Organizer: Lowell Dittmer, University of California, Berkeley
Chair: Michael Ying Mao Kau, Brown University
Discussant: Tun Jen Cheng, College of William and Mary
Soohyun Chon, East West Center
Economic development and government guidance invariably create rent seeking opportunities for politicians who have decision making power for important policies and the business community which has economic interest in the outcomes of these policies. State guided economies of Japan and Korea created many such rent seeking opportunities which in turn influenced the political systems of these two countries. Economic liberalization that accompanies economic development closes the gap between market imperfections that allow rent seeking opportunities and market equilibrium. The present paper examines how the political system that heavily depends on infusion of political funds is affected as Japanese and Korean economies go through economic liberalization and the consequent decline in rent seeking opportunities.
Haruhiro Fukui, University of California, Santa Barbara; Shigeko N. Fukai, Okayama University
The existing literature on the geographical distribution of central government funds (grants in aid, public works spending, and sundry subsidies) among Japanese prefectures and municipalities presents contradictory findings and interpretations. Some studies find evidence of systematic and significant advantage enjoyed by prefectures and municipalities dominated by conservative parties in the distribution of such funds. These studies attribute the advantage of some prefectures and municipalities and the disadvantage of others to partisanship in budgetary decision making in the central government. Other studies, however, find no evidence and deny the significance of political bias in central fund distribution.
The sharp difference of opinion found in the literature and the confusion created by it appear to result mainly from two factors: reliance on statistical analysis of aggregate national data and failure to distinguish partisanship from political considerations. Most studies reply on official aggregate data for empirical evidence and use partisanship and political considerations as interchangeable terms.
The proposed paper will, instead, distinguish partisanship from political considerations and probe the presence of either or both factors in the actual process and mechanism of the generation, transmission, and satisfaction of local demands for central funds in three cities-Yamagata, Okayama, and Toyama-and their vicinities. The paper will contribute two new findings and interpretations to the literature. First, it will show that the distribution of central funds in Japan may not be significantly partisan but is highly political in the sense that it is determined to an important extent by the varying strengths and effectiveness of political pressures brought to bear on the central government by prefectural and municipal governments and their allies in the Diet. Second, it will also show that the failure of some previous studies based on statistical analysis of aggregate data to find evidence of political considerations in the distribution of central funds may be due to the fact that local political pressures brought to bear on the central government are evenly distributed across prefectures and municipalities. In short, all Japanese prefectures and municipalities put about the same amount of political, but usually nonpartisan, pressure on the central government and receive about the same amount of attention and funds from the latter, albeit with some notable exceptions.
Kelley K. Hwang, University of California, Santa Barbara
This paper will examine two central questions. The first is how the process of democratization in South Korea has influenced the functioning of personal politics in economic decision making. I will examine government policy towards the automobile industry during the Fourth Republic when South Korea was under authoritarian rule and during the Sixth and Seventh Republics, when Korea moved toward a more democratic society. The second central question to be examined is why changes in the extent, scope, and workings of personal politics may have changed as a result of the democratization process. This will further theoretical discussion of the nature of personal politics and its links to the creation of civil society and the relationship between the latter and the state.
Michael Ying-Mao Kau, Brown University
KMT authoritarianism during the Chiang era maintained an elaborate corporatist party state patterning after the Leninist Communist system. The state was built on a hierarchical, integrated political machine of a party, government, military, and police. A sophisticated system of political control penetrated systematically into every sector of society at all levels. The coercive control mechanism was buttressed by pervasive patron-client networks through selective political co-optation and economic reward and punishment.
As the KMT's "predatory authoritarianism" shifted gear to "developmental authoritarianism," however, Taiwan's "economic miracle" fostered the rise of a dynamic middle class, assertive professionals and technocrats, and various autonomous social groups. The process greatly complicated the operation of the traditional monopolistic authoritarianism. As the Leninist system eroded both structurally and functionally, the new politics of party competition, factionalism, money, and ethnicity emerged in the new political arena, pushing the flow of power and control from the traditional top-down pattern to a new bottom-up process. The new political economy is reversing the traditional relationship between state and society.
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