Futuribles Journal n° 216

Institutions

La recomposition politique. Plus d'État, moins d'État ou pas d'État

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Political Reconstruction
Since the Liberal Democratic party lost a monopoly of power in 1993, the Japanese political system has been under complete reconstruction under the combined effect of internal factors (power struggles, administrative decay, the weight of corporatism, corruption, the emergence of new social demands and the volatility of the electorate...) and external ones (globalisation and economic deregulation, the emergence of new global and regional issues.)
Jean-Marie Bouissou considers the capacity of the system to adapt and describes two types of diametrically opposed sequences. The first ("virtuous circle") marked by a reform of the parties and the electoral system, would allow the emergence of a power and a firmer leadership, imposing its authority on the bureaucracy and the lobbies and at the same time accompanied by counterweights which would protect democracy. The second ("vicious circle") would on the other hand be marked by the absence of a solid majority and a specific program ("grab bag programs"), changeability, cynicism on the part of the electorate and a growing ungovernability of the country.
Going beyond this simple opposed pair, the author in the end sketches six scenarios for Japan's political future. He shows that the erection of a powerful and durable grand coalition is, like an Italian-style evolution, improbable and that coalition governments are more likely. Finally, he shows that the strengthening of the executive branch will result from a transformation of the relationship between the centre and the periphery, between the State and civil society.

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