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Popular Democracy in JapanHow Gender and Community Are Changing Modern Electoral Politics$
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Sherry L. Martin

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449178

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449178.001.0001

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National Attitudes and Local Action

National Attitudes and Local Action

Changing the Center from the Periphery

(p.73) 3 National Attitudes and Local Action
Popular Democracy in Japan

Sherry L. Martin

Cornell University Press

This chapter develops a case study of politics in Nagano Prefecture that is informed by secondary literature, news reporting, election outcomes, and a focus group conducted in Matsumoto City. The Nagano data show how citizens are actively engaged in changing the politics of their everyday lives and communities in an effort to remake the state in their own image through the ballot box. Voter exclusion from national politics contrasts with the changes in the quality of local democracy that voters across Japan have been able to achieve through broadening and deepening their own citizenship practices. Voters' desires to extend these grassroots practices into the elite political sphere are reflected in patterns of local political action in Nagano and elsewhere that aim to change national politics from the grassroots level through referenda and recall, information disclosure movements, and local independent candidates and citizen's parties.

Keywords:   Nagano Prefecture, grassroots citizenship practices, local political action, national politics, voter exclusion, democracy

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