. 6/11 sup.org/books/title/?i…
Part of the reason is seniority: many LDP MPs who are now in a position to get promoted were first elected in the 1990s, before electoral reform reduced the party's reliance on legacy candidates. But seniority alone doesn't explain the advantage. 7/11
In a paper at @LSQjournal, @shane_martin and I argue that informational advantages within parties might also help legacy MPs get promoted, especially those whose predecessors previously served in cabinet. 8/11 onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.11…
In Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Norway, & Japan, MPs with a family history in cabinet are significantly more likely to get promoted, even controlling for seniority. This suggests that informational advantages, like better networks, matter (but more work is needed). 9/11
A take-away lesson is that if Kishida aspires to real generational change in the LDP, he should continue to create opportunities for younger members––which include fewer legacy MPs––to access channels of information, socialization, and influence within the party. 10/11
More explanation, and links to additional scholarly work on the topic, in the post! 11/11 @FaridaJalalzai @shane_martin @BrianDFeinstein @laderafrutal @OlleFolke @johannarickne washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/…

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More from @ProfDanSmith

3 Dec 20
As a comparative political scientist who often works with the case of #Japan, I have mixed feelings about stories in the @nytimes and other (US) media that highlight unrepresentative or "exotic" features of the country or its population. 🧵 1/n
On the one hand, as @jolyonbt points out, these stories can be frustrating because they reinforce stereotypes or facile tropes, and often miss complexities and diversities, as well as paint universally common behavior as somehow uniquely Japanese (see #Nihonjinron). 2/n
On the other hand, they keep Japan in the imagination of a population (Americans, especially) that is otherwise woefully ignorant and uninformed about other countries, and may inspire further engagement and inquiry. 3/n
Read 13 tweets
10 Mar 20
Today is the 75th anniversary of the firebombing of Tokyo, which burned about 2.5 million houses and killed ~100,000 people (mostly civilians). Here is a short thread about some of the research on the firebombing and its long-term effects. 1/n
Prior to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the strategic bombing of Japan during WWII targeted 138 cities over several hundred campaigns. 2/n
These campaigns can be classified into two major phases: (1) from 1944, high-altitude bombings of targeted military facilities/industries; (2) from 1945, indiscriminate bombings of urban residential areas. 3/n
Read 16 tweets
12 Feb 20
The newest "legacy candidate" in US politics is Amy Kennedy – wife of former Rep. Patrick Kennedy, son of Ted Kennedy and nephew of JFK – who will challenge former Democrat Jeff Van Drew in NJ-2. She probably has a good shot... 1/n politico.com/news/2020/02/1…
In our research (freshly updated version in link), @OlleFolke, @johannarickne and I explore why, at least historically, women have been more likely to be dynastic than their male counterparts. 2/n papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cf…
@OlleFolke @johannarickne We argue that the signal of "quality" inherited from a predecessor differentially helps women more than men, due to the informational disadvantages of relative newcomers to politics, like women. 3/n
Read 8 tweets

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