Patterns of interdependence among and between citizens add an additional level of complexity to a comparative analysis of democratic politics. In this article we examine communication and disagreement among citizens in Japan and the United States. We argue that a majoritarian bias in political communication operates in both settings, but it tends to perpetuate a system of one-party dominance in Japanese politics. Comparative studies of democratic citizenship have focused generally on the variation across national contexts in the political beliefs and values held by individuals. Our argument is that citizenship and the alternative cultures of democratic politics have less to do with the idiosyncratic beliefs and values that individuals carry with them and more to do with the contextually embedded nature of political communication. We address these issues using two community-based studies, one conducted in South Bend, Indiana, in 1984 and the other in Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo, in 1997.
Political Behavior – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 3, 2004
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