Issue 79/2 – 2011

Issue 79/2 - 2011

22/06/2011 aror


 

Contents 

Foreword to the Special Issue
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… i–ii

Articles

Jan Sýkora
Trust, Risk and the Role of Institutions in Early Modern Japan: Mere Anachronism or Useful Historical Experience?
………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 147–159

This paper concentrates on the crucial problem of how one specific non-market economic institution, namely the merchant associations which were based on mutual trust and utilized both in Europe at the dawn of the Commercial Revolution (11th–14th centuries) and in early modern Japan (the Tokugawa Period, 1603–1868), were able to diminish risks and facilitate complex trade transactions which were characterized by implicit contractual relations, limited legal contract enforceability rights and a specific information-transmission mechanism. An analysis of such non-market economic agents employed during different historical periods may shed some light on the evolution of economic institutions and is likely to lead to a better understanding of the role of non-economic factors (namely the notion of trust) in the formation of modern economic societies, both in the European and Asian contexts.

Keywords: Trust – Non-market institution – Merchant associations – Tokugawa Japan

About the Author

Dr. Jan Sýkora is an associated professor of Japanese history at the Institute of East Asian Studies (Charles University in Prague). He has published on the economic history and economic thought in Tokugawa Japan, including The Economic Thought of Shoji Koki and the Tenpo Reforms in Saga Domain (Brill, 2010).
e-mail: sykoraj@gmail.com

 

Andrea Revelant
Learning How to Appeal to the Masses: Election Campaigns in Interwar Japan
………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 161–187

With the enactment of universal male suffrage in 1925, Japanese political parties had to face a quadrupling of the electorate and this brought into question the effectiveness of long established methods of gathering votes. Moving beyond a reliance upon personal networks of selected constituents, candidates started to appeal systematically to the general public through the mass media. Campaigns soon became an elaborate combination of rally speeches, printed propaganda and audio-visual performances. These innovations were in tune with the more general and growing interest of the political elites in mass communication as an instrument for preempting social conflict and rousing popular support for government policies. This paper focuses on the five general elections held under universal suffrage before the dissolution of all parties in 1940, tracing the development of campaigns in terms of both technical progress and rhetorical style. It compares the communicative approach of the two main parties with that of the emerging socialists, pointing out how divergent choices among the combatants reflected differences in their social target sand political orientation. Research provides evidence against the widespread opinion that the enlargement of the franchise did not determine any significant change in the way politicians related to voters. On the other hand, however, campaign regulations suggest that the established parties put limits on the use of those media which did not offer them a competitive advantage over their “proletarian” rivals. Moreover, the concentration of modern propaganda in the urban centers suggests that social conditions in rural Japan were not yet ripe for a full transition to mass politics.

Keywords: Mass media – Party politics – Propaganda – Universal suffrage – Interwar Japan

About the Author

Dr. Andrea Revelant is assistant professor of Japanese History at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. His research interests focus on the evolution of Japan’s political and financial systems in the modern age, particularly the first half of the twentieth century. The emergence of mass politics is an underlying theme of his articles on tax reform, party propaganda, and the relationship between parties and bureaucracy during that period.
e-mail: revelant@unive.it

 

Thomas Heberer and Gunter Schubert
Research Note: Political Trust and the Case of China
………………………………………………………………………………………………………….189202

The relationship between trust and order is usually discussed with reference to the normative foundations of democratic systems. However, trust is also generated in authoritarian systems, as the case of China has clearly indicated in many relevant surveys. By drawing on qualitative interview data conducted from 2003–05 in different Chinese provinces, the authors present findings concerning the existence and production of political trust at the micro political level, i.e. in urban resident committees and rural villages. In urban China, urgent daily issues such as social welfare provision, re-employment measures, public security and administrative transparency are critical for generating trust in the resident committees and, arguably, in the central state. Resident committees have also gained momentum as a result of more trustworthy local cadres. However, it is still too early to tell if they can bring about genuine trust, as positive experiences of their governance capacity in the recent past must be confirmed by continuous performance. Direct village elections, introduced as earless 1987 and nationally institutionalized in 1998, have horizontalized peasant-cadre relations in at least some parts of the countryside and thus significantly contributed to the production of political trust on the part of villagers in their local cadres. Election-driven empowerment, resulting in new trust, has thus helped the party-state to reclaim legitimacy.

Keywords: Legitimacy – Support – Participation – Urban communities – Village elections

About the Authors

Prof. Dr. Thomas Heberer is professor of political science at the Institute of Political Science and the Institute of East Asian Studies at the University of Duisburg-Essen.
e-mail: thomas.heberer@uni-due.de

Prof. Dr. Gunter Schubert is professor of Greater China Studies at the University of Tuebingen.
e-mail: gunter.schubert@uni-tuebingen.de

 

Lin Yue
Trusts and Institutions: Industrial Clusters in Zhejiang Province
………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 203216

Interactions between the individuals within an industrial cluster, i.e. a hybrid of market and hierarchical forces, are constrained by the level of trust that exists, the generation of which can be explained through reference to preexistent institutions. The industrial cluster in Zhejiang province is a special network production institution, characterized by the balance of negotiating power that is experienced by the actors involved. This institution enhances the existing levels of trust. Nevertheless, like any institution that is continually in the process of reconstruction, the original trust will be weakened when the institutional conditions are changed. Thus, trust as a product of the institution, while contributing to the formation of the industrial cluster, is reshaped by the evolution of the latter and forced to evolve correspondingly.

Keywords: Trust – Institution – Industrial cluster – Zhejiang

About the Author

Dr. Lin Yue holds a PhD in the socio-economy of development and undertook his graduate studies at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS Paris). He is now assistant professor at the Universidad Autónome de Madrid and is attached to the Centro de Estudios de Asia Oriental.
e-mail: yue.lin@uam.es

 

Jorge Tavares da Silva
Building Trust in East Asia through Informal and Non-governmental Interactions: The Effects of the Taishang on China-Taiwan Relations
………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 217229

East Asia is one of the regions in the world with the highest propensity for informal or non-governmental interactions. The methodology and principles usually used by this kind of diplomacy have revealed efficient results compared to those used by governments.The Taiwan conflict represents ago od example of the importance of this type of interaction.Unable to participate in most regional organizations, the small island is confinedtosomeinformal diplomacy and civil society networks, especially through the role of the Taiwanese businessman. Our objective is to assess the role of this private community in building an atmosphere of trust that has the capacity for encouraging both sides to move towards a more peaceful solution.

Keywords: China – Taiwan – Trust – Taishang – Interactions – Non-governmental sector

About the Author

Jorge Tavares da Silva holds a degree in international trade at ISCIA – Instituto Superior de Ciências de Informação e Administração, in Aveiro (Portugal). At the present time, he serves as a doctoral candidate in international politics and conflictresolution at the School of Economics of the University of Coimbra (Portugal), in association with the Centre for Social Studies of this university. He is a founder member of the Observatory of China, a member of the Association for Portugal-China Cultural Cooperation, the Portuguese Institute of Sinology, EACS – European Association for Chinese Studies and ACPS – Association of Chinese Political Studies.
e-mail: jts.ave@gmail.com

Our Contributors
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