A Case Study of Tokugawa Japan

A Case Study of Tokugawa Japan through Art:
Views of a Society in Transformation Print Tokugawa Japan: An Introductory Essay
by Marcia Yonemoto, University of Colorado at Boulder
Sir George Sansom’s history of Japan was first published in 1932 and used in U.S. college classrooms into the 1980s. In it, he described the Tokugawa period (1603-1868) as an era of oppressive “feudal” rule. In this view, hierarchical divisions between samurai, peasant, artisan, and merchant were strictly maintained. Sansom described a system in which swaggering samurai used their swords to cut down commoners. Miserable peasants barely eked out a living, and urban merchants were scorned as unethical profiteers. According to Sansom, change was loathed. The government kept the rest of the world out, denying “themselves all the gifts which the West then had to offer.” This move, said Sansom, “arrested the cultural development of Japan” (Sansom 1932, 455, 457).
Scholars today largely dismiss this view. Yet it remains pervasive. Films and manga comics glorify samurai bravado. But they ignore much else about the period. Thus, even the well-informed often are surprised when they read more recent histories of the period. Such newer works describe the political system as a rational “integral bureaucracy.” This system was “not merely a samurai institution.” Rather, it depended on non-elite “commercial agents and activities” (Totman 1981, p. 133). Newer histories call the era “a time of extraordinary social growth and change. In terms of population and production, urbanization and commercialization, and societal sophistication and elaboration, the century was one of unparalleled development.”
What should readers make of these discrepancies? What do teachers and students really need to know about the Tokugawa period? This brief essay addresses these questions by (1) sketching the outline of Tokugawa history, touching on politics, economics, society, and culture; (2) introducing some historical debates regarding the Tokugawa period; and (3) giving references for further reading on important topics.
The Tokugawa Political Settlement
The first Tokugawa shogun was Tokugawa Ieyasu (1542-1616). He came of age in an era of violence and conflict. During the Warring States period (c.1467-1590), centralized political authority-the imperial court and the military government (shogunate, or bakufu)-had lost its effectiveness. Practical political power had passed into the hands of approximately 200 local warlords, or daimyo. The daimyo controlled their own territories. These territories were called domains. By the end of the period, some daimyo had become extremely powerful. Each commanded large swaths of territory and tens of thousands of warriors.
One such leader was Oda Nobunaga (1534-82). Nobunaga was a daimyo from the province of Owari in central Honshu. Using strategic alliances and brutal military tactics, Nobunaga brought about one-third of the country under his control. When he was assassinated in 1582, his most able general, ToyotomiHideyoshi (1536-98), took his place. Hideyoshi was a brilliant military and political tactician. His talent and ambition had allowed him to rise from a humble peasant background. Building on Nobunaga’s achievements, Hideyoshi brought all of Japan under his control by about 1590.
Two problems marked Hideyoshi’s later years. One was his growing belief that his power was unlimited. This megalomania was reflected in unsuccessful attempts to invade Korea and China. The second problem was his difficulty in producing an heir. At his death in 1597, he had only one infant son. He entrusted his son’s fate to five trusted allies. Each swore to protect the heir and help ensure the Toyotomi clan’s future. Among these allies was Tokugawa Ieyasu. Ieyasu controlled significant territory in northeastern Honshu. Ieyasu’s castle headquarters was located in the city of Edo (now Tokyo). Hideyoshi had been dead scarcely three years when Ieyasu turned on his former lord. In 1600, his forces defeated the Toyotomi. In 1603, Ieyasu established a new shogunate in his family’s name. He went to war once again in 1615 to completely wipe out the Toyotomi and their allies. From then on, the Tokugawa maintained political authority for 253 years without resorting to military combat.
The primary political goal of Tokugawa Ieyasu and his heirs-his son, Hidetada (1578-1632) and grandson, Iemitsu (1604-1651)-was to cut off the roots of potential dissent and rebellion. In the late 1630s, Tokugawa Iemitsu expelled Portuguese and Spanish Catholic missionaries and traders. This decision was motivated more by the political threat posed by converts, especially daimyo converts, than by dislike of Christian doctrine or the foreign presence in Japan. The early shoguns were wary of other daimyo. Many of these daimyo were recent allies who were not totally committed to Tokugawa rule.
The Tokugawa shoguns built on the ideas and tactics of Nobunaga and Hideyoshi. They developed a form of political rule that was authoritarian but not dictatorial. This can be seen in the way the early shoguns distributed land to their daimyo allies. The Tokugawa kept only about a quarter of the land available for redistribution for themselves. Of the remaining lands, the shogunate allocated about 10 percent to blood relations (known as the collateral, or shinpandaimyo houses). Another 26 percent went to longtime loyal allies, the fudaidaimyo. The remaining 38 percent went to the most recent, less stable allies. These allies were the “outside,” or tozamadaimyo.
The early Tokugawa shoguns’ use of land distribution to both win the allegiance and encourage the dependence of daimyo illustrates the blend of resourcefulness, pragmatism, and foresight characteristic of Tokugawa political rule. In its policies, the shogunate was careful to balance demands on daimyo with privileges granted to them. For example, the shogunate never directly taxed the daimyo. Instead, it exercised indirect levies such as requiring daimyo to supply labor and raw materials for the construction and maintenance of castles, roads, post stations, and the like. The shogunate also forced all daimyo to commute between their home domains and the shogunal capital of Edo, a time- and resource-consuming practice. The shogunate exercised authority by compelling the wives and children of all daimyo to reside permanently in Edo. There, they were under the shogun’s watchful eye. Daimyo were also required to secure shogunal approval before marrying. At the same time, daimyo were for the most part free to govern their domains as they saw fit. They issued their own law codes and administered justice. Some printed and circulated their own currency. The shogunate intervened only if requested to do so. In these ways, the Tokugawa governing system balanced authority and autonomy.
Economic Growth and Social Change
Studying the Tokugawa era reveals many seeming contradictions. Of these, perhaps none is more striking than the contrast between the Tokugawa rulers’ vision of the ideal economic system and the reality of economic growth and change. With a few notable exceptions, the shogunate and daimyo viewed the economy in simple agronomist terms. In this view, the peasant’s role was to produce basic foodstuffs. Peasants were to give a good portion of their products in tax to support the ruling classes. Artisans used their skills to craft necessary non-food items. Finally, goods that could not be acquired through any other means could be purchased from merchants. Merchants were deemed the necessary evil of the economic system.
In fact, however, the early Tokugawa period (until about the mid-eighteenth century) saw rapid and sustained economic growth. This growth occurred first in the agricultural sector. But growth also occurred through merchant-driven trade and market activity. The concentration of population in cities served as a major impetus for growth and change. Yet many Tokugawa authorities clung to their old notions of a static, agrarian-based economy. The samurai class, who were forbidden from engaging in profitable trade or farming, were disadvantaged by Tokugawa policies and attitudes toward the economy. The ruling class was prevented from taking advantage of economic growth. At the same time, substantial benefits went to merchants and even to market-savvy peasants. Economic growth thus contributed to the inversion of the status hierarchy enshrined in the “four class system.” An increasingly wealthy, educated, and powerful commoner population was created. Meanwhile, samurai, especially those of low rank, steadily became economically weaker.
Growth in Agricultural Production and Population. During the Warring States period, agricultural production grew. Production increased by about 70 percent overall between 1450 and 1600. Growth continued into the early Tokugawa period. Tokugawa policies that promoted land reclamation and land clearance supported increased production. In addition, the disarming of peasants and local religious communities that came with the “Tokugawa peace” put more people back on the land. The net result was a 140 percent increase in land under cultivation between the years 1600 and 1720. Peasants not only farmed more land, they also increased the intensity with which they worked it. Through careful monitoring and the spread of information about cropping patterns, fertilizers, and the like, Japanese peasants in the Tokugawa period continued to increase their land’s productivity.
The overall growth in agricultural productivity caused a rise in the general well-being of the people. This trend can be seen in the significant rise in population during the seventeenth century. Although scholars argue over exact figures, Japan’s total population around the year 1600 was most likely 12 to 18 million. The population at the time of the first reliable national census taken by the shogunate in 1720 was around 31 million. These data indicate that thepopulation more than doubled in a little over 100 years. For a number of reasons, including family planning and voluntary limitation of family size among the peasantry, population growth leveled off in the eighteenth century. Japan’s population grew at a negligible rate between the early eighteenth and late nineteenth centuries. The economy, however, continued to grow, leading to an economic surplus. That surplus was a key factor in Japan’s rapid industrialization in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Growth in Markets and Trade. Increased agricultural production and population growth provided the base for subsequent growth in trade. Increases in trade were also enabled by such developments as the creation of reliable and effective transportation networks. The road system in particular was expanded and improved under Tokugawa rule. Shipping networks on sea routes were also expanded, especially those linking the major commercial centers in western and eastern Japan. Along with growth in trade came growth in the use of money. Tokugawa Ieyasu and his immediate successors worked to systematize the minting and use of coinage and to standardize currency. In turn, this greatly facilitated domestic trade. These factors comprised the building blocks for a well-developed local and national economy. Regional and domainal capitals were linked by good roads. Smaller market towns and settlements grew along these roads. Local areas developed specialty goods and products. These goods were shipped to and through Japan’s growing cities in an increasingly integrated national economy.
Growth of Cities. During the Warring States period, local lords began to gather their warriors around them in headquarters centered on fortified castles. This tendency was formalized by Hideyoshi and Tokugawa Ieyasu, who demanded that their retainers live in the capital cities rather than in their domains. As a result, so-called castle towns (jokamachi) sprung up in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Some 90 new towns appeared between 1572 and 1590 alone. The number continued to grow in subsequent decades. The emergence of castle towns and later of cities had a significant economic impact. Building cities required assembling, equipping, feeding, housing, and supervising huge numbers of laborers and technical specialists. It also required importing vast amounts of resources: soil, stone, lumber, thatch, kilns for baking roof tiles, charcoal, and the like. From the late sixteenth century on, these labor forces came to number in the tens of thousands. As a result, as castle towns grew, laborers and service personnel settled in and around towns. Samurai settled near the castles of their lords. The commoners who served the samurai moved into adjacent areas. Over time castle towns evolved into urban areas.
Development of the city of Edo is a prime example of the urbanization process. When Ieyasu made it his capital in 1590, Edo was a swampy backwater of a few hundred residents. Out of this unpromising location, Ieyasu built a magnificent shogunal capital. Laborers cut down forests, leveled hills to fill in wetlands, rerouted rivers, and dredged creeks and canals. They built bridges and walls, erected shrines and temples, and constructed buildings. Among the buildings erected were opulent daimyo mansions and the magnificent castle of the shogun. Warehouses, storefronts, and common dwellings were also built. By 1600, Edo was a town of some 5000 dwellings. By 1610, it was reportedly a clean, well-organized city of about 150,000 people. As samurai retainers of the shogun and of daimyo flooded into the city in the early seventeenth century, the population zoomed upward. By 1657, Edo had about 500,000 residents. By 1720, it was the world’s largest city outside of China, with a population of about 1.4 million. Half a million of these residents were samurai.
Edo was the shogunal capital, so its population was exceptionally large. But smaller, regional castle towns also grew significantly. Kanazawa, headquarters of an extensive domain on the Japan Sea coast, was a town of 5,000 in 1580. It grew to 120,000 in 1710. Nagoya, a small town in the early seventeenth century, had become a regional center of 64,000 residents by 1692. Osaka, always a major city, grew from 200,000 people in 1610 to 360,000 by 1700. It hit a peak of half a million by the late eighteenth century.
Growth was good for the economy in general. It affected different classes differently, however. In particular, merchants benefited from the increase in trade, markets, and urbanization. Samurai suffered from those same phenomena. Why did the samurai lose out? First, samurai were paid in fixed stipends, disbursed in rice. These stipends were based on an individual’s rank and office and did not increase at a pace equal to the rise in prices. Second, with the growth of the market and monetization of the economy, samurai had to trade their rice stipends for cash. This process was controlled by merchants in Edo and Osaka. It put samurai at the mercy of both the unstable market price for rice and the greed of merchant moneychangers. Finally, samurai were forbidden by law from engaging in farming or commerce, which might have afforded them some economic relief. All of these factors made it almost impossible for samurai to benefit from the growth occurring in the economy. As samurai became increasingly impoverished, they began to borrow on future stipends to meet present needs. Thus they put themselves in debt to merchant lenders. Having samurai at their mercy not only earned the merchants a measure of profit, it also gave them significant symbolic leverage over their samurai superiors. For the samurai, being indebted to lowly merchants was extremely galling. Many low-ranking samurai whose stipends gave them barely enough to get by felt they had to scrimp and save while merchants prospered. Matters were made worse by the fact that samurai had to keep up appearances. Protocol deemed that they dress properly, live in good style, and engage in the social activities (which involved expensive gift-giving) that were required of them, but were increasingly beyond their economic means.
Tokugawa authorities were aware of the problems facing samurai. They repeatedly tried to shore up the political and moral order by elaborating on the unique role of samurai as moral exemplars and scholar/administrators. By definition, commoners could not fulfill those roles. Through the Kyoho Reforms of the early eighteenth century and the Kansei Reforms at the turn of the nineteenth century, the shogunate enacted measures aimed at stabilizing and strengthening the economic and political status of the samurai. But the authorities’ reassertion of proper political order could not change reality. Neither shogun nor daimyo could offer much practical help to financially strapped samurai. More broad-minded thinkers such as the philosopher OgyuSorai (1666-1728) proposed radical reforms. One such reform was returning the samurai to the land so they could farm. Another was overhauling the office and rank system so that lower-ranking “men of talent” could rise to positions of power. These men often languished in idleness while less deserving sons of high-ranking families inherited their fathers’ positions. In the end, economic growth in the Tokugawa period favored commoners over the elite.
The Emergence of Commoner Culture
While they were not shy about commenting wryly on the state of society, urban commoners were not political activists. Peasant protests did break out in the eighteenth century, largely due to authorities’ failure to provide relief during times of crop failure and food shortage. But the new urban bourgeoisie did not attempt to overthrow the warrior government. Rather, urban commoners tended to turn away from the troublesome world of politics. They used their newfound wealth to fashion a new style of life and art. While the new style borrowed aspects of elite “high” culture, it was in many ways utterly new to the early modern urban scene. By the Genroku period (1688-1703), one could see in Edo and other cities a flourishing merchant class that was developing a cultural style all its own. Merchants flaunted their wealth, building enormous houses and dressing in finery that exceeded that of samurai. The shogunate was not at all happy about this. It repeatedly issued laws forbidding merchants to wear fine silk clothes and restricting the construction of large and showy homes in merchant quarters.
However, such laws were difficult to enforce. Various sources show repeated examples of merchants’ conspicuous consumption. By the mid-eighteenth century, popular representations abounded of the poor samurai pawning the clothes and swords off his back for a little extra cash. Then a merchant redeemed them and paraded around the city in the purchased finery. Such sights enraged samurai. Yet they had to suppress their anger and keep up the façade of reserve and prosperity appropriate to their status. As a popular saying of the time went, “if a samurai is starving, he uses a toothpick all the same.”
Despite their economic plight (or perhaps to gain relief from the misery of it), samurai frequented the entertainment areas originally created by and for merchants. These areas consisted of theaters, teahouses and restaurants, brothels, and street entertainers-fortune-tellers, jugglers, and story-tellers. Brothels were a new feature in the cultural life of cities. Prostitution had a long history in Japan. Not until the Tokugawa period did the government seek to control it through licensing and surveillance. Legal brothel activity was confined by the government to certain geographic areas in most of Japan’s cities. These areas were referred to as the licensed quarters. Of course, there was also much illegal prostitution in cities. The shogunate could scarcely control it, much less eradicate it.
The high-ranking courtesans (yujo) of the Yoshiwara were not common prostitutes. Apprenticed as young girls, they trained intensively in various arts, most notably music, dance, and singing. They were ranked according to their level of training and experience, much like the geisha that still exist today. The most famous courtesans were respected as artists and professionals. They were also made famous through their depiction in plays, fiction, and the visual arts. Indeed, many became movie-star-like trendsetters. Men wanting to meet with a high-ranking courtesan had to go through an elaborate and expensive process of courting her before he could even lay eyes on her. Technically, the pleasure quarters were enclaves for commoners. Samurai were banned on the grounds that they were supposed to be upright, moral, and frugal characters with no time for crass indulgences. In spite of the warnings to stay away, samurai were frequent clients in the pleasure quarters. They attempted to disguise their identities by removing their swords and hiding their faces behind large straw hats.

The pleasure quarters could be extremely costly. Contemporary sources are filled with tales of wealthy merchants and samurai who drove themselves to financial ruin after falling in love with a courtesan. Indeed, the dilemmas of love and money were the fodder for many writers and artists of the Genroku period and later. This period saw the development not only of woodblock prints, or ukiyo-e, but also the emergence of the first great popular writers and dramatists. Two examples are Ihara Saikaku (1642-93) in prose fiction and ChikamatsuMonzaemon (1653-1725) in drama. Saikaku was an Osaka merchant and amateur poet who late in life turned to writing fiction. Most of his stories are based on the lives of Osaka commoners. Saikaku’s stories cover two general topics: love and money. They often have a light-handed, somewhat parodic moral message to them. The first of his works of prose fiction, Life of a Sensuous Man (Koshokuichidaiotoko, 1682), is written in 54 chapters. (That this was a parody of the structure of MurasakiShikibu’s eleventh-century classic The Tale of Genji would have been obvious to his audience.) The book was a commercial success, thus inspiring the rest of Saikaku’s early stories on similar themes from the perspectives of both men and women. Saikaku’s stories dramatized the lives of common city people, their obsession with making and spending money, and their free spirited nature, which led them into various sorts of romantic and financial binds. Saikaku almost single-handedly raised merchant life, previously seen as tedious and mundane, to the level of art.
ChikamatsuMonzaemon wrote mainly for the theater, both kabuki and bunraku (puppet theater). Chikamatsu’s texts were written to be narrated or sung with musical accompaniment. They featured high drama, with twists and turns of plot. Early in his career, Chikamatsu wrote about contemporary events like the “great political disturbances” (oiesodo) in military households. These works chronicled conflicts between rightful rulers and unlawful usurpers. Later on, Chikamatsu turned to more commoner-centered dramas. These focused on emotional conflicts, often conflicts between social duty or obligation (giri) and human feeling (ninjo). He is most famous for his plays dealing with “love suicides” (shinju). Love suicides were a real-life phenomenon in which two lovers, committed to other people or occupations (the woman was often a courtesan, the man often a married merchant), resolve to die together rather than live apart. Plays based on this theme, such as Chikamatsu’s classic Love Suicides at Amijima (Shinju ten no Amijima, 1721), were extremely popular. The essential conflict represented in shinju tales, a conflict that pulls an individual in two irreconcilable directions, was at the core of most Tokugawa drama. Often, the only solution was death. Love suicide was seen to be the ultimate demonstration of love and devotion. It provided a kind of commoner’s version of the samurai’s seppuku, or suicide for honor.
The themes of honor and sacrifice inherent in such highly dramatic stories made commoners feel their culture had something in common with that of the elites. Yet there is a distinct commoner twist to these ideas. This twist both honors and degrades the great samurai tradition of self-sacrifice. Actual incidents of love suicide seem to have proliferated in the late 1600s, perhaps becoming even more common in the 1700s. They became a cultural fad encouraged by the romanticization of the act on stage. In 1722, the shogunate forbade the treatment of shinju on stage, seeing it as an offense against proper family order. The phenomenon of love suicide-both actual and staged-brings to the fore the issue of cultural fads and their spread: How, exactly, did ideas circulate?
Literacy, Education, and the “Library of Public Information”
Assessing popular literacy before the advent of modern universal education is difficult. Historians use many techniques to estimate the nature and level of literacy in pre- and early-modern societies. Still, their findings are often tentative. Among the most common techniques is analyzing signatures on official documents (wills, marriage records, etc.) as a measure of people’s ability to write. Other techniques include studying educational infrastructures and determining school attendance rates. Historians also look at data on cultural phenomena such as publishing and circulation of books and other printed matter.
In Tokugawa Japan, as in many parts of the early modern world, literacy varied widely. Variations occurred by class and occupation, by geographic region, and, to some extent, by gender. The ruling elites, Buddhist and Shinto clergy, and commoner intellectuals on the fringes of the elite (Confucian scholars, doctors, and minor officials) tended to be quite learned. They possessed considerable knowledge of Japanese and Sino-Japanese (or kanbun, the style of writing derived from classical Chinese, which was used in formal discourse). They also knew the classical works of both the Japanese and Chinese literary and philosophical traditions. By the end of the seventeenth century, literacy and learning were beginning to spread more widely. Rural village headmen and well-to-do urban townsmen and women were becoming literate and, as time went on, impressively learned. These people became the primary consumers of popular literature and of the arts.
The infrastructure for popular education developed considerably in the Tokugawa period. Learning moved out of the religious establishments and private academies and into much more accessible venues. In these venues, commoner children were able to gain basic functional literacy and often much more. The demand for books was thus extremely high. Publishers in the major cities churned out texts of all sorts. While Buddhist and Confucian texts remained the mainstays of highbrow publishing, many more publishers produced for the general reading audience. Illustrated fiction and poetry were popular. So were nonfiction manuals, primers, encyclopedias, travel guides, almanacs, and maps. As printed materials circulated among ever-greater numbers of readers, they conditioned in people certain patterns of thought and ultimately of behavior. As one scholar has put it, there emerged in Tokugawa Japan a broad-based and widely read “library of public information,” which produced commonly held forms of social knowledge (Berry 2006, 13, 17).
When faced with the question of precisely what percentages of what sorts of people were literate, historians do not give a precise answer. The data simply is not conclusive. The best we can do is point to figures that may serve as broad indicators of the dimensions of literacy. Among samurai, who made up 6 to 7 percent of the population, literacy was almost universal and generally of a very high level. The degree of learning varied, however, according to rank, office, and wealth. There are accounts of illiterate samurai, especially later in the Tokugawa period. These cases occurred among the lowest, most impoverished ranks. Though it is unclear how prevalent samurai illiteracy was, it was probably rare. It was certainly the source of great shame for the unlettered individual and his family.
High literacy is common in an elite ruling class. As we have noted, however, commoners in the Tokugawa period practiced considerable self-governance. The Tokugawa state was very bureaucratic. Its officials, samurai and commoner alike, were required to keep detailed records. They also had to write a great deal of correspondence. Official duties thus demanded high levels of literacy not only among samurai, but also among the upper strata of urban and rural commoner populations who held such responsible positions as city ward official or village headman. Recent research indicates that, by the end of the seventeenth century, the rural elite-numbering some 200-300,000 out of a total population of around 30 million, or less than 0.1 percent of the population-possessed “extraordinarily high literacy and numeracy” in order to fulfill their many administrative duties (Rubinger 2007, 30).
Below the rural elite were the landowning farmers. Their numbers varied over time and by region. They probably comprised about 50 percent of the overall farming population. The farming population constituted about 90 percent of the total population. Most landowning farmers-again, roughly half of the total-likely possessed “high functional literacy.” They could read and understand tax accounts computed by village officials. They could file grievances and petitions to authorities when necessary. Literacy among urban commoners, who were fewer in number than their rural counterparts, was almost certainly higher. Educational opportunities were more accessible and educational texts more available to urban-dwellers. Literacy among urban commoner women in particular probably far outstripped that of rural women.
Literacy and education were by no means monopolized by the elite in Tokugawa Japan. Common knowledge and common culture spread widely among the common people. This widening of the knowledge base greatly facilitated the subsequent development of the modern industrial nation-state.
The Discontented and the End of an Era
In other times and places, learning among the common people has been a recipe for dissent. Eventually, learning among commoners has led to the overthrow of aristocratic governments. This was not true in Tokugawa Japan. Unrest did occur. Peasant protest in particular was widespread and sometimes intense in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Ultimately, however, those responsible for overthrow of the Tokugawa regime were members of the ruling class itself: the samurai. This kind of “aristocratic revolution” is unusual in world history.
Why and how did samurai overthrow a government that was ostensibly created in their own interest? To answer this question, one must first look at which samurai became involved in the movement to overthrow the shogunate and “restore” the emperor. The major actors were low-ranking samurai from the tozama domains. Particularly involved were the powerful and autonomous domains of Satsuma in southernmost Kyushu, Choshu in far western Honshu, and Tosa on Shikoku. Low-ranking samurai had long observed that the system of rank and office under the Tokugawa had become entirely hereditary. They believed it did not sufficiently take merit into account. One born into a family of low rank could never expect to obtain an official appointment or rise to a position of any power or wealth. Moreover, many low-ranking samurai felt themselves to be abler than those of higher birth. Those of higher birth glided into office by virtue of blood right. Many of the low-ranking samurai were not afraid to speak their minds. In the later Tokugawa period, the phrase daimyogei, or “a daimyo’s skill,” came to indicate someone or something entirely lacking in talent or quality.
Samurai grievances were compounded by the events of the early decades of the nineteenth century. Bad crop harvests in the 1830s resulted in widespread famine, disease, and death. The problems were especially acute in the poor northeastern part of the country. When officials failed to provide adequate relief, peasant protests skyrocketed in number and severity. At the same time, Japanese leaders watched nervously as the great Qing empire in China was decimated by the British in the first Opium Wars of 1839-1842. China was thereafter “carved up like a melon” by the other Western powers. The Japanese had already fended off advances by the Russians in the 1790s and early 1800s and by the British in the 1820s. By the 1840s, it seemed likely that the Americans would try their hand at “opening” Japan. In 1853, a U.S. naval delegation led by Commodore Matthew C. Perry arrived with demands from U.S. President Millard Fillmore. Fillmore demanded that Japan agree to trade and diplomatic relations with the United States. The shogun was given a half-year to consider Perry’s request. Observers, especially powerful daimyo, saw that the shogunate had no new ideas about how to handle the foreign threat, much less the domestic problems wracking the country. In the end, shogunal officials agreed, in spite of the emperor’s disapproval, to sign trade and diplomatic treaties with the United States. As in China, the terms gave great advantages to the Western powers. Japan was relegated to semi-colonial status.
For pro-imperial, anti-shogunal forces, the foreign crises, in particular the signing of the treaty with the United States, were the last straw. Plans to overthrow the Tokugawa regime began in earnest in the 1860s. Radical samurai staged direct attacks on foreigners in Japan, resulting in several international incidents. The most serious of these incidents sparked the bombardment of domains in Satsuma and Choshu by Western naval forces. Finally, in January 1868, combined military forces of the domains of Satsuma and Choshu marched into Kyoto, took control of the imperial palace, and proclaimed the restoration of the emperor and the abolition of the Tokugawa shogunate. Court nobles and daimyo would form a new government in place of the old. Although its exact structure was unclear in early 1868, the restoration was a clear denunciation of Tokugawa rule. The last shogun, Tokugawa Yoshinobu (or Keiki), retreated to Edo. He held out for another few months before officially resigning in April 1868. Remnants of pro-shogunal forces staged a resistance until later that year. They were ultimately defeated.
Although the Tokugawa regime ended in 1868, it bequeathed a deep and rich political, economic, and cultural legacy to modern Japan. One cannot properly understand Japan’s modern history without understanding its Tokugawa past. Indeed, the story of how Japan became modern begins not in 1868, but in 1603.
Sources Cited
Berry, Mary Elizabeth, Japan in Print: Information and Nation in the Early Modern Period (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006).
Rubinger, Richard, Popular Literacy in Early Modern Japan (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2007).
Sansom, G.B., Japan: A Short Cultural History (New York: Century, 1932).
Totman, Conrad, Japan Before Perry: A Short History (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1981).
Notes
The Tokugawa Political Settlement
For a biography of Oda Nobunaga, see JeroenLamers, JaponiusTyrannus: The Japanese Warlord Oda Nobunaga Reconsidered (Leiden: Hotei Publishing, 2001).
For a biography of Hideyoshi, see Mary Elizabeth Berry, Hideyoshi (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1982).
For a useful and visually rich (hundreds of illustrations, graphs and maps) survey of the founding and development of the city of Edo, see Akira Naito, Edo, the City That Became Tokyo: An Illustrated History (New York: Kodansha International, 2003).
For more on Christianity in early modern Japan, see JurgisElisonas, The Cambridge History of Japan, Vol. 4: Early Modern Japan (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988); for a study of international relations and diplomacy in the Tokugawa period that refutes the idea that Tokugawa Japan was a “closed country,” see Ronald P. Toby, State and Diplomacy in Early Modern Japan: Asia in the Development of the Tokugawa Bakufu (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1984).
Historians have characterized the type of government practiced in the Tokugawa period in various ways: “an integrated yet decentralized state structure,” the “compound state,” and Edwin O. Reischauer’s celebrated oxymoron “centralized feudalism” are only a few of the often awkward terms devised to describe the essential Tokugawa balance of authority and autonomy. “Integrated yet decentralized state structure” comes from Eiko Ikegami, The Taming of the Samurai: Honorific Individualism and the Making of Early Modern Japan (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1995), pp. 164-176. Ikegami also uses the term “neo-feudal” in a comparative context. “The compound state” is used by Mark Ravina, following Mizubayashi Takeshi, in “State-building and Political Economy in Early-modern Japan,” Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. 54, No. 4 (November 1995), pp. 997-1022. “Centralized feudalism” appears in Edwin O. Reischauer, “Japanese Feudalism,” in Rushton Coulborn, ed., Feudalism in History (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1956).
Economic Growth and Social Change
When speaking in aggregate demographic or economic terms, it is important to note that growth and decline, whether in terms of population or economy, varied considerably in terms of geographic region. In general, the most economically advanced and prosperous areas of the country were the Kinai Plain, the area of central-western Honshu surrounding the cities of Kyoto and Osaka; northern Kyushu; and, by the mid-Tokugawa period, the Kanto Plain area around the city of Edo. By contrast, the most economically backward and poor areas of Japan tended to be found in the northeast, in what is today called the Tohoku region and in the Tokugawa period was comprised of the large province of Dewa and Mutsu.
The Emergence of Commoner Culture
For a partial translation of Saikaku’sLife of a Sensuous Man, see HaruoShirane, ed., Early Modern Japanese Literature: An Anthology, 1600-1900 (New York: Columbia University Press, 2003), pp. 45-57.
A full translation of Chikamatsu’sLove Suicides at Amijima can be found in Donald Keene, Four Major Plays of Chikamatsu (New York: Columbia University Press, 1988).
Literacy, Education, and the Library of Public Information
In his recent study of popular literacy in early modern Japan, Richard Rubinger argues that “…the Japanese data demonstrate that in certain circumstances geography may be a more influential variable with respect to literacy attainment than gender.” See Richard Rubinger, Popular Literacy in Early Modern Japan (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2007), p. 7.
For an absorbing account of a ne’er-do-well samurai in the early 19th century who claimed to have overcome illiteracy in order to write his autobiography of sorts, see KatsuKokichi, Musui’s Story: The Autobiography of a Tokugawa Samurai, translated by Teruko Craig (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1988).
The definition of 90 percent of Japan’s population as farmers is based on the estimate that by 1700, roughly 10 percent of Japan’s population lived in cities with populations over 10,000; half of that 10 percent lived in cities with populations over 100,000. By comparison, only 2 percent of Europeans lived in cities of over 100,000. This made Tokugawa Japan one of the most urban countries in the world at the time. Figures on urbanization are from Andrew Gordon, A Modern History of Japan: From Tokugawa Times to the Present (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003), p. 23.
The Discontented and the End of an Era
The term “aristocratic revolution” comes from Thomas C. Smith, “Japan’s Aristocratic Revolution,” in Native Sources of Japanese Industrialization, 1750-1920 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988), pp. 133-147.
For more on the debate on merit, see Thomas C. Smith, “‘Merit’ as Ideology in the Tokugawa Period,” in Native Sources of Japanese Industrialization, op. cit., p. 169.

Copyright (c) 2010 Program for Teaching East Asia, University of Colorado. Permission is given to reproduce this essay for classroom use only. Other reproduction is prohibited without written permission from the Program for Teaching East Asia.
http://www.colorado.edu/cas/TEA/curriculum/imaging-japanese-history/tokugawa/essay.html

After serving a brief, undistinguished term as Japan’s prime minister in 2006-7, Shinzo Abe seemed destined for the political sidelines. Then, last December, he surged back into the limelight, retaking office in a landslide victory. The return to power of his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) — which has run Japan for 54 of the last 58 years, including most of the last two “lost decades” — initially worried investors and pundits. But Abe immediately embarked on an ambitious campaign to revive Japan’s economy, and, some six months later, his efforts seem to be paying off. On the foreign policy front, however, Abe — known in opposition as a conservative nationalist — has sparked controversy by seeming to question Japan’s wartime record. In mid-May, as tensions were rising with Japan’s powerful neighbors, he spoke with Foreign Affairs managing editor Jonathan Tepperman in Tokyo.
This is your second tenure as prime minister. Your first was not so successful, but this time, everything seems different: your approval rating is over 70 percent, and the stock market is at a five-year high. What lessons did you learn from your past mistakes, and what are you doing differently this time?
When I served as prime minister last time, I failed to prioritize my agenda. I was eager to complete everything at once, and ended my administration in failure.
After resigning, for six years I traveled across the nation simply to listen. Everywhere, I heard people suffering from having lost jobs due to lingering deflation and currency appreciation. Some had no hope for the future. So it followed naturally that my second administration should prioritize getting rid of deflation and turning around the Japanese economy.
Let’s say that I have set the priorities right this time to reflect the concerns of the people, and the results are increasingly noticeable, which may explain the high approval ratings.
I have also started to use social media networks like Facebook. Oftentimes, the legacy media only partially quote what politicians say. This has prevented the public from understanding my true intentions. So I am now sending messages through Facebook and other networks directly to the public.
So that way you get to bypass journalists?
Sort of [laughs]. No, I attach importance to face-to-face interviews like this one, and I have never been media shy. My point was that what I actually mean sometimes gets lost when it is only partially — even mistakenly — quoted.
You’ve said that your economic agenda is your top priority. Abenomics has three “arrows”: a 10 trillion yen fiscal stimulus, inflation targeting, and structural reform. You’ve fired the first two arrows already. What will the third look like?
The third arrow is about a growth strategy, which should be led by three key concepts: challenge, openness, and innovation. First, you need to envision what kind of Japan you wish to have. That is a Japan that cherishes those three concepts. Then, you get to see areas where you excel. Take health care, for instance. My country has good stock, which enables Japanese to live longer than most others. Why not use medical innovation, then, both to boost the economy and to contribute to the welfare of the rest of the world?
My recent trip to Russia and the Middle East assured me that there is much room out there for Japan’s medical industries. The same could be said for technologies to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, of which Japan has plenty. But to foster innovation, you must remain open.
But Japan has constraints on its economy that keep it from growing: high agricultural subsidies, overregulation, underutilization of women, a poor immigration policy. Past prime ministers have tried to deal with these problems and have run into a wall. What reforms will you focus on?
Time is not on our side. Prolonged deflation and the resulting economic stagnation that has lasted for 15 years have kept my country almost standing still, while the rest of the world has gone far. This is the last chance for us, and the sense of urgency is therefore enormous. It’s shared more widely than ever before among my fellow lawmakers.
True, agriculture still matters, not only as an industry but also for keeping Japan’s social fabric well knit. But my approach is to make it stronger and export-oriented. Japanese farmlands are endowed with rich natural attractions. Let them simply be sold more to the world. Where necessary, we will cut red tape, for sure. More investment in core technologies is also important, as is foreign direct investment in Japan. We must do all this now, in one fell swoop.
As for openness, of special note is my decision on the TPP [Trans-Pacific Partnership]. Previous administrations were indecisive. I decided to enter into the TPP negotiations. Of course, the agricultural lobby is fiercely against it, and agricultural associations are among the biggest and most important supporters of the LDP. So we are working hard to bring them along. If we don’t change, there won’t be any future for Japanese agriculture, or for Japan’s regions and local communities.
You’ve launched a major stimulus program that has been successful so far. But aren’t you worried about Japan’s debt, which is already at 220 to 230 percent of GDP?
Japan is facing an extremely rapid decline in birthrates, and Japan’s national income has lost as much as 50 trillion yen due to prolonged deflation. Put those together, and you get a much smaller tax base. That is why we are facing a very difficult financial situation, and that was the core concern that led my government to launch the “three arrow” recovery plan.
The bond repurchase and interest payments aside, the government’s current spending must meet its annual tax revenue. To achieve that balance remains our first priority, and we have made an international pledge to do so. By fiscal year 2015, we are going to halve our primary-balance deficit, and by 2020, we will achieve balance. To do so, we have to increase tax revenue. We also need to end the deflationary cycle. And we have to achieve economic growth.
We also need to improve the efficiency of government expenditures. We have decided to increase the consumption tax rate, which is important to sustain our social security services. I know that the current situation is difficult, and the world economy will have ups and downs. But that is the mandate I was given, and we are elbowing our way through.
It sometimes seems like there are two different ShinzoAbes: the nationalist or conservative Abe, who does controversial things, such as support history textbook revision, question the comfort women issue, or question the legitimacy of the Allied war crimes tribunal, and the pragmatic Abe, who reaches out to China and South Korea and who has been careful not to escalate tensions over the Senkaku Islands. In recent weeks, both have been on display: first, you seemed to question in the Diet whether Japan was the aggressor in World War II, and then, a week later, you acknowledged the suffering that Japan caused during the war. Which is the real Abe, and how should people interpret the shifts between the two?
As I said at the outset, I have had my remarks only partially or mistakenly quoted by the mainstream media. Let me set the record straight. Throughout my first and current terms as prime minister, I have expressed a number of times the deep remorse that I share for the tremendous damage and suffering Japan caused in the past to the people of many countries, particularly in Asia. I have explicitly said that, yet it made few headlines.
Do you accept that Japan was the aggressor when it invaded China, when it invaded Korea, and when it attacked the United States in World War II?
I have never said that Japan has not committed aggression. Yet at the same time, how best, or not, to define “aggression” is none of my business. That’s what historians ought to work on. I have been saying that our work is to discuss what kind of world we should create in the future.
It always seems to cause problems when you talk about history, so why not just avoid it? And let me ask a related question: In order to put these issues aside, can you promise that as prime minister, you will not visit Yasukuni Shrine in either your official or your private capacity?
I never raised the issue of history myself. During [recent] deliberations in the Diet, I faced questions from other members, and I had to answer them. When doing so, I kept saying that the issue is one for historians, since otherwise you could politicize it or turn it into a diplomatic issue.
About the Yasukuni Shrine, let me humbly urge you to think about your own place to pay homage to the war dead, Arlington National Cemetery, in the United States. The presidents of the United States go there, and as Japan’s prime minister, I have visited. Professor Kevin Doak of Georgetown University points out that visiting the cemetery does not mean endorsing slavery, even though Confederate soldiers are buried there. I am of a view that we can make a similar argument about Yasukuni, which enshrines the souls of those who lost their lives in the service of their country.
But with all due respect, there are 13 Class A war criminals buried at Yasukuni, which is why it makes China and South Korea crazy when Japanese prime ministers go there. Wouldn’t it be easier just to promise not to go?
I think it’s quite natural for a Japanese leader to offer prayer for those who sacrificed their lives for their country, and I think this is no different from what other world leaders do.
After Yasukuni enshrined the souls of the Class A criminals, China and South Korea did not make any claims about visits there for some years. Then suddenly, they started opposing the visits. So I will not say whether I will visit or refrain from visiting the shrine.
You said in January that there is no room for negotiation over the Senkaku Islands. If you take such an inflexible position and China takes such an inflexible position, there will be no progress. So what is the solution?
Seven years ago, as prime minister, I chose China as the first destination for an official visit. On that occasion, I agreed with the Chinese leaders that both countries would strive for a mutually beneficial relationship based on common strategic interests. I conveyed to the Chinese that Japan and China enjoy an inseparable relationship, especially in terms of economic ties. And I believe that it is wrong to close down all aspects of the bilateral relationship because of a single issue — it would not be a smart move. That is why I always keep the door open for dialogue. I think China should come back to the starting point of the mutually beneficial relationship the two countries agreed on.
As for the Senkaku Islands, Japan incorporated them back in 1895, after taking measures in accordance with international law. And it was not until 1971 that China made its territorial claims over the islands. The Senkaku Islands are an integral part of Japanese territory, based on both history and international law. Only after keeping silent for 76 years, and after the United Nations referred to the possible existence of natural resources underneath the adjacent seabed, did China start making their territorial claims, rather abruptly.
Since 2008, the Chinese side has been dispatching official or naval vessels to intrude into Japanese territorial waters. The phenomenon is older and more deeply rooted than may meet the eye. There is no question that we have to address the issue in the most professional manner, and I have instructed the whole of my government to respond to the situation in the calmest manner possible. And we are [still] saying that we will always keep the door open for dialogue.
But what are you willing to do to resolve the problem? Cui Tiankai, the new Chinese ambassador to the United States, told me recently that the best thing would be to just ignore the sovereignty issue and return to the status quo where China and Japan agree to disagree.
That Chinese claim means Japan should admit that there exists an issue of territorial sovereignty to be resolved. We can never let this argument take place. The Chinese side has been using a similar argument against Vietnam and the Philippines to gain control over islands in the South China Sea. And recently, on May 8, China’s People’s Daily published an article questioning the status of Okinawa itself.
We have never agreed with the Chinese to shelve the issue of the Senkaku Islands. To say that we have in the past is a complete lie by the Chinese.
Given the rise of China and its more aggressive behavior, are you still confident in the U.S. security relationship, or do you feel that Japan needs to be doing more to protect itself? And is this why you’re interested in revising Japan’s constitution?
Of course, I have full confidence in the Japanese-U.S. alliance — one hundred percent. After the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011, the United States dispatched a total of 20,000 military personnel; even under difficult circumstances, the United States offered to cooperate in Japan’s reconstruction efforts. That is a true reflection of our relationship. And we fully welcome and happily support the strategic rebalancing by the United States toward Asia.
But at the same time, Japan is also willing to fulfill its responsibilities. Over the past ten years, my country has continued to cut its defense budget. China, on the other hand, has increased its military spending 30-fold in the last 23 years. Therefore, this year, for the first time in 11 years, my government chose to slightly increase the defense budget. That is a sign of Japan’s willingness to fulfill its own responsibility.
With regard to the issue of the right to collective self-defense, imagine that U.S. vessels on the high seas were being attacked and an armed ship, say an Aegis-type destroyer, from Japan, America’s treaty ally, was just passing by. The arrangement we currently have in Japan does not allow the destroyer to make any response whatsoever. That is insane.
So do you want to change Article 9 [the pacifist clause in Japan’s constitution] to address this?
To amend the constitution requires overcoming a high hurdle: we would have to get the approval of at least two-thirds of the members of the Japanese parliament and later a simple majority in a national referendum.
Yet the fact remains that Japan is the only country in the world that does not call its defense organizations a military. That is absurd, when the government is spending a total of 5 trillion yen [a year] for self-defense.
I think that our constitution should stipulate that our Self-Defense Forces are military forces (as it currently does not) and should also stipulate the long-established principles of civilian control and pacifism. Even if we reactivated the right to have a collective self-defense or amended Article 9 of the constitution, that would only put Japan in the same position as other countries around the globe. We should address this issue in a restrained manner. Even if we amended the constitution and were able to exercise the right to collective self-defense, we would still be in a more limited position than the Canadians.
So to be clear, do you want to change the constitution to make collective self-defense easier?
I would like to see the constitution amended, and my party has already published a draft proposal for the amendment of the constitution, including Article 9.
Why does the majority of the Japanese public still oppose constitutional revision?
More than 50 percent of Japanese nationals support the idea of changing the constitution [in general], while less than 50 percent support the amendment of Article 9. But polls also indicate that once told the rationale in more detail, they turn in favor of amendment.
So you think they just don’t understand the issue?
Only 30 percent of the people support enabling the right to use force for collective self-defense. But when we present a specific case involving, for instance, a missile launch by North Korea, and we explain to the public that Japan could shoot down missiles targeting Japan, but not missiles targeting the U.S. island of Guam, even though Japan has the ability to do so, then more than 60 percent of the public acknowledges that this is not right.
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-pacific-15219730
15 August 2014 Last updated at 10:04
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Japan profile
* Overview
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A chronology of key events:
1894 – Japan goes to war with China. Japan’s better equipped forces win victory in just nine months.
1895 – China cedes Taiwan to Japan and permits Japan to trade in China.
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Capital: Tokyo

Quake-prone Tokyo lies at the intersection of continental plates
* Comprises the ‘shi’ (inner city) and ‘to’ (metropolis)
* Population: 12.4 million (2003 estimate)
* Japan’s 2011 earthquake
1904 – Japan goes to war with Russia. Japanese victory in 1905.
1910 – Japan annexes Korea after three years of fighting. Japan is now one of the world’s great powers.
1914 – Japan joins World War I on the side of Britain and her allies. Japan has limited participation.
1919 – Treaty of Versailles gives Japan some territorial gains in the Pacific.
1923 – Earthquake in Tokyo region kills more than 100,000 people.
1925 – Universal male suffrage is instituted. The electorate increases fivefold.
Ultra-nationalism and war
Late 1920s – Extreme nationalism begins to take hold in Japan. The emphasis is on a preservation of traditional Japanese values, and a rejection of “Western” influence.
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World’s oldest monarchy

Emperor Akihito, heads the world’s oldest hereditary monarchy
* Until 1945 emperors had the status of living gods
* Currently, only males can succeed to the throne
* Princess Kiko gave birth to a baby boy in September 2006, potentially resolving a succession crisis
* Royal birth sparks succession debate
1931 – Japan invades Manchuria, renames it and installs a puppet regime.
1932 – Japanese prime minister is assassinated by ultra-nationalist terrorists. The military holds increasing influence in the country.
1936 – Japan signs an anti-communist agreement with Nazi Germany. It concludes a similar agreement with Italy in 1937.
1937 – Japan goes to war with China. By the end of the year, Japan has captured Shanghai, Beijing and Nanjing. Japanese forces commit atrocities, including the “Rape of Nanjing”, in which up to 300,000 Chinese civilians are said to have been killed.
1939 – Outbreak of World War II in Europe. With the fall of France to Nazi Germany in 1940, Japan moves to occupy French Indo-China.
Attack on Pearl Harbor
1941 – Japan launches a surprise attack on the US Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Twelve ships are sunk, with a further 9 damaged; nearly 2,500 people are killed. The US and its main allies declare war on Japan the following day.
1942 – Japan occupies a succession of countries, including the Philippines, Dutch East Indies, Burma and Malaya. In June, US aircraft carriers defeat the Japanese at the Battle of Midway. The US begins a strategy of “‘island-hopping”, cutting the Japanese support lines as its forces advance.
1944 – US forces are near enough to Japan to start bombing raids on Japanese cities.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki
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Atomic attacks

Devastation at Hiroshima: Atomic attacks are said to have forced Japan’s WWII surrender
* Hiroshima survivors keep memories alive
* 1945: US drops atomic bomb on Hiroshima
* 1945: Atom bomb hits Nagasaki
1945 – US planes drop two atomic bombs, one on Hiroshima (6 August), the second on Nagasaki (9 August). Emperor Hirohito surrenders and relinquishes his divine status. Japan is placed under US military government. All Japanese military and naval forces are disbanded.
1947 – A new constitution comes into force. It establishes a parliamentary system, with all adults eligible to vote. Japan renounces war and pledges not to maintain land, sea or air forces for that purpose. The emperor is granted ceremonial status.
1951 – Japan signs peace treaty with the US and other nations. To this day, there is no peace treaty with Russia, as the legal successor to the Soviet Union.
Independence
1952 – Japan regains its independence. The US retains several islands for military use, including Okinawa.
1955 – Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) formed. Apart from a brief interlude in the early 1990s, the party governs almost uninterruptedly for the rest of the century and beyond.
1956 – Japan joins United Nations.
1964 – Olympic Games held in Tokyo.
1972 – Japanese prime minister visits China and normal diplomatic relations are resumed. Japan subsequently closes its embassy in Taiwan.
Okinawa is returned to Japanese sovereignty, but US retains bases there.
1982 – Japanese car firm Honda opens its first plant in the US.
1989 – Emperor Hirohito dies, succeeded by Akihito.
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AumShinrikyo cult

* 1995 attack on the Tokyo underground claimed 12 lives, injured more than 5,500
* AumShinrikyo was founded by Shoko Asahara in 1987 and drew thousands of followers
* Asahara was sentenced to death in 2004 over the Tokyo attack
* Aum’s lingering legacy
* Rise of Japanese cults
1993 July – Elections held against a background of bribery scandals and economic decline see the LDP ousted for the first time since 1955. A seven-party coalition takes power.
1993 August – Government issues historic “Kono statement” apologising for Japanese military’s war-time use of sex slaves.
1994 – The anti-LDP coalition collapses. An administration supported by the LDP and the Socialists takes over.
Natural and man-made disasters
1995 January – An earthquake hits central Japan, killing thousands and causing widespread damage. The city of Kobe is hardest hit.
1995 March – A religious sect, AumShinrikyo, releases the deadly nerve gas sarin on the Tokyo underground railway system. Twelve people are killed and thousands are injured.
Rape of a local schoolgirl by US servicemen based on Okinawa sparks mass protests demanding the removal of US forces from the island.
1997 – The economy enters a severe recession.
1998 – KeizoObuchi of the LDP becomes prime minister.
2000 – Obuchi suffers a stroke and is replaced by Yoshiro Mori. Obuchi dies six weeks later.
2001 March – Mori announces his intention to resign as LDP leader and prime minister.
2001 March – A Japanese court overturns a compensation order for Korean women forced to work as sex slaves during WW II. The ruling causes outrage in South Korea, but is in line with Tokyo’s argument that it need not pay compensation to the women as all claims were settled by peace treaties that formally ended the war.
Koizumi at helm
2001 April – Junichiro Koizumi becomes new LDP leader and prime minister.
2001 April – Trade dispute with China after Japan imposes import tariffs on Chinese agricultural products. China retaliates with import taxes on Japanese vehicles and other manufactured goods.
2001 August- Koizumi pays homage at the Yasukuni shrine dedicated to the country’s war dead, provoking protests from Japan’s neighbours. The memorial also honours war criminals.
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Yasukuni shrine
* Remembers Japan’s 2.5m war dead
* Monument also venerates convicted war criminals
* Ceremonies at the shrine raise hackles across Asia
* Japan’s controversial shrine
2001 October – Koizumi visits Seoul and offers an apology for the suffering South Korea endured under his country’s colonial rule.
2001 December – Birth of Japan’s new princess – first child of Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako – reignites debate over male-only succession law.
2002 September – Koizumi becomes the first Japanese leader to visit North Korea. North Korean leader Kim Jong-ilapologises for abductions of Japanese citizens in 1970s and 1980s and confirms that eight of them are dead.
2002 October – Five Japanese nationals kidnapped by North Korea return home to emotional family reunions.
2003 December – Government announces decision to install “purely defensive” US-made missile shield.
Iraq deployment
2004 February – Non-combat soldiers arrive in Iraq in first Japanese deployment in combat zone since World War II.
2004 September – Japan, along with Brazil, Germany and India, launches an application for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.
2004 October – More than 30 people are killed in powerful earthquakes in the north, the deadliest quakes in almost a decade.
2004 December – Dispute with North Korea over the fate of Japanese citizens kidnapped by North Korea during the Cold War. Pyongyang says any imposition of sanctions by Tokyo will be treated as declaration of war.
2005 April – Relations with Beijing deteriorate amid sometimes-violent anti-Japanese protests in Chinese cities, sparked by a Japanese textbook which China says glosses over Japan’s World War II record.
2005 September – PM Koizumi wins a landslide victory in early general elections called after the upper house rejects plans to privatise the postal service – the key part of his reform agenda. Parliament approves the legislation in October.
2006 July – The last contingent of Japanese troops leaves Iraq.
Abe takes over
2006 September – Shinzo Abe succeeds Junichiro Koizumi as prime minister.
2006 December – Parliament approves the creation of a fully-fledged defence ministry, the first since World War II.
2007 April – Wen Jiabao becomes the first Chinese prime minister to address the Japanese parliament. Mr Wen says both sides have succeeded in warming relations.
2007 July – The ruling LDP suffers a crushing defeat in upper house elections.
2007 August – On the 62nd anniversary of Japan’s surrender in World War II, almost the entire cabinet stays away from the Yasukuni shrine. Prime Minister Abe says he has no plans to visit the shrine for as long as the issue continues to be a diplomatic problem.
Abe steps down
2007 September – Prime Minister Shinzo Abe resigns, is replaced by Yasuo Fukuda.
2007 November – A Japanese whaling fleet sets sail on a six-month mission Tokyo describes as scientific research. Australia and other nations call the programme a front for commercial whaling.
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Shinto religion

* Shinto rites are central to the daily life of followers
* Rigidly enforced state religion until the 1950s
* Followers venerate “kami”, spirits who number in the millions
* Shinto has no founder, major scriptures or ethical laws
* Tens of thousands of Shinto shrines dot the country
* BBC Religion and Ethics – Shinto
2008 June – The opposition-controlled upper house passes a censure motion against Mr Fukuda for his handling of domestic issues, but the lower house backs a confidence motion in him.
Japan and China reach a deal for the joint development of a gas field in the East China Sea, resolving a four-year-old dispute.
2008 September – Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda resigns. Former foreign minister Taro Aso appointed as new premier.
2008 November – General Toshio Tamogami, head of Japan’s air force, loses his job after writing an essay seeking to justify Japan’s role in the second world war.
2009 February – Economics Minister Kaoru Yosano says Japan is facing worst economic crisis since World War II, after figures show its economy shrank by 3.3% in last quarter.
Finance Minister Shoichi Nakagawa resigns amid claims that he was drunk at a G7 meeting.
2009 July – Prime Minister Taro Aso calls an election for 30 August following his party’s emphatic defeat in local elections held in Tokyo.
The outlook for Japan’s economy remains uncertain as consumer confidence increases but fears remain over output and deflation.
LDP defeated
2009 August – Opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) wins general election by a landslide, ending more than 50 years of nearly unbroken rule by the Liberal Democratic Party.
2009 September – DPJ leader Yukio Hatoyama elected PM at head of coalition with Social Democratic Party and People’s New Party.
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Futenma: Controversial base
The US base on Okinawa has been a source of friction between the allies
* No easy answers in Okinawa debate
* Profile: Japan’s Okinawa
2010 January – Prime Minister Hatoyama says Japan may rethink US military bases after a city on Okinawa elects a mayor opposed to hosting a major air base.
2010 March – Japan’s economy grew by less than first estimated in the final quarter of 2009. On an annualised basis, economic growth was 3.8%, down from the initial estimate of 4.6%.
2010 May – PM Yukio Hatoyamaapologises for not keeping an election promise to move the United States’ Futenma military base – unpopular with many locals – from Okinawa.
2010 June – Prime Minister Hatoyama quits. Finance Minister Naoto Kan takes over after a vote in the party’s parliamentary caucus.
2010 July – Ruling coalition loses majority in elections to the upper house of parliament.
2010 September – Diplomatic row erupts with China over Japan’s arrest of Chinese trawler crew in disputed waters in East China Sea. Japan later frees the crew but rejects Chinese demands for an apology.
Economic woes
2010 October – Japan’s central bank cuts interest rate to almost zero in effort to stimulate faltering economy.
2010 November – Tensions surface with Russia after PM Kancriticises visit by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to the disputed Kuril Islands.
2011 February – Japan is overtaken by China as world’s second-largest economy.
2011 March – Huge offshore earthquake and subsequent tsunami devastate miles of shoreline. Damage to the Fukushima nuclear plant causes a radiation leak that leaves extensive areas uninhabitable and contaminates food supplies.
2011 August – Following severe criticism of his handling of the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear crisis, Prime Minister Naoto Kan steps down. He is succeeded by Yoshihiko Noda.
2011 December – The government announces a relaxation of Japan’s self-imposed ban on arms exports. It says the move will allow the country to supply military equipment for humanitarian missions.
2012 May – Exports rise 10% on the year, the largest increase in 17 months, on the back of sales to the US and China. This eases concerns about the impact of a global slowdown on the economy.
2012 June – The lower house of parliament approves a bill to double sales tax, in order to make up the income tax shortfall caused by an ageing population. The governing Democratic Party splits, but retains its lower house majority.
2012 July – Japan restarts the Ohi nuclear reactor, the first since the meltdown at the Fukushima power plant last year, amid local protests.
Islands rows
2012 August – Japan’s economic growth slows to 0.3% from 1% in the second quarter as eurozone crisis hits exports and domestic consumption.
Japan recalls its ambassador to Seoul in protest at a visit to the Liancourt Rocks by South Korean President Lee Myung-bak. Both countries claim the islets, which Japan calls Takeshima and South Korea calls Dokdo.
2012 September – China cancels ceremonies to mark the 40th anniversary of restored diplomatic relations with Japan because of a public flare-up in a dispute over ownership of a group of islands in the East China Sea administered by Japan as the Senkaku Islands and claimed by China as the Diaoyu Islands. Taiwan also claims the islands.
2012 October – A government audit reports that funds intended for reconstruction after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami were spent on unrelated projects, including roads on Okinawa, an advertising campaign for Japan’s tallest building, and support for whaling research.
2012 December – Opposition conservative Liberal Democratic Party wins landslide in early parliamentary elections. Former prime ministerShinzo Abe forms government on pledge of stimulating economic growth.
2013 February – Tension rises over the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands after a Chinese frigate puts a radar lock on a Japanese naval ship in the area.
2013 May – Exports rise 10.1% – the fastest annual rate since 2010 – thanks to weaker yen, boosting Prime Minister Abe’s economic recovery plan.
2013 July – Prime Minister Abe’s coalition wins upper house elections, giving him control of both houses of parliament – a first for a prime minister in six years.
2013 September – Tokyo is chosen to host the 2020 Olympics.
2013 November – Japan warns that a newly claimed Chinese “air defence identification zone” over disputed islands in the East China Sea is dangerous and could lead to “unpredictable events.”
New security strategy
2013 December – Japan approves the relocation of a US military airbase on its southern island of Okinawa. The base, which houses over 25,000 US troops, will be relocated to a less densely populated part of the island.
Japan’s cabinet approves a new national security strategy and increased defence spending in a move widely seen as aimed at China.
2014 February – Government announces review of evidence used as basis for landmark 1993 apology for war-time use of sex slaves.
The move sparks anger in neighbouring countries and prompts fresh accusations that Japan is seeking to rewrite history.
2014 March – Prime Minister Abe insists the government has no plans to withdraw the 1993 sex slaves apology.
2014 June – Parliament votes outlaw the possession of child pornography, bringing the country into line with other developed countries.
2014 July – Japan’s government approves a landmark change in security policy, paving the way for its military to fight overseas.
A judicial panel recommends that three former executives of the TEPCO utility – that runs the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant – be indicted on criminal charges for their role in the 2011 disaster.
http://web.stanford.edu/~boskin/Publications/Capi-Disc.html
Capitalism and its Discontents: The Adam Smith Address
Michael J. Boskin

I am grateful to the National Association for Business Economics for presenting me with the 1998 Adam Smith Award. I accept the honor humbly, given the impressive roster of former recipients, the importance of the organization awarding it, and, especially, the greatest of all economists for whom it is named.
I had thought of speaking on a subject of particular relevance to my own research or policy experience: difficulties in measurement in a rapidly evolving economy and their implications both for understanding economic progress and for making economic policy; the impact of changing demography on consumption and saving; new ways of thinking about comparing economic performance across countries or of understanding economic growth; or budget, Social Security, and/or tax reform. But recent events, and my remembrance of the broad sweep of Adam Smith’s penetrating insights and analysis of the evolution and comparison of economies, plus his emphasis on the performance of alternative economic systems, have led me to choose a broader and perhaps more fundamental topic: capitalism and its discontents.
THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT IN THE ECONOMY
Adam Smith, regarded by many as the intellectual godfather of modern economics and the case for a decentralized competitive market economy, focused his heaviest guns on mercantilism, a topic, by the way, not without relevance today. In the almost two and a quarter centuries since Smith wrote The Wealth of Nations, economic systems have developed in various forms in different places. Serious scholars as well as a much larger number of pundits have debated their relative economic success and moral underpinnings. Within our own profession, the center of gravity has waxed and waned among different schools of thought and political and economic persuasions. It was not all that long ago that Friedrich Hayek and then Milton Friedman were relatively lonely voices calling for restraining, indeed reducing, the role of government in the economy.(1)
What I would like to do briefly is review a few such episodes in economic and intellectual history, to shine some light on the recent calls for abandoning the capitalist model (or, more accurately, usually some highly distorted caricature of the capitalist model) in favor of some alternative. These episodes include during the Great Depression, communism; in the post-World War II period, market socialism; as recently as the 1980s, the convergence of all economic systems to heavily managed gigantic welfare states; in the 1990s, calls for a “third way,” based on some other system of values; and the almost hysterical recent calls from hedge fund managers, prime ministers, pundits and even economists who should know better to “do something” about “global capitalism.” Commentaries with titles such as The Crisis in Global Capitalism, Global Capitalism RIP, Collapse of Capitalism, Who Lost Capitalism? and The Free Market’s Crisis of Faith deserve a response, for their prescriptions of capital controls and even larger government almost certainly will cause great harm to those the authors claim to want to protect.
My own strongly held belief is that a limited government-based capitalist economic system not only is the system most likely to deliver the greatest economic progress but is the model most consistent with substantial personal economic and political freedom. However, I want to focus primarily on results, to play the role of positive scientist, not moral philosopher, despite the temptation to do so given that Adam Smith himself was a professor of moral philosophy. Let me emphasize that I am discussing large differences in the economic role of government. Criteria for determining the appropriate role of government are discussed below.
THE GREAT DEPRESSION
Many of us are too young to have known from personal experience but recall, from what we were taught and what we read, that, in the Great Depression of the 1930s, a large number of intellectuals and others in Western Europe and North America turned to communism or at least lent it a sympathetic ear, given the horrible destitution of that period. (In the United States, real gross domestic product fell by one-third from 1929 to 1933 and the unemployment rate reached almost 25 percent.)
Many writers had emphasized booms and busts in economic systems or economic history. These were not, of course, confined to the post-Industrial Revolution capitalist market economies. In earlier times, a bad agricultural harvest could devastate a country operating under a monarchy or feudal system. But Marx, and others, had preached the collapse of capitalism and its tendency to exacerbate booms and busts. Whether it is the case that an economic system that leads to substantial economic progress is more subject to episodic downturns than those that do not is an open question, but I know of no convincing study that suggests this is more likely in a modern mixed capitalist economy than in other economic systems.
But the long-run improvement in the standards of living of large segments of the world’s population has been greatest in the capitalist era, as has the correlated evolution of personal freedom. There has never been a period in human history that even remotely compares to the tremendous growth in material wealth and personal freedom in the period since Smith wrote The Wealth of Nations (see D. Landes 1998).
To be sure, large segments of mankind were left behind, both economically and politically. As a gross historical generalization, they were in societies that lacked both economic and political freedoms and competition. Although the capitalist economies have wide dispersions in the distribution of consumption, the average poor family in the United States has a standard of living well beyond that of the average Russian family, for example, and above that of the average American family of a couple of generations ago.(2) And the most entrenched poverty in the American economy occurs in pockets of a quasi-socialist economy, with little competition, private capital, or private incentives, such as inner-city public housing and schools.
Returning to the Great Depression, the most famous economic treatise of the time, Keynes’s General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, was viewed by Keynes himself as an attempt to salvage capitalism itself from the onslaught of communism. While parts of the General Theory have subsequently been questioned, revised, reinterpreted, or rejected, what Keynes saw himself as trying to do was much more than an intellectual exercise explaining how an economy could wind up in a low-level equilibrium with massive unemployment for extended periods of time, something that could not be readily explained in the classical model because wage rates would have fallen or some other mechanism would allow the economy to get back quickly to full employment. Rather, he viewed himself as proposing policies by which modern capitalist economies could mitigate some of the excesses of business cycles (although there is nothing in the periodicity and amplitude of those fluctuations to warrant the term <cycle>) and thereby preserve much of the basic microeconomic structure, individual decision making, and personal freedoms of market economies. Keynesian economics, of course, became an important part of the intellectual justification for the growth of government in the post-World War II era.
POSTWAR GROWTH OF GOVERNMENT
The post-World War II era has seen the expansion of the absolute and relative size of governments in most market economies and democracies. In the United States, for example, in the mid-1950s, during the Eisenhower administration, federal government spending was only $70 billion; today it is more than five times as large in constant dollars and a larger share of GDP. Also during the Eisenhower administration, one out of every seven dollars of the then absolutely and relatively much smaller government spending went to transfer payments; the other six were spent on purchasing goods and services, from defense procurement to the interstate highway system. Today the majority of the much larger absolute and relative size of federal spending, net of interest on the debt, is on transfer payments to people. Thus, it is not only the size but the role of government that has changed.
Of course, in Western Europe, government had become even larger–and done so earlier–than in the United States. By the 1970s, taxes and spending accounted for over half of GDP, massive transfers were undertaken, and substantial regulation, nationalization of key industries, and restrictive labor market rules were implemented or followed. Sweden, often the darling of Western intellectuals because of its economic performance in the early postwar period, had at one time almost 9 percent of its GDP devoted to industrial subsidies! At the same time, we had a communist, authoritarian, centralized, bureaucratic, command-and-control model, most often associated with the Soviet Union and other economies in Eastern Europe but also with important less-developed economies such as China. Not just Hayek and Friedman thought that these economies would collapse from the weight of all this government taxing, spending and regulation, which would not only mean a smaller private sector but substantial stifling of private initiative to work, save, invest, and innovate.
The other alleged “intermediate” model was the market socialism of then Yugoslavia. A popular prediction of politicians, economists, and pundits was that the world’s economic systems would somehow converge somewhere in the region between the Swedish and the Yugoslav economies. The capitalist economies would grow larger welfare states, the communist countries would round off some of their rough edges, and we would all happily converge in the “middle.” This of course was ridiculous and not just in hindsight.
Meanwhile, the United States did experience an explosive growth of government in the 1960s and 1970s, accompanied by high and rising inflation (as the then unindexed tax system dragged a large fraction of the population into higher tax brackets); more regulation (both of traditionally regulated industries and, for social purposes, often of a command-and-control structure); and huge growth and centralization of the government. Still, the total size of government in the U.S. economy relative to Western Europe was modest, about two-thirds as large as measured by the government spending and tax shares of GNP. The same could be said of Japan, the other major industrial economy.
THE CASE OF JAPAN
The rapid growth of Japan led to the next nonsensical attack on the limited-government capitalist model. The Japanese economy grew rapidly in the postwar period up to the 1990s, and the Japanese did many things that any economist would applaud. They had high rates of saving and investment, worked hard and long hours. The relative success of the Japanese economy and to a lesser extent the German economy led in the 1980s to calls for the United States to emulate these economies. How quaint these calls seem now, given the immense problems of the German and Japanese economies in the 1990s. The calls were for a larger role for government, worker/business/government councils, government direction of private pension funds into “needed infrastructure” (a proposal both in President Carter’s 1980 reelection campaign and in Clinton’s 1992 campaign), managed trade, and an industrial policy of the government picking winners and losers for subsidies and protection (see L. Tyson 1993; R. Reich and I. Magaziner 1982).
Indeed, I recall in 1989 when I was first sworn into office as CEA chairman, the first thing I did was put my personal standing and credibility on the line with President Bush to help stop a multibillion-dollar “let’s catch up with the Japanese in analog HDTV” (high-definition TV). The fear of the Japanese in the late 1980s was incredibly palpable. They were growing rapidly, we were growing slowly; there was large Japanese investment in the United States (although hardly mentioned were the larger British and Dutch foreign investment in the United States); many predicted they would overtake or outcompete us (see L. Thurow 1992). Some panicked pundits and political figures, joined by some powerful business interests and some economists and would-be economists, clamored for the government “to do something.”
Clearly, the Japanese markets were not nearly as open as ours or as they should be, as a rich industrial country benefiting from the global trading system. But the notion that we should spend billions of dollars to catch up with them in a policy chosen by government bureaucrats and congressional staff seemed ridiculous to me. Knowing I would be accused of being an ivory tower academic, I called the CEOs of the firms that would likely be involved and asked to speak with their top scientific people. Every single one of them told me that we would never catch up but, even more important, that analog would soon be surpassed by digital, probably within ten years.
Of course the digital age came even sooner, and analog HDTV became obsolete. Led by then Senator Gore and House Majority leader Gephardt, the calls for an American industrial policy were intense. The Congress demanded the administration list all critical technologies, presumably as a prelude to government subsidies replacing market decisions. Fortunately, President Bush said no to the HDTV subsidies, and we did not waste billions of dollars trying to emulate some other economic system.(3)
Much more fundamental, whatever the merits of a particular case, was the misreading, or perhaps misappropriation for political purposes, of Japanese economic history. Japan’s success had little or nothing to do with the government’s micromanagement of the Japanese economy. As we have seen in the 1990s, that micromanagement has caused severe problems and made it immensely difficult to unwind foolish economic policies. In fact, the notion that the Japanese government was heavily subsidizing “sunrise” industries while we were foolishly ignoring them flies in the face of facts. In Japan, heavy subsidies in terms of protection, direct subsidies, tax breaks, and the like went to industries such as textiles, mining, and agriculture (Beason and Weinstein 1994), which is perhaps not surprising to anybody who studies politics because they were entrenched industries with strong political constituencies and large employment. The same “we know better than the market” Japanese bureaucracies tried to get the Japanese auto companies in the 1950s to produce a version of the Volkswagen Beetle; instead they went their own way and were highly successful. Those same bureaucracies tried to prevent Sony from getting into the consumer electronics business. And their fifth-generation computing project as well as the analog HDTV effort have been colossal failures. The Japanese government tried to end the subsidies to the electronics firms a few years ago but had to back down under intense political pressure. Well, does anyone still believe most Americans would benefit much from emulating the German or Japanese models?
MORE VERSUS LESS GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION
The American economy, which has been, even during our most difficult episodes, the largest and most productive economy with the highest standard of living among the industrial economies (Boskin 1993), appeared triumphal in the 1990s as we came out of the nationally brief, mild 1990-91 recession (although it was regionally severe, lasting longer and reaching deeper in the Northeast and California than in the rest of the country). The fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the communist countries, together with more access to the then Soviet Union, demonstrated beyond doubt how pathetically poor the communist economies were. Combined with the stagnation of Western Europe and the collapse of the Japanese economy, events temporarily short-circuited this attack on the greater reliance on markets and individual initiative, less reliance on government. Governments all over the world were trying to emulate economic systems they saw as more successful, as their citizens called out for more personal freedom and greater economic progress.
The practical lesson on the damage done by excessive government is learned from comparing economic performance in the United States and Western Europe during the past three decades. Although worker compensation has been growing more slowly for the past twenty years than in the previous two decades, the American economy has been flexible and dynamic enough to provide employment to virtually all those who seek it. Compare that performance with the sorry state of Western Europe, where the unemployment rate is now 11 percent, more than double that of the United States.
There were 30 million more working-age people in Western Europe in 1994 than in 1970. The labor force, however, grew by only 19 million, and unemployment and government employment swelled. And there were 1 million fewer-private sector employees in Western Europe at the beginning of 1994 than at the beginning of 1970! What a stark indictment of an inflexible, protectionist, highly regulated, and overtaxed economic system. By comparison, there were about 40 million more working-age people in the United States, the labor force grew even more, and, desspite a small increase in unemployment and government employment, the overwhelming bulk of the workers found productive private-sector employment. The problem of Western Europe offers us a window on our future if we allow a marked expansion in government’s role.
On the relative merits of capitalism and socialism, as we hear today calls from economies in transition to return to central planning, let me share with you a personal experience. I was an economics major in college some years after Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev shouted to an American president, “We will bury you!” Khrushchev was not talking about military might. He was projecting the growth of the Soviet economy relative to the slower growth of the American economy. Khrushchev proclaimed that the Soviet economic system, with its central planning, bureaucracy, controls, and state enterprises, was a superior economic engine. After all, industrial production grew more rapidly in the USSR than in the United States, and it had no unemployment and no inflation. Of course, although prices did not rise, goods were not available on the shelf at these unchanged prices; although everyone nominally had a job, there was unemployment and massive underemployment; and some of that extra steel went to produce unneeded ball bearings and hence was melted back down for future steel production.
Little did I know as an economics undergraduate that a couple of decades later President Bush would dispatch me to Moscow to help President Gorbachev with Soviet economic reform. When I arrived in Moscow in 1989, in addition to Gorbachev, who knew very little economics, I met with the head of the state planning agency (Gosplan), the finance minister, and the head of the Central Bank.
The head of Gosplan was supposed to preside over price reform in the Soviet Union and thus the move to a free market. At our first meeting he inquired of me, “Who sets the prices in your economy?” Flabbergasted, I explained that, although we had a few industries that were regulated by the government, for the overwhelming bulk of products the interaction of numerous producers and still more numerous consumers determined prices in our economy. Furthermore, repeating Adam Smith’s famous dictum, I said that this invisible hand of the market produced the greatest good for the greatest number. The head of Gosplan repeated, “So who sets the prices in your economy?” Thinking that there might have been something wrong with the translation, we went back and forth several times. It was clear he could not imagine an economy in which somebody in the government did not set the prices. He pulled out a 1960s-style giant computer printout that listed the prices for virtually every product in the Soviet Union. America had a market economy, I was the American president’s economic adviser, he had been told by Gorbachev that I would help, so who, he thought, was better able to determine what the new prices should be?
I next went to the Finance Ministry in the Kremlin, where I discussed making the ruble convertible with Finance Minister Pavlov (who subsequently became prime minister and was involved in the coup against Gorbachev). After a to-ing and fro-ing similar to that with the head of Gosplan, trying to explain concepts, Pavlov motioned for me to wait in his office and disappeared through a secret door behind his desk. Remember, this was when there was still a Soviet Union, a Warsaw Pact, and a Communist Party. A few minutes went by, and I started feeling a bit like a character in a Robert Ludlum novel, worrying that no one at the embassy knew exactly where I was. Finance Minister Pavlov eventually returned, handed me a little case, and motioned for me to open it. Inside was a coin, the first Soviet version of the convertible ruble. On one side was printed 1 ruble and on the other side, 1 dollar. Well, I’ve won teaching awards in my day, but I knew I had a long way to go.
Needless to say, when I returned to Washington to debrief the president, the Treasury secretary, the Federal Reserve Board chairman, the National Security adviser, and the CIA director, I was pretty pessimistic about Gorbachev’s chances of pulling off Soviet economic reform. I told them it’s going to be a rough road; think in decades, not years. This group can’t possibly pull it off; either they’ll be gone, or a political backlash will stop the reforms.
CONVERGENCE OF ECONOMIC SYSTEMS
My personal journey is thus echoed in the intellectual and historical experiences of the past quarter century. As mentioned above, back in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s–and I am told occasionally still on some college campuses–the prevailing view was that the world’s social and economic systems would somehow converge toward a central tendency, somewhere, say, to the left of where Sweden was in the 1970s. The communist economies, it was said, would round off the rough edges by allowing a littler freer rein to private incentives, whereas the advanced capitalist economies would evolve into ever larger welfare states with more government planning, intervention, and control in their economies. We would all happily converge roughly on the same system, with roughly the same results.
History has performed that experiment. Compare the former East and West Germany. Both were shattered by World War II. Both had similar problems and opportunities. One was dosed with communism–the heavy hand of state planning, controls and government intervention, regulation and state ownership of virtually everything. The other, once Ludwig Erhard’s reforms had created a currency in which people had confidence and freed up prices from postwar controls, was dosed with capitalism. The West grew into an economic superpower–struggling now under the burden of economic integration with the East–while the East stagnated. When the two Germanys were reunited, the standard of living in the West was five times that in the East, which had a spoiled environment, a decrepit capital stock, and a demoralized labor force. Indeed the saying among East German workers was, “They pretend to pay us and we pretend to work.” That is about as close as we get to a natural experiment in economics. And the answer is unambiguous. There is no longer any doubt about whether there are two alternative paths to economic prosperity. Socialism and central planning do not work. Only some form of capitalism and free markets, despite their problems, works over the long haul.
CRITERIA FOR DETERMINING SIZE AND ROLE OF GOVERNMENT
I focus here on major differences in the role of government in the economy and society across a broad spectrum, not disagreements over this or that program or the relative size of the government within a modest range around where it is now in the United States. What I believe is that the greatly expanded role of government that some have called for would be a tragic economic mistake. I also believe that arguments over specific programs that might lead to a minor decrease or increase in the relative size of government will almost certainly wind up reflecting politics. But those arguments must also reflect the well-articulated and economically well-understood criteria for evaluating such programs: rigorously enforced cost-benefit analyses, meaning that the government financing of activity is potentially desirable if the expected benefits are likely to exceed the expected costs; if the activities cannot be undertaken by the private sector (perhaps because the benefits cannot be appropriated by the private firms); and if our usual notions of balancing marginal social benefits and costs to deal with externalities and public goods apply. Decisions that affect national defense and basic research are amenable to the applications of such rigorous criteria.
Analogous criteria have been developed for optimal tax systems, transfer programs, and government regulation. My own reading of the evidence, to the extent I can divorce it from my own philosophical predilections, is that we could lower tax rates; have less and more-flexible regulation; have more market incentives in regulation, education, and job training; slow spending growth; reform taxes, budgets, and social insurance; and so on, resulting in a somewhat smaller government. All these are likely to lead to a better performing economy and, at least after temporary transitions, improve the well-being of the vast majority of our citizens and the functioning of the programs. But that is another story for another time. My purpose here is to talk about major differences over the relative size of government, despite the deservedly intense political debate about modest changes in the size and role of government, which is important not only for ideological and economic reasons but because development of new programs, or the relentless expansion of existing programs, can over time lead to that sizable expansion of government with which I am primarily concerned here.
IMPERFECT MARKETS VERSUS IMPERFECT GOVERNMENT SOLUTIONS
Markets sometimes fail. Imperfect markets, however, must be compared to imperfect government solutions implemented by fallible people. Thus, when we try to correct perceived externalities, we must insist on strong, sound science and flexible market mechanisms, not on scare tactics and command and control. When competition is stifled, naturally or otherwise, we need sensible rules, antitrust laws, or regulation or some combination thereof enforced in a sensible manner. We need serious protection of private property through contract and bankruptcy law and consistent accounting standards and supervision of financial markets in a way that maximizes openness and transparency. These are important foundations of well-functioning, market-based economies. In my view, the risk is that the problems we face in the American economy will lead to too much, not to not enough, intrusion of the government in the marketplace.
The current hysteria over hedge funds is an example. The problem wasn’t the financial instruments themselves. Futures, options, and other derivatives generate sizable net benefits when properly used in hedging various risks. Of course, there are also potential costs in their misuse or abuse. When ridiculous amounts of leverage provided by banks and brokerages with little or no knowledge of the positions of the funds to whom they lend was combined with positions that were not market neutral, potential bankruptcy loomed. This is no different conceptually from highly leveraged borrowing short and lending long betting on interest rate stability–the saga of the S&L industry in the United States; nor is it very different from Asian banks or industrial companies borrowing in dollars and lending in baht or rupiah, pocketing the spread, betting on currency pegs to continue indefinitely, unhedged; nor is it very different from Western banks’ Russian investments, hedging with Russian banks. None of this has much to do with capitalism per se. It has a lot to do with foolish financial decisions pressing at the limits, moral hazard, and mispriced risk.
The answer is not to curtail the flow of global capital. The problems of the Asian and Russian economies are not primarily due to “global capitalism,” a phrase now sometimes employed as if some communicable disease were encompassing all of humankind. The fundamental problems that led to the original crisis were severe imbalances in the Asian economies that were growing at an unsustainable pace, heavily leveraged risks with poorly supervised financial institutions, and domestic economic policies that could not support the exchange rates at which they had pegged, given the declining inflation in the United States and their higher inflation rates. This is not just conjecture or opinion but straightforward Economics 101 that has been taught for decades: A country cannot maintain price stability (or, more generally, a particular stable inflation rate) and fixed exchange rates if prices are not stable (or inflation rates differ) elsewhere. Fixed exchange rates mean domestic monetary policy cannot be independent and vice versa. The only way to reconcile the dilemma is a far worse course–controlling the free flow of capital. It is not theoretically, let alone practically, possible to reconcile fixed exchange rates, independent domestic monetary policy, and free flows of investment capital; something must give. This was the core problem facing countries such as Thailand, Indonesia, and South Korea and the primary cause of their financial crises. Unfortunately, some countries are retreating into capital controls; surely their need for foreign capital to supply both funds and the market discipline that properly priced foreign risk capital brings will be decisive to their long-run prospects.
Clearly, we need a serious reexamination of our international financial institutions. The combination of changing world economic conditions, mission creep, and a mixed record of success, including some recent failures, suggests that a serious rethinking of the purposes, procedures, resources, and operations of these institutions is an urgent priority. The IMF should be playing the role of convenor of private lenders, lest lender runs on countries analogous to depositor runs on banks occur unnecessarily. The role of global lender of last resort requires a rapid determination of the difference between illiquidity and insolvency, something not easily done in a political context.
But let us not confuse traditional economic mistakes with fundamental problems of economic systems. For these economies to retreat back toward protectionism, capital controls, and even greater centralization of decision making in government would be a disaster for the mass of humankind. Sensible improvements in the supervision of their financial institutions and better central bank policies are the place to start. For example, higher reserve requirements for short-term deposits and sensible risk-based capital requirements for financial institutions, if necessary, make a lot more sense than capital controls or taxes.
CONCLUSION
My conclusion is simple. In addition to their strong moral base in personal freedom, capitalism and competitive markets work to deliver substantial economic progress; communism, socialism, even large bureaucratic welfare state “third ways” do not work. They sap individual incentive, initiative, and creativity and ultimately cannot deliver sufficiently rising standards of living to meet the expectations of their citizens for better material lives for themselves and their progeny. Episodic economic downturns or other perceived market failures create great opportunity for misplaced permanent expansion of government’s role in the economy.
Clearly, we have learned that government has a number of important roles to play in our economy and that we must remain vigilant to make sure that it plays only those necessary roles in the least intrusive manner possible. A consistent rules-based monetary policy, the lowest possible level and rates of taxation, less command and control in favor of more flexible market-oriented incentive regulation, slower growth of government spending including entitlement reform, and expanded open rules-based trade are surely the lessons of economic history and would surely be Adam Smith’s wise prescription today.
The theme of this year’s NABE conference is “Winners and Losers of the 21st Century.” Surely a large part of the answer to that implicit question is “those who can stay closest to the limited government capitalist model in the face not only of the natural tendency of the government’s role in the economy to grow, but also the incredible impending demographic pressures that will greatly reinforce this tendency.”
The calls for capital controls, greatly expanded taxes and spending, vast new regulation, extensive industrial policy, and dangerous protectionism threaten our economic progress and personal liberty. Such calls by pundits and decriers of capitalism are frequent and occasionally frenetic, both inside and outside the economics profession. Of course, as economies evolve and conditions change (e.g., due to changing demography), the role of government based on the sound market principles enunciated above may reasonably ebb and flow. But capitalism once again needs its defenders, teachers, exemplars, and champions. The alternative models have proven historically, intellectually, and practically bankrupt. We would all be better off if the decriers of capitalism remained permanently discontented.
http://www.foreignaffairs.com/discussions/interviews/japan-is-back
Japan Is Back
A Conversation WithShinzo Abe
By Shinzo Abe
From our July/August 2013 Issue
After serving a brief, undistinguished term as Japan’s prime minister in 2006-7, Shinzo Abe seemed destined for the political sidelines. Then, last December, he surged back into the limelight, retaking office in a landslide victory. The return to power of his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) — which has run Japan for 54 of the last 58 years, including most of the last two “lost decades” — initially worried investors and pundits. But Abe immediately embarked on an ambitious campaign to revive Japan’s economy, and, some six months later, his efforts seem to be paying off. On the foreign policy front, however, Abe — known in opposition as a conservative nationalist — has sparked controversy by seeming to question Japan’s wartime record. In mid-May, as tensions were rising with Japan’s powerful neighbors, he spoke with Foreign Affairs managing editor Jonathan Tepperman in Tokyo.
This is your second tenure as prime minister. Your first was not so successful, but this time, everything seems different: your approval rating is over 70 percent, and the stock market is at a five-year high. What lessons did you learn from your past mistakes, and what are you doing differently this time?
When I served as prime minister last time, I failed to prioritize my agenda. I was eager to complete everything at once, and ended my administration in failure.
After resigning, for six years I traveled across the nation simply to listen. Everywhere, I heard people suffering from having lost jobs due to lingering deflation and currency appreciation. Some had no hope for the future. So it followed naturally that my second administration should prioritize getting rid of deflation and turning around the Japanese economy.
Let’s say that I have set the priorities right this time to reflect the concerns of the people, and the results are increasingly noticeable, which may explain the high approval ratings.
I have also started to use social media networks like Facebook. Oftentimes, the legacy media only partially quote what politicians say. This has prevented the public from understanding my true intentions. So I am now sending messages through Facebook and other networks directly to the public.
So that way you get to bypass journalists?
Sort of [laughs]. No, I attach importance to face-to-face interviews like this one, and I have never been media shy. My point was that what I actually mean sometimes gets lost when it is only partially — even mistakenly — quoted.
You’ve said that your economic agenda is your top priority. Abenomics has three “arrows”: a 10 trillion yen fiscal stimulus, inflation targeting, and structural reform. You’ve fired the first two arrows already. What will the third look like?
The third arrow is about a growth strategy, which should be led by three key concepts: challenge, openness, and innovation. First, you need to envision what kind of Japan you wish to have. That is a Japan that cherishes those three concepts. Then, you get to see areas where you excel. Take health care, for instance. My country has good stock, which enables Japanese to live longer than most others. Why not use medical innovation, then, both to boost the economy and to contribute to the welfare of the rest of the world?
My recent trip to Russia and the Middle East assured me that there is much room out there for Japan’s medical industries. The same could be said for technologies to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, of which Japan has plenty. But to foster innovation, you must remain open.
But Japan has constraints on its economy that keep it from growing: high agricultural subsidies, overregulation, underutilization of women, a poor immigration policy. Past prime ministers have tried to deal with these problems and have run into a wall. What reforms will you focus on?
Time is not on our side. Prolonged deflation and the resulting economic stagnation that has lasted for 15 years have kept my country almost standing still, while the rest of the world has gone far. This is the last chance for us, and the sense of urgency is therefore enormous. It’s shared more widely than ever before among my fellow lawmakers.
True, agriculture still matters, not only as an industry but also for keeping Japan’s social fabric well knit. But my approach is to make it stronger and export-oriented. Japanese farmlands are endowed with rich natural attractions. Let them simply be sold more to the world. Where necessary, we will cut red tape, for sure. More investment in core technologies is also important, as is foreign direct investment in Japan. We must do all this now, in one fell swoop.
As for openness, of special note is my decision on the TPP [Trans-Pacific Partnership]. Previous administrations were indecisive. I decided to enter into the TPP negotiations. Of course, the agricultural lobby is fiercely against it, and agricultural associations are among the biggest and most important supporters of the LDP. So we are working hard to bring them along. If we don’t change, there won’t be any future for Japanese agriculture, or for Japan’s regions and local communities.
You’ve launched a major stimulus program that has been successful so far. But aren’t you worried about Japan’s debt, which is already at 220 to 230 percent of GDP?
Japan is facing an extremely rapid decline in birthrates, and Japan’s national income has lost as much as 50 trillion yen due to prolonged deflation. Put those together, and you get a much smaller tax base. That is why we are facing a very difficult financial situation, and that was the core concern that led my government to launch the “three arrow” recovery plan.
The bond repurchase and interest payments aside, the government’s current spending must meet its annual tax revenue. To achieve that balance remains our first priority, and we have made an international pledge to do so. By fiscal year 2015, we are going to halve our primary-balance deficit, and by 2020, we will achieve balance. To do so, we have to increase tax revenue. We also need to end the deflationary cycle. And we have to achieve economic growth.
We also need to improve the efficiency of government expenditures. We have decided to increase the consumption tax rate, which is important to sustain our social security services. I know that the current situation is difficult, and the world economy will have ups and downs. But that is the mandate I was given, and we are elbowing our way through.
It sometimes seems like there are two different ShinzoAbes: the nationalist or conservative Abe, who does controversial things, such as support history textbook revision, question the comfort women issue, or question the legitimacy of the Allied war crimes tribunal, and the pragmatic Abe, who reaches out to China and South Korea and who has been careful not to escalate tensions over the Senkaku Islands. In recent weeks, both have been on display: first, you seemed to question in the Diet whether Japan was the aggressor in World War II, and then, a week later, you acknowledged the suffering that Japan caused during the war. Which is the real Abe, and how should people interpret the shifts between the two?
As I said at the outset, I have had my remarks only partially or mistakenly quoted by the mainstream media. Let me set the record straight. Throughout my first and current terms as prime minister, I have expressed a number of times the deep remorse that I share for the tremendous damage and suffering Japan caused in the past to the people of many countries, particularly in Asia. I have explicitly said that, yet it made few headlines.
Do you accept that Japan was the aggressor when it invaded China, when it invaded Korea, and when it attacked the United States in World War II?
I have never said that Japan has not committed aggression. Yet at the same time, how best, or not, to define “aggression” is none of my business. That’s what historians ought to work on. I have been saying that our work is to discuss what kind of world we should create in the future.
It always seems to cause problems when you talk about history, so why not just avoid it? And let me ask a related question: In order to put these issues aside, can you promise that as prime minister, you will not visit Yasukuni Shrine in either your official or your private capacity?
I never raised the issue of history myself. During [recent] deliberations in the Diet, I faced questions from other members, and I had to answer them. When doing so, I kept saying that the issue is one for historians, since otherwise you could politicize it or turn it into a diplomatic issue.
About the Yasukuni Shrine, let me humbly urge you to think about your own place to pay homage to the war dead, Arlington National Cemetery, in the United States. The presidents of the United States go there, and as Japan’s prime minister, I have visited. Professor Kevin Doak of Georgetown University points out that visiting the cemetery does not mean endorsing slavery, even though Confederate soldiers are buried there. I am of a view that we can make a similar argument about Yasukuni, which enshrines the souls of those who lost their lives in the service of their country.
But with all due respect, there are 13 Class A war criminals buried at Yasukuni, which is why it makes China and South Korea crazy when Japanese prime ministers go there. Wouldn’t it be easier just to promise not to go?
I think it’s quite natural for a Japanese leader to offer prayer for those who sacrificed their lives for their country, and I think this is no different from what other world leaders do.
After Yasukuni enshrined the souls of the Class A criminals, China and South Korea did not make any claims about visits there for some years. Then suddenly, they started opposing the visits. So I will not say whether I will visit or refrain from visiting the shrine.
You said in January that there is no room for negotiation over the Senkaku Islands. If you take such an inflexible position and China takes such an inflexible position, there will be no progress. So what is the solution?
Seven years ago, as prime minister, I chose China as the first destination for an official visit. On that occasion, I agreed with the Chinese leaders that both countries would strive for a mutually beneficial relationship based on common strategic interests. I conveyed to the Chinese that Japan and China enjoy an inseparable relationship, especially in terms of economic ties. And I believe that it is wrong to close down all aspects of the bilateral relationship because of a single issue — it would not be a smart move. That is why I always keep the door open for dialogue. I think China should come back to the starting point of the mutually beneficial relationship the two countries agreed on.
As for the Senkaku Islands, Japan incorporated them back in 1895, after taking measures in accordance with international law. And it was not until 1971 that China made its territorial claims over the islands. The Senkaku Islands are an integral part of Japanese territory, based on both history and international law. Only after keeping silent for 76 years, and after the United Nations referred to the possible existence of natural resources underneath the adjacent seabed, did China start making their territorial claims, rather abruptly.
Since 2008, the Chinese side has been dispatching official or naval vessels to intrude into Japanese territorial waters. The phenomenon is older and more deeply rooted than may meet the eye. There is no question that we have to address the issue in the most professional manner, and I have instructed the whole of my government to respond to the situation in the calmest manner possible. And we are [still] saying that we will always keep the door open for dialogue.
But what are you willing to do to resolve the problem? Cui Tiankai, the new Chinese ambassador to the United States, told me recently that the best thing would be to just ignore the sovereignty issue and return to the status quo where China and Japan agree to disagree.
That Chinese claim means Japan should admit that there exists an issue of territorial sovereignty to be resolved. We can never let this argument take place. The Chinese side has been using a similar argument against Vietnam and the Philippines to gain control over islands in the South China Sea. And recently, on May 8, China’s People’s Daily published an article questioning the status of Okinawa itself.
We have never agreed with the Chinese to shelve the issue of the Senkaku Islands. To say that we have in the past is a complete lie by the Chinese.
Given the rise of China and its more aggressive behavior, are you still confident in the U.S. security relationship, or do you feel that Japan needs to be doing more to protect itself? And is this why you’re interested in revising Japan’s constitution?
Of course, I have full confidence in the Japanese-U.S. alliance — one hundred percent. After the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011, the United States dispatched a total of 20,000 military personnel; even under difficult circumstances, the United States offered to cooperate in Japan’s reconstruction efforts. That is a true reflection of our relationship. And we fully welcome and happily support the strategic rebalancing by the United States toward Asia.
But at the same time, Japan is also willing to fulfill its responsibilities. Over the past ten years, my country has continued to cut its defense budget. China, on the other hand, has increased its military spending 30-fold in the last 23 years. Therefore, this year, for the first time in 11 years, my government chose to slightly increase the defense budget. That is a sign of Japan’s willingness to fulfill its own responsibility.
With regard to the issue of the right to collective self-defense, imagine that U.S. vessels on the high seas were being attacked and an armed ship, say an Aegis-type destroyer, from Japan, America’s treaty ally, was just passing by. The arrangement we currently have in Japan does not allow the destroyer to make any response whatsoever. That is insane.
So do you want to change Article 9 [the pacifist clause in Japan’s constitution] to address this?
To amend the constitution requires overcoming a high hurdle: we would have to get the approval of at least two-thirds of the members of the Japanese parliament and later a simple majority in a national referendum.
Yet the fact remains that Japan is the only country in the world that does not call its defense organizations a military. That is absurd, when the government is spending a total of 5 trillion yen [a year] for self-defense.
I think that our constitution should stipulate that our Self-Defense Forces are military forces (as it currently does not) and should also stipulate the long-established principles of civilian control and pacifism. Even if we reactivated the right to have a collective self-defense or amended Article 9 of the constitution, that would only put Japan in the same position as other countries around the globe. We should address this issue in a restrained manner. Even if we amended the constitution and were able to exercise the right to collective self-defense, we would still be in a more limited position than the Canadians.
So to be clear, do you want to change the constitution to make collective self-defense easier?
I would like to see the constitution amended, and my party has already published a draft proposal for the amendment of the constitution, including Article 9.
Why does the majority of the Japanese public still oppose constitutional revision?
More than 50 percent of Japanese nationals support the idea of changing the constitution [in general], while less than 50 percent support the amendment of Article 9. But polls also indicate that once told the rationale in more detail, they turn in favor of amendment.
So you think they just don’t understand the issue?
Only 30 percent of the people support enabling the right to use force for collective self-defense. But when we present a specific case involving, for instance, a missile launch by North Korea, and we explain to the public that Japan could shoot down missiles targeting Japan, but not missiles targeting the U.S. island of Guam, even though Japan has the ability to do so, then more than 60 percent of the public acknowledges that this is not right.
Democracy
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For the use of the term democracy as a system involving distribution of political power in the hands of the public which forms the electorate, representative government, and freedom of speech, seeLiberal democracy. For other uses, see Democracy (disambiguation).

A woman casts her vote in the second round of the 2007 French presidential election.
Part of the Politics series Democracy * History Basic forms * Direct
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TomášGarrigue Masaryk, the first President of Czechoslovakia, is remembered for his saying “Demokraciemásvéchyby, protožeobcanémajísvéchyby. Jakýpán, takovýkrám.” (Czech: “Democracy has its faults, because people have their faults. Like owner, like store.”). He regularly described democracy as “a discussion”.[citation needed]
Democracy is a form of government in which all eligible citizens are meant to participate equally – either directly or, through elected representatives, indirectly – in the proposal, development and establishment of the laws by which their society is run. The term originates from the Greekd?µ???at?a (demokratía) “rule of the people”,[1] which was found from d?µ?? (dêmos) “people” and ???t?? (kratos) “power” or “rule” in the 5th century BCE to denote the political systems then existing in Greek city-states, notably Athens; the term is an antonym to ???st???at?a (aristokratia) “rule of an elite”. While theoretically these definitions are in opposition, in practice the distinction has been blurred historically.[2] The political system of Classical Athens, for example, granted democratic citizenship to an elite class of free men and excluded slaves and women from political participation. In virtually all democratic governments throughout ancient and modern history, democratic citizenship consisted of an elite class until full enfranchisement was won for all adult citizens in most modern democracies through the suffrage movements of the 19th and 20th centuries. The English word dates to the 16th century, from the older Middle French and Middle Latin equivalents.
Democracy contrasts with forms of government where power is either held by an individual, as in an absolute monarchy, or where power is held by a small number of individuals, as in an oligarchy. Nevertheless, these oppositions, inherited from Greek philosophy,[3] are now ambiguous because contemporary governments have mixed democratic, oligarchic, and monarchic elements. Karl Popper defined democracy in contrast to dictatorship or tyranny, thus focusing on opportunities for the people to control their leaders and to oust them without the need for a revolution.[4]
Several variants of democracy exist, but there are two basic forms, both of which concern how the whole body of all eligible citizens executes its will. One form of democracy is direct democracy, in which all eligible citizens have direct and active participation in the political decision making. In most modern democracies, the whole body of eligible citizens remain the sovereign power but political power is exercised indirectly through elected representatives; this is called a representative democracy or democratic republic.
Contents
* 1 Characteristics
o 1.1Nondemocracy
* 2 History
o 2.1 Ancient origins
o 2.2 Middle Ages
o 2.3 Modern era
* 2.3.1 Early modern period
* 2.3.2 18th and 19th centuries
* 2.3.3 20th and 21st centuries
* 3 Countries and regions
* 4 Types
o 4.1 Basic forms
* 4.1.1 Direct
* 4.1.2 Representative
* 4.1.2.1 Parliamentary
* 4.1.2.2 Presidential
* 4.1.3 Hybrid or semi-direct
o 4.2 Variants
* 4.2.1 Republic
* 4.2.2 Constitutional monarchy
* 4.2.3 Liberal democracy
* 4.2.4 Socialist
* 4.2.5 Anarchist
* 4.2.6Demarchy
* 4.2.7Consociational
* 4.2.8 Consensus democracy
* 4.2.9 Supranational
* 4.2.10 Inclusive
* 4.2.11 Participatory politics
* 4.2.12 Cosmopolitan
o 4.3 Non-governmental
* 5 Theory
o 5.1 Aristotle
o 5.2 Rationale
* 5.2.1 Aggregative
* 5.2.2 Deliberative
* 5.2.3 Radical
o 5.3 Criticism
* 5.3.1 Inefficiencies
* 5.3.2 Popular rule as a façade
* 5.3.3 Mob rule
* 5.3.4 Political instability
* 5.3.5 Fraudulent elections
* 5.3.6 Opposition
* 6 Development
* 7 See also
* 8 References
* 9 Further reading
* 10 External links
Characteristics
No consensus exists on how to define democracy, but legal equality, freedom and rule of law have been identified as important characteristics since ancient times.[5][6] These principles are reflected in all eligible citizens being equal before the law and having equal access to legislative processes. For example, in a representative democracy, every vote has equal weight, no unreasonable restrictions can apply to anyone seeking to become a representative[according to whom?], and the freedom of its eligible citizens is secured by legitimised rights and liberties which are typically protected by a constitution.[7][8]
One theory holds that democracy requires three fundamental principles: 1) upward control, i.e. sovereignty residing at the lowest levels of authority, 2) political equality, and 3) social norms by which individuals and institutions only consider acceptable acts that reflect the first two principles of upward control and political equality.[9]
The term “democracy” is sometimes used as shorthand for liberal democracy, which is a variant of representative democracy that may include elements such as political pluralism; equality before the law; the right to petition elected officials for redress of grievances; due process; civil liberties; human rights; and elements of civil society outside the government.[citation needed]Roger Scruton argues that democracy alone cannot provide personal and political freedom unless the institutions of civil society are also present.[10]
In some countries, notably in the United Kingdom which originated the Westminster system, the dominant principle is that of parliamentary sovereignty, while maintaining judicial independence.[11] In the United States, separation of powers is often cited as a central attribute. In India, the world’s largest democracy, parliamentary sovereignty is subject to a constitution which includes judicial review.[12] Other uses of “democracy” include that of direct democracy. Though the term “democracy” is typically used in the context of a political state, the principles also are applicable to private organisations.
Majority rule is often listed as a characteristic of democracy. Hence, democracy allows for political minorities to be oppressed by the “tyranny of the majority” in the absence of legal protections of individual or group rights. An essential part of an “ideal” representative democracy is competitive elections that are fair both substantively and procedurally[citation needed]. Furthermore, freedom of political expression, freedom of speech, and freedom of the press are considered to be essential rights that allow eligible citizens to be adequately informed and able to vote according to their own interests.[13][14]
It has also been suggested that a basic feature of democracy is the capacity of all voters to participate freely and fully in the life of their society.[15] With its emphasis on notions of social contract and the collective will of the all voters, democracy can also be characterised as a form of political collectivism because it is defined as a form of government in which all eligible citizens have an equal say in lawmaking.[16]
While representative democracy is sometimes equated with the republican form of government, the term “republic” classically has encompassed both democracies and aristocracies.[17][18] Many democracies are constitutional monarchies, such as the United Kingdom.
Nondemocracy
Nondemocracies are governments that are not democratic. Examples include totalitarian states, autocracies, despots, autarchies, and dictatorships.[19]
History
Main article: History of democracy
Ancient origins
See also: Athenian democracy

Cleisthenes, “father of Athenian democracy”, modern bust
The term “democracy” first appeared in ancient Greek political and philosophical thought in the city-state of Athens during classical antiquity.[20][21] Led by Cleisthenes, Athenians established what is generally held as the first democracy in 508-507 BC. Cleisthenes is referred to as “the father of Athenian democracy.”[22]
Athenian democracy took the form of a direct democracy, and it had two distinguishing features: the random selection of ordinary citizens to fill the few existing government administrative and judicial offices,[23] and a legislative assembly consisting of all Athenian citizens.[24] All eligible citizens were allowed to speak and vote in the assembly, which set the laws of the city state. However, Athenian citizenship excluded women, slaves, foreigners (µ?t?????metoikoi), non-landowners, and males under 20 years old.[citation needed][contradictory]
Of the estimated 200,000 to 400,000 inhabitants of Athens, there were between 30,000 and 60,000 citizens.[citation needed] The exclusion of large parts of the population from the citizen body is closely related to the ancient understanding of citizenship. In most of antiquity the benefit of citizenship was tied to the obligation to fight war campaigns.[25]
Athenian democracy was not only direct in the sense that decisions were made by the assembled people, but also the most direct in the sense that the people through the assembly, boule and courts of law controlled the entire political process and a large proportion of citizens were involved constantly in the public business.[26] Even though the rights of the individual were not secured by the Athenian constitution in the modern sense (the ancient Greeks had no word for “rights”[27]), the Athenians enjoyed their liberties not in opposition to the government but by living in a city that was not subject to another power and by not being subjects themselves to the rule of another person.[28]
Range voting appeared in Sparta as early as 700 BC. The Apella was an assembly of the people, held once a month, in which every male citizen of age 30 could participate. In the Apella, Spartans elected leaders and cast votes by range voting and shouting. Aristotle called this “childish,” as compared with the stone voting ballots used by the Athenians. Sparta adopted it because of its simplicity, and to prevent any bias voting, buying, or cheating that was predominant in the early democratic elections.[29][30]
Even though the Roman Republic contributed significantly to many aspects of democracy, only a minority of Romans were citizens with votes in elections for representatives. The votes of the powerful were given more weight through a system of gerrymandering, so most high officials, including members of the Senate, came from a few wealthy and noble families.[31] However, many notable exceptions did occur.[citation needed] In addition, the Roman Republic was the first government in the western world to have a Republic as a nation-state, although it didn’t have much of a democracy. The Romans invented the concept of classics and many works from Ancient Greece were preserved.[32] Additionally, the Roman model of governance inspired many political thinkers over the centuries,[33] and today’s modern representative democracies imitate more the Roman than the Greek models because it was a state in which supreme power was held by the people and their elected representatives, and which had an elected or nominated leader.[34] Other cultures, such as the Iroquis Nation in the Americas between around 1450 and 1600 AD also developed a form of democratic society before they came in contact with the Europeans. This indicates that forms of democracy may have been invented in other societies around the world.
Middle Ages
During the Middle Ages, there were various systems involving elections or assemblies, although often only involving a small part of the population. These included:
* the South Indian Kingdom of the Chola in the Tamil Nadu region of the Indian Subcontinent had an electoral system 1,000 years ago,[35]
* Carantania, old Slavic/Slovenian principality, the Ducal Inauguration from 7th to 15th century,
* the upper-caste election of the Gopala in the Bengal region of the Indian Subcontinent,
* the Holy Roman Empire’s Hoftag and Imperial Diets (mostly Nobles and Clergy),
* the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (10% of population),
* the Althing in Iceland,
* the Løgting in the Faeroe Islands,
* certain medieval Italian city-states such as Venice, Genoa, Florence, Pisa, Lucca, Amalfi, Siena and San Marino
* the tuatha system in early medieval Ireland,
* the Veche in Novgorod and Pskov Republics of medieval Russia,
* ScandinavianThings,
* The States in Tirol and Switzerland,
* the autonomous merchant city of Sakai in the 16th century in Japan,
* Volta-Nigeric societies such as Igbo.
* theMekhk-Khel system of the Nakh peoples of the North Caucasus, by which representatives to the Council of Elders for each teip (clan) were popularly elected by that teip’s members.
* The 10th Sikh Guru Gobind Singh ji (Nanak X) established world’s first Sikh democratic republic state ending the aristocracy on day of 1st Vasakh 1699 and Gurbani as sole constitution of this Sikh republic.
Most regions in medieval Europe were ruled by clergy or feudal lords.
The KouroukanFouga divided the Mali Empire into ruling clans (lineages) that were represented at a great assembly called the Gbara. However, the charter made Mali more similar to a constitutional monarchy than a democratic republic. A little closer to modern democracy were the Cossack republics of Ukraine in the 16th and 17th centuries: Cossack Hetmanate and ZaporizhianSich. The highest post – the Hetman – was elected by the representatives from the country’s districts.

Magna Carta, 1215, England
The Parliament of England had its roots in the restrictions on the power of kings written into Magna Carta (1215), which explicitly protected certain rights of the King’s subjects and implicitly supported what became the English writ of habeas corpus, safeguarding individual freedom against unlawful imprisonment with right to appeal.[36] The first elected parliament was De Montfort’s Parliament in England in 1265. The emergence of petitioning is some of the earliest evidence of parliament being used as a forum to address the general grievances of ordinary people. However, the power to call parliament remained at the pleasure of the monarch.[37]
Modern era
Early modern period
During the early modern period, the power of the Parliament of England continually increased. Passage of the Petition of Right in 1628 and Habeas Corpus Act in 1679 established certain liberties and remain in effect. The idea of a political party took form with groups freely debating rights to political representation during the Putney Debates of 1647. After the English Civil Wars (1642-1651) and the Glorious Revolution of 1688, the Bill of Rights was enacted in 1689, which codified certain rights and liberties, and is still in effect. The Bill set out the requirement for regular elections, rules for freedom of speech in Parliament and limited the power of the monarch, ensuring that, unlike much of Europe at the time, royal absolutism would not prevail.[38][39]
In North America, representative government began in Jamestown, Virginia, with the election of the House of Burgesses (forerunner of the Virginia General Assembly) in 1619. English Puritans who migrated from 1620 established colonies in New England whose local governance was democratic and which contributed to the democratic development of the United States;[40]although these local assemblies had some small amounts of devolved power, the ultimate authority was held by the Crown and the English Parliament. The Puritans (Pilgrim Fathers), Baptists, and Quakers who founded these colonies applied the democratic organisation of their congregations also to the administration of their communities in worldly matters.[41][42][43]
18th and 19th centuries

The establishment of universal male suffrage in France in 1848 was an important milestone in the history of democracy.
The firstParliament of Great Britain was established in 1707, after the merger of the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland under the Acts of Union. Although the monarch increasingly became a figurehead,[44] only a small minority actually had a voice; Parliament was elected by only a few percent of the population (less than 3% as late as 1780).[45]
The creation of the short-lived Corsican Republic in 1755 marked the first nation in modern history to adopt a democratic constitution. This Corsican Constitution was the first based on Enlightenment principles and included female suffrage, something that was not granted in most other democracies until the 20th century.
In the American colonial period before 1776, and for some time after, often only adult white male property owners could vote; enslaved Africans, most free black people and most women were not extended the franchise. On the American frontier, democracy became a way of life, with more widespread social, economic and political equality.[46] Although not described as a democracy by the founding fathers, they shared a determination to root the American experiment in the principles of natural freedom and equality.[47]
The American Revolution led to the adoption of the United States Constitution in 1787. The Constitution provided for an elected government and protected civil rights and liberties for some, but did not end slavery nor give voting rights to women. This constitution is the oldest surviving, still active, governmental codified constitution.[48] The Bill of Rights in 1791 set limits on government power to protect personal freedoms.
In 1789, Revolutionary France adopted the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen and, although short-lived, the National Convention was elected by all males in 1792.[49] But after two decades of world war between Napoleon’s revolutionary empire and Britain’s counterrevolutionary empire, little of democracy – as theory, practice, or even as word – remained in the North Atlantic world.[50]
During this period, slavery remained a social and economic institution in places around the world. This was particularly the case in the eleven states of the American South. A variety of organisations were established advocating the movement of black people from the United States to locations where they would enjoy greater freedom and equality.
The United Kingdom’s Slave Trade Act 1807 banned the trade across the British Empire, enforced internationally by the Royal Navy’s West Africa Squadron under treaties Britain negotiated with other nations.[51] As the voting franchise in the U.K. was increased, it also was made more uniform; many rotten boroughs, with a small number of voters electing a Member of Parliament, were eliminated in a series of reforms beginning with the Reform Act of 1832. In 1833, the United Kingdom passed the Slavery Abolition Act which took effect across the British Empire.
Universal male suffrage was established in France in March 1848 in the wake of the French Revolution of 1848.[52] In 1848, several revolutions broke out in Europe as rulers were confronted with popular demands for liberal constitutions and more democratic government.[53]
In the 1860 United States Census, the slave population in the United States had grown to four million,[54] and in Reconstruction after the Civil War (late 1860s), the newly freed slaves became citizens with a nominal right to vote for men. Full enfranchisement of citizens was not secured until after the African-American Civil Rights Movement (1955-1968) gained passage by the United States Congress of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.[55][56]
20th and 21st centuries

The number of nations 1800-2003 scoring 8 or higher on Polity IV scale, another widely used measure of democracy.
20th-century transitions to liberal democracy have come in successive “waves of democracy,” variously resulting from wars, revolutions, decolonisation, and religious and economic circumstances. World War I and the dissolution of the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires resulted in the creation of new nation-states from Europe, most of them at least nominally democratic.
In the 1920s democracy flourished and women’s suffrage advanced, but the Great Depression brought disenchantment and most of the countries of Europe, Latin America, and Asia turned to strong-man rule or dictatorships. Fascism and dictatorships flourished in Nazi Germany, Italy, Spain and Portugal, as well as nondemocratic regimes in the Baltics, the Balkans, Brazil, Cuba, China, and Japan, among others.[57]
World War II brought a definitive reversal of this trend in western Europe. The democratisation of the American, British, and French sectors of occupied Germany (disputed[58]), Austria, Italy, and the occupied Japan served as a model for the later theory of regime change. However, most of Eastern Europe, including the Soviet sector of Germany fell into the non-democratic Soviet bloc.
The war was followed by decolonisation, and again most of the new independent states had nominally democratic constitutions. India emerged as the world’s largest democracy and continues to be so.[59] Countries that were once part of the British Empire often adopted the British Westminster system.[60]
By 1960, the vast majority of country-states were nominally democracies, although most of the world’s populations lived in nations that experienced sham elections, and other forms of subterfuge (particularly in Communist nations and the former colonies.)
A subsequent wave of democratisation brought substantial gains toward true liberal democracy for many nations. Spain, Portugal (1974), and several of the military dictatorships in South America returned to civilian rule in the late 1970s and early 1980s (Argentina in 1983, Bolivia, Uruguay in 1984, Brazil in 1985, and Chile in the early 1990s). This was followed by nations in East and South Asia by the mid-to-late 1980s.
Economic malaise in the 1980s, along with resentment of Soviet oppression, contributed to the collapse of the Soviet Union, the associated end of the Cold War, and the democratisation and liberalisation of the former Eastern bloc countries. The most successful of the new democracies were those geographically and culturally closest to western Europe, and they are now members or candidate members of the European Union.
The liberal trend spread to some nations in Africa in the 1990s, most prominently in South Africa. Some recent examples of attempts of liberalisation include the Indonesian Revolution of 1998, the Bulldozer Revolution in Yugoslavia, the Rose Revolution in Georgia, the Orange Revolution in Ukraine, the Cedar Revolution in Lebanon, the Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan, and the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia.
According to Freedom House, in 2007 there were 123 electoral democracies (up from 40 in 1972).[61] According to World Forum on Democracy, electoral democracies now represent 120 of the 192 existing countries and constitute 58.2 percent of the world’s population. At the same time liberal democracies i.e. countries Freedom House regards as free and respectful of basic human rights and the rule of law are 85 in number and represent 38 percent of the global population.[62]
In 2010 the United Nations declared September 15 the International Day of Democracy.[63]
Countries and regions

The Economist Intelligence Unit Democracy index map for 2012, with greener colours representing more democratic countries.
Full democracies:
9.00-10.00
8.00-8.99
Flawed democracies:
7.00-7.99
6.00-6.99
Hybrid regimes:
5.00-5.99
4.00-4.99
Authoritarian regimes:
3.00-3.99
2.00-2.99
0.00-1.99
Insufficient information, no rating:

The following countries or regions are categorised by the Democracy Index 2012, complied by the Economist Intelligence Unit, as a Full democracy:[64]
1. Norway
2. Sweden
3. Iceland
4. Denmark
5. New Zealand
6. Australia
7. Switzerland
8. Canada
9. Finland
10. Netherlands
11. Luxembourg
12. Austria
13. Ireland
14. Germany
15. Malta
16. United Kingdom
17. Czech Republic
18. Uruguay
19. Mauritius
20. South Korea
21. United States of America
22. Costa Rica
23. Japan
24. Belgium
25. Spain
The Index assigns 53 countries or regions to the lower category, Flawed democracy: Argentina, Benin, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Estonia, France, Ghana, Greece, Guyana, Hungary, Indonesia, India, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Latvia, Lesotho, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mali, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Namibia, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Indonesia, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Taiwan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Trinidad and Tobago, Zambia.[65]
Types
Main article: Types of democracy
Democracy has taken a number of forms, both in theory and practice. Some varieties of democracy provide better representation and more freedom for their citizens than others.[66][67] However, if any democracy is not structured so as to prohibit the government from excluding the people from the legislative process, or any branch of government from altering the separation of powers in its own favour, then a branch of the system can accumulate too much power and destroy the democracy.[68][69][70]

World’s states coloured by form of government as of 20111
Presidential republics2 Semi-presidential republics2 Parliamentary republics2 Single-party states Parliamentaryconstitutional monarchies Absolute monarchies Military dictatorships Constitutional monarchies in which the monarch personally exercises power Republics with an executive president dependent on a parliament Countries which do not fit any of the above systems 1This map was complied according to the Wikipedia list of countries by system of government. See there for sources. 2Several states constitutionally deemed to be multiparty republics are broadly described by outsiders as authoritarian states. This map presents only the de jure form of government, and not the de facto degree of democracy.
The following kinds of democracy are not exclusive of one another: many specify details of aspects that are independent of one another and can co-exist in a single system.
Basic forms
Representative democracy is a form of democracy in which people vote for representatives who then vote on policy initiatives as opposed to a direct democracy, a form of democracy in which people vote on policy initiatives directly.[71]
Direct

A Landsgemeinde (in 2009) of the Canton of Glarus, an example of direct democracy in Switzerland.

In Switzerland, without needing to register, every citizen receives ballot papers and information brochures for each vote (and can send it back by post). Switzerland has a direct democracy system and votes are organised about four times a year.
Main article: Direct democracy
Direct democracy is a political system where the citizens participate in the decision-making personally, contrary to relying on intermediaries or representatives. The supporters of direct democracy argue that democracy is more than merely a procedural issue. A direct democracy gives the voting population the power to:
1. Change constitutional laws,
2. Put forth initiatives, referendums and suggestions for laws,
3. Give binding orders to elective officials, such as revoking them before the end of their elected term, or initiating a lawsuit for breaking a campaign promise.
Direct democracy only exists in the Swisscantons of AppenzellInnerrhoden and Glarus.[72]
Representative
Main article: Representative democracy
Representative democracy involves the election of government officials by the people being represented. If the head of state is also democratically elected then it is called a democratic republic.[73] The most common mechanisms involve election of the candidate with a majority or a plurality of the votes. Most western countries have representative systems.[72]
Representatives may be elected or become diplomatic representatives by a particular district (or constituency), or represent the entire electorate through proportional systems, with some using a combination of the two. Some representative democracies also incorporate elements of direct democracy, such as referendums. A characteristic of representative democracy is that while the representatives are elected by the people to act in the people’s interest, they retain the freedom to exercise their own judgement as how best to do so. Such reasons have driven criticism upon representative democracy,[74][75] pointing out the contradictions of representation mechanisms’ with democracy[76][77]
Parliamentary
Main article: Parliamentary system
Parliamentary democracy is a representative democracy where government is appointed by, or can be dismissed by, representatives as opposed to a “presidential rule” wherein the president is both head of state and the head of government and is elected by the voters. Under a parliamentary democracy, government is exercised by delegation to an executive ministry and subject to ongoing review, checks and balances by the legislative parliament elected by the people.[78][79][80][81]
Parliamentary systems have the right to dismiss a Prime Minister at any point in time that they feel he or she is not doing their job to the expectations of the legislature. This is done through a Vote of No Confidence where the legislature decides whether or not to remove the Prime Minister from office by a majority support for his or her dismissal.[82] In some countries, the Prime Minister can also call an election whenever he or she so chooses, and typically the Prime Minister will hold an election when he or she knows that they are in good favour with the public as to get re-elected. In other parliamentary democracies extra elections are virtually never held, a minority government being preferred until the next ordinary elections. An important feature of the parliamentary democracy is the concept of the “loyal opposition”. The essence of the concept is that the second largest political party (or coalition) opposes the governing party (or coalition), while still remaining loyal to the state and its democratic principles.
Presidential
Main article: Presidential system
Presidential Democracy is a system where the public elects the president through free and fair elections. The president serves as both the head of state and head of government controlling most of the executive powers. The president serves for a specific term and cannot exceed that amount of time. Elections typically have a fixed date and aren’t easily changed. The president has direct control over the cabinet, specifically appointing the cabinet members.[82]
The president cannot be easily removed from office by the legislature, but he or she cannot remove members of the legislative branch any more easily. This provides some measure of separation of powers. In consequence however, the president and the legislature may end up in the control of separate parties, allowing one to block the other and thereby interfere with the orderly operation of the state. This may be the reason why presidential democracy is not very common outside the Americas, Africa, and Central and Southeast Asia.[82]
A semi-presidential system is a system of democracy in which the government includes both a prime minister and a president. The particular powers held by the prime minister and president vary by country.[82]
Hybrid or semi-direct
See also: Politics of Switzerland and Voting in Switzerland
Some modern democracies that are predominately representative in nature also heavily rely upon forms of political action that are directly democratic. These democracies, which combine elements of representative democracy and direct democracy, are termed hybrid democracies,[83]semi-direct democracies or participatory democracies. Examples include Switzerland and some U.S. states, where frequent use is made of referendums and initiatives.
The Swiss confederation is a semi-direct democracy.[72] At the federal level, citizens can propose changes to the constitution (federal popular initiative) or ask for a referendum to be held on any law voted by the parliament.[72] Between January 1995 and June 2005, Swiss citizens voted 31 times, to answer 103 questions (during the same period, French citizens participated in only two referendums).[72] Although in the past 120 years less than 250 initiatives have been put to referendum. The populace has been conservative, approving only about 10% of the initiatives put before them; in addition, they have often opted for a version of the initiative rewritten by government.[citation needed]
In the United States, no mechanisms of direct democracy exists at the federal level, but over half of the states and many localities provide for citizen-sponsored ballot initiatives (also called “ballot measures”, “ballot questions” or “propositions”), and the vast majority of states allow for referendums. Examples include the extensive use of referendums in the US state of California, which is a state that has more than 20 million voters.[84]
In New EnglandTown meetings are often used, especially in rural areas, to manage local government. This creates a hybrid form of government, with a local direct democracy and a state government which is representative. For example, most Vermont towns hold annual town meetings in March in which town officers are elected, budgets for the town and schools are voted on, and citizens have the opportunity to speak and be heard on political matters.[85]
Variants
Republic
Main article: Republicanism
In contemporary usage, the term democracy refers to a government chosen by the people, whether it is direct or representative.[86] The term republic has many different meanings, but today often refers to a representative democracy with an elected head of state, such as a president, serving for a limited term, in contrast to states with a hereditary monarch as a head of state, even if these states also are representative democracies with an elected or appointed head of government such as a prime minister.[87]
The Founding Fathers of the United States rarely praised and often criticised democracy, which in their time tended to specifically mean direct democracy, often without the protection of a Constitution enshrining basic rights; James Madison argued, especially in The Federalist No. 10, that what distinguished a democracy from a republic was that the former became weaker as it got larger and suffered more violently from the effects of faction, whereas a republic could get stronger as it got larger and combats faction by its very structure.
What was critical to American values, John Adams insisted,[88] was that the government be “bound by fixed laws, which the people have a voice in making, and a right to defend.” As Benjamin Franklin was exiting after writing the U.S. constitution, a woman asked him “Well, Doctor, what have we got-a republic or a monarchy?”. He replied “A republic-if you can keep it.”[89]
Constitutional monarchy
Main article: Constitutional monarchy

Queen Elizabeth II, a constitutional monarch.
Initially after the American and French revolutions, the question was open whether a democracy, in order to restrain unchecked majority rule, should have an élite upper chamber, the members perhaps appointed meritorious experts or having lifetime tenures, or should have a constitutional monarch with limited but real powers. Some countries (such as the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Belgium, Scandinavian countries, Thailand, Japan and Bhutan) turned powerful monarchs into constitutional monarchs with limited or, often gradually, merely symbolic roles.
Often the monarchy was abolished along with the aristocratic system (as in France, China, Russia, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Italy, Greece and Egypt). Many nations had élite upper houses of legislatures which often had lifetime tenure, but eventually these lost power (as in Britain) or else became elective and remained powerful.
Liberal democracy
Main article: Liberal democracy
A liberal democracy is a representative democracy in which the ability of the elected representatives to exercise decision-making power is subject to the rule of law, and moderated by a constitution or laws that emphasise the protection of the rights and freedoms of individuals, and which places constraints on the leaders and on the extent to which the will of the majority can be exercised against the rights of minorities (see civil liberties).
In a liberal democracy, it is possible for some large-scale decisions to emerge from the many individual decisions that citizens are free to make. In other words, citizens can “vote with their feet” or “vote with their dollars”, resulting in significant informal government-by-the-masses that exercises many “powers” associated with formal government elsewhere.
Socialist
Socialist thought has several different views on democracy. Social democracy, democratic socialism, and the dictatorship of the proletariat (usually exercised through Soviet democracy) are some examples. Many democratic socialists and social democrats believe in a form of participatory democracy and/or workplace democracy combined with a representative democracy.
Within Marxist orthodoxy there is a hostility to what is commonly called “liberal democracy”, which they simply refer to as parliamentary democracy because of its often centralised nature. Because of their desire to eliminate the political elitism they see in capitalism, Marxists, Leninists and Trotskyists believe in direct democracy implemented through a system of communes (which are sometimes called soviets). This system ultimately manifests itself as council democracy and begins with workplace democracy. (See Democracy in Marxism.)
Democracy cannot consist solely of elections that are nearly always fictitious and managed by rich landowners and professional politicians.
-Che Guevara, Speech, Uruguay, 1961[90]
Anarchist
Anarchists are split in this domain, depending on whether they believe that a majority-rule is tyrannic or not. The only form of democracy considered acceptable to many anarchists is direct democracy. Pierre-Joseph Proudhon argued that the only acceptable form of direct democracy is one in which it is recognised that majority decisions are not binding on the minority, even when unanimous.[91] However, anarcho-communistMurray Bookchincriticisedindividualist anarchists for opposing democracy,[92] and says “majority rule” is consistent with anarchism.[93]
Some anarcho-communists oppose the majoritarian nature of direct democracy, feeling that it can impede individual liberty and opt in favour of a non-majoritarian form of consensus democracy, similar to Proudhon’s position on direct democracy.[94]Henry David Thoreau, who did not self-identify as an anarchist but argued for “a better government”[95] and is cited as an inspiration by some anarchists, argued that people should not be in the position of ruling others or being ruled when there is no consent.
Anarcho-capitalists, voluntaryists and other right-anarchists oppose institutional democracy as they consider it in conflict with widely held moral values and ethical principles and their conception of individual rights. The a prioriRothbardian argument is that the state is a coercive institution which necessarily violates the non-aggression principle (NAP). Some right-anarchists also criticise democracy on a posteriori consequentialist grounds, in terms of inefficiency or disability in bringing about maximisation of individual liberty. They maintain the people who participate in democratic institutions are foremost driven by economic self-interest.[96][97]
Demarchy
Main article: Demarchy
Sometimes called “democracy without elections”, demarchy uses sortition to choose decision makers via a random process. The intention is that those chosen will be representative of the opinions and interests of the people at large, and be more fair and impartial than an elected official. The technique was in widespread use in Athenian Democracy and is still used in modern jury selection.
Consociational
Main article: Consociational democracy
A consociational democracy allows for simultaneous majority votes in two or more ethno-religious constituencies, and policies are enacted only if they gain majority support from both or all of them.
Consensus democracy
Main article: Consensus democracy
A consensus democracy, in contrast, would not be dichotomous. Instead, decisions would be based on a multi-option approach, and policies would be enacted if they gained sufficient support, either in a purely verbal agreement, or via a consensus vote – a multi-option preference vote. If the threshold of support were at a sufficiently high level, minorities would be as it were protected automatically. Furthermore, any voting would be ethno-colour blind.
Supranational
Qualified majority voting is designed by the Treaty of Rome to be the principal method of reaching decisions in the European Council of Ministers. This system allocates votes to member states in part according to their population, but heavily weighted in favour of the smaller states. This might be seen as a form of representative democracy, but representatives to the Council might be appointed rather than directly elected.
Inclusive
Main article: Inclusive Democracy
Inclusive democracy is a political theory and political project that aims for direct democracy in all fields of social life: political democracy in the form of face-to-face assemblies which are confederated, economic democracy in a stateless, moneyless and marketless economy, democracy in the social realm, i.e. self-management in places of work and education, and ecological democracy which aims to reintegrate society and nature. The theoretical project of inclusive democracy emerged from the work of political philosopher Takis Fotopoulos in “Towards An Inclusive Democracy” and was further developed in the journal Democracy &Natureand its successor The International Journal of Inclusive Democracy.
The basic unit of decision making in an inclusive democracy is the demotic assembly, i.e. the assembly of demos, the citizen body in a given geographical area which may encompass a town and the surrounding villages, or even neighbourhoods of large cities. An inclusive democracy today can only take the form of a confederal democracy that is based on a network of administrative councils whose members or delegates are elected from popular face-to-face democratic assemblies in the various demoi. Thus, their role is purely administrative and practical, not one of policy-making like that of representatives in representative democracy.
The citizen body is advised by experts but it is the citizen body which functions as the ultimate decision-taker . Authority can be delegated to a segment of the citizen body to carry out specific duties, for example to serve as members of popular courts, or of regional and confederal councils. Such delegation is made, in principle, by lot, on a rotation basis, and is always recallable by the citizen body. Delegates to regional and confederal bodies should have specific mandates.
Participatory politics
Main article: Participatory politics
A Parpolity or Participatory Polity is a theoretical form of democracy that is ruled by a Nested Council structure. The guiding philosophy is that people should have decision making power in proportion to how much they are affected by the decision. Local councils of 25-50 people are completely autonomous on issues that affect only them, and these councils send delegates to higher level councils who are again autonomous regarding issues that affect only the population affected by that council.
A council court of randomly chosen citizens serves as a check on the tyranny of the majority, and rules on which body gets to vote on which issue. Delegates may vote differently from how their sending council might wish, but are mandated to communicate the wishes of their sending council. Delegates are recallable at any time. Referendums are possible at any time via votes of most lower-level councils, however, not everything is a referendum as this is most likely a waste of time. A parpolity is meant to work in tandem with a participatory economy.
Cosmopolitan
Main article: Cosmopolitan democracy
Cosmopolitan democracy, also known as Global democracy or World Federalism, is a political system in which democracy is implemented on a global scale, either directly or through representatives. An important justification for this kind of system is that the decisions made in national or regional democracies often affect people outside the constituency who, by definition, cannot vote. By contrast, in a cosmopolitan democracy, the people who are affected by decisions also have a say in them.[98]
According to its supporters, any attempt to solve global problems is undemocratic without some form of cosmopolitan democracy. The general principle of cosmopolitan democracy is to expand some or all of the values and norms of democracy, including the rule of law; the non-violent resolution of conflicts; and equality among citizens, beyond the limits of the state. To be fully implemented, this would require reforming existing international organisations, e.g. the United Nations, as well as the creation of new institutions such as a World Parliament, which ideally would enhance public control over, and accountability in, international politics.
Cosmopolitan Democracy has been promoted, among others, by physicist Albert Einstein,[99] writer Kurt Vonnegut, columnist George Monbiot, and professors David Held and Daniele Archibugi.[100] The creation of the International Criminal Court in 2003 was seen as a major step forward by many supporters of this type of cosmopolitan democracy.
Non-governmental
Aside from the public sphere, similar democratic principles and mechanisms of voting and representation have been used to govern other kinds of groups. Many non-governmental organisations decide policy and leadership by voting. Most trade unions and cooperatives are governed by democratic elections. Corporations are controlled by shareholders on the principle of one share, one vote.
Theory

A marble statue of Aristotle
Aristotle
Aristotle contrasted rule by the many (democracy/polity), with rule by the few (oligarchy/aristocracy), and with rule by a single person (tyranny or today autocracy/monarchy). He also thought that there was a good and a bad variant of each system (he considered democracy to be the degenerate counterpart to polity).[101][102]
For Aristotle the underlying principle of democracy is freedom, since only in a democracy the citizens can have a share in freedom. In essence, he argues that this is what every democracy should make its aim. There are two main aspects of freedom: being ruled and ruling in turn, since everyone is equal according to number, not merit, and to be able to live as one pleases.
But one factor of liberty is to govern and be governed in turn; for the popular principle of justice is to have equality according to number, not worth, … And one is for a man to live as he likes; for they say that this is the function of liberty, inasmuch as to live not as one likes is the life of a man that is a slave.
-Aristotle, Politics 1317b (Book 6, Part II)
Rationale
Among modern political theorists, there are three contending conceptions of the fundamental rationale for democracy: aggregative democracy,deliberative democracy, and radical democracy.[103]
Aggregative
The theory of aggregative democracy claims that the aim of the democratic processes is to solicit citizens’ preferences and aggregate them together to determine what social policies society should adopt. Therefore, proponents of this view hold that democratic participation should primarily focus on voting, where the policy with the most votes gets implemented.
Different variants of aggregative democracy exist. Under minimalism, democracy is a system of government in which citizens have given teams of political leaders the right to rule in periodic elections. According to this minimalist conception, citizens cannot and should not “rule” because, for example, on most issues, most of the time, they have no clear views or their views are not well-founded. Joseph Schumpeter articulated this view most famously in his book Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy.[104] Contemporary proponents of minimalism include William H. Riker, Adam Przeworski, Richard Posner.
According to the theory of direct democracy, on the other hand, citizens should vote directly, not through their representatives, on legislative proposals. Proponents of direct democracy offer varied reasons to support this view. Political activity can be valuable in itself, it socialises and educates citizens, and popular participation can check powerful elites. Most importantly, citizens do not really rule themselves unless they directly decide laws and policies.
Governments will tend to produce laws and policies that are close to the views of the median voter – with half to their left and the other half to their right. This is not actually a desirable outcome as it represents the action of self-interested and somewhat unaccountable political elites competing for votes. Anthony Downs suggests that ideological political parties are necessary to act as a mediating broker between individual and governments. Downs laid out this view in his 1957 book An Economic Theory of Democracy.[105]
Robert A. Dahl argues that the fundamental democratic principle is that, when it comes to binding collective decisions, each person in a political community is entitled to have his/her interests be given equal consideration (not necessarily that all people are equally satisfied by the collective decision). He uses the term polyarchy to refer to societies in which there exists a certain set of institutions and procedures which are perceived as leading to such democracy. First and foremost among these institutions is the regular occurrence of free and open elections which are used to select representatives who then manage all or most of the public policy of the society. However, these polyarchic procedures may not create a full democracy if, for example, poverty prevents political participation.[106]
Deliberative
Deliberative democracy is based on the notion that democracy is government by deliberation. Unlike aggregative democracy, deliberative democracy holds that, for a democratic decision to be legitimate, it must be preceded by authentic deliberation, not merely the aggregration of preferences that occurs in voting. Authentic deliberation is deliberation among decision-makers that is free from distortions of unequal political power, such as power a decision-maker obtained through economic wealth or the support of interest groups.[107][108][109] If the decision-makers cannot reach consensus after authentically deliberating on a proposal, then they vote on the proposal using a form of majority rule.
Radical
Radical democracy is based on the idea that there are hierarchical and oppressive power relations that exist in society. Democracy’s role is to make visible and challenge those relations by allowing for difference, dissent and antagonisms in decision making processes.
Criticism
Main article: Criticism of democracy

Protests.
Inefficiencies
Economists like Milton Friedman have strongly criticised the efficiency of democracy. They base this on their premise of the irrational voter. Their argument is that voters are highly uninformed about many political issues, especially relating to economics, and have a strong bias about the few issues on which they are fairly knowledgeable.
Popular rule as a façade
The 20th-century Italian thinkers Vilfredo Pareto and Gaetano Mosca (independently) argued that democracy was illusory, and served only to mask the reality of elite rule. Indeed, they argued that elite oligarchy is the unbendable law of human nature, due largely to the apathy and division of the masses (as opposed to the drive, initiative and unity of the elites), and that democratic institutions would do no more than shift the exercise of power from oppression to manipulation.[110] As Louis Brandeis once professed, “We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.”[111]
All political parties in Canada are now cautious about criticism of the high level of immigration, because, as noted by The Globe and Mail, “in the early 1990s, the old Reform Party was branded ‘racist’ for suggesting that immigration levels be lowered from 250,000 to 150,000.”[112]As Professor of Economics Don J. DeVoretz pointed out, “In a liberal democracy such as Canada, the following paradox persists. Even though the majority of respondents answer yes to the question: ‘Are there too many immigrant arrivals each year?’ immigrant numbers continue to rise until a critical set of economic costs appear.”[113][114]
Mob rule
Plato’s The Republic presents a critical view of democracy through the narration of Socrates: “Democracy, which is a charming form of government, full of variety and disorder, and dispensing a sort of equality to equals and unequaled alike.”[115]In his work, Plato lists 5 forms of government from best to worst. Assuming that the Republic was intended to be a serious critique of the political thought in Athens, Plato argues that only Kallipolis, an aristocracy led by the unwilling philosopher-kings (the wisest men), is a just form of government.[116]
James Madison critiqued direct democracy (which he referred to simply as “democracy”) in Federalist No. 10, arguing that representative democracy-which he described using the term “republic”-is a preferable form of government, saying: “… democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.” Madison offered that republics were superior to democracies because republics safeguarded against tyranny of the majority, stating in Federalist No. 10: “the same advantage which a republic has over a democracy, in controlling the effects of faction, is enjoyed by a large over a small republic”.
Political instability
More recently, democracy is criticised for not offering enough political stability. As governments are frequently elected on and off there tends to be frequent changes in the policies of democratic countries both domestically and internationally. Even if a political party maintains power, vociferous, headline grabbing protests and harsh criticism from the mass media are often enough to force sudden, unexpected political change. Frequent policy changes with regard to business and immigration are likely to deter investment and so hinder economic growth. For this reason, many people have put forward the idea that democracy is undesirable for a developing country in which economic growth and the reduction of poverty are top priorities.[117]
This opportunist alliance not only has the handicap of having to cater to too many ideologically opposing factions, but it is usually short lived since any perceived or actual imbalance in the treatment of coalition partners, or changes to leadership in the coalition partners themselves, can very easily result in the coalition partner withdrawing its support from the government.
Fraudulent elections
In representative democracies, it may not benefit incumbents to conduct fair elections. A study showed that incumbents who rig elections stay in office 2.5 times as long as those who permit fair elections.[118]In countries with income above per capita, democracies have been found to be less prone to violence, but below that threshold, more prone violence.[118] Election misconduct is more likely in countries with low per capita incomes, small populations, rich in natural resources, and a lack of institutional checks and balances. Sub-Saharan countries, as well as Afghanistan, all tend to fall into that category.[118]
Governments that have frequent elections tend to have significantly more stable economic policies than those governments who have infrequent elections. However, this trend does not apply to governments that hold fraudulent elections.[118]
Opposition
Main article: Anti-democratic thought
Democracy in modern times has almost always faced opposition from the previously existing government, and many times it has faced opposition from social elites. The implementation of a democratic government within a non-democratic state is typically brought about by democratic revolution. Monarchy had traditionally been opposed to democracy, and to this day remains opposed to the abolition of its privileges, although often political compromise has been reached in the form of shared government.
Post-Enlightenment ideologies such as fascism, Nazism and neo-fundamentalism oppose democracy on different grounds, generally citing that the concept of democracy as a constant process is flawed and detrimental to a preferable course of development.
Development
Several philosophers and researchers outlined historical and social factors supporting the evolution of democracy. Cultural factors like Protestantism influenced the development of democracy, rule of law, human rights and political liberty (the faithful elected priests, religious freedom and tolerance has been practiced).
Others mentioned the influence of wealth (e.g. S. M. Lipset, 1959). In a related theory, Ronald Inglehart suggests that the increase in living standards has convinced people that they can take their basic survival for granted, and led to increased emphasis on self-expression values, which is highly correlated to democracy.[119]
Carroll Quigley concludes that the characteristics of weapons are the main predictor of democracy:[120][121] Democracy tends to emerge only when the best weapons available are easy for individuals to buy and use.[122]By the 1800s, guns were the best weapon available, and in America, almost everyone could afford to buy a gun, and could learn how to use it fairly easily. Governments couldn’t do any better: It became the age of mass armies of citizen soldiers with guns[122] Similarly, Periclean Greece was an age of the citizen soldier and democracy.[123]
Recently established theories stress the relevance of education and human capital and within them of cognitive ability to increasing tolerance, rationality, political literacy and participation. Two effects of education and cognitive ability are distinguished: a cognitive effect (competence to make rational choices, better information processing) and an ethical effect (support of democratic values, freedom, human rights etc.), which itself depends on intelligence.[124][125][126]
Evidence that is consistent with conventional theories of why democracy emerges and is sustained has been hard to come by. Recent statistical analyses have challenged modernisation theory by demonstrating that there is no reliable evidence for the claim that democracy is more likely to emerge when countries become wealthier, more educated, or less unequal.[127] Neither is there convincing evidence that increased reliance on oil revenues prevents democratisation, despite a vast theoretical literature called “The Resource Curse” that asserts that oil revenues sever the link between citizen taxation and government accountability, the key to representative democracy.[128]The lack of evidence for these conventional theories of democratisation have led researchers to search for the “deep” determinants of contemporary political institutions, be they geographical or demographic.[129][130]
In the 21st century, democracy has become such a popular method of reaching decisions that its application beyond politics to other areas such as entertainment, food and fashion, consumerism, urban planning, education, art, literature, science and theology has been criticised as “the reigning dogma of our time”.[131]The argument is that applying a populist or market-driven approach to art and literature for example, means that innovative creative work goes unpublished or unproduced. In education, the argument is that essential but more difficult studies are not undertaken. Science, which is a truth-based discipline, is particularly corrupted by the idea that the correct conclusion can be arrived at by popular vote.
Robert Michels asserts that although democracy can never be fully realised, democracy may be developed automatically in the act of striving for democracy: “The peasant in the fable, when on his death-bed, tells his sons that a treasure is buried in the field. After the old man’s death the sons dig everywhere in order to discover the treasure. They do not find it. But their indefatigable labor improves the soil and secures for them a comparative well-being. The treasure in the fable may well symbolise democracy.”[132]
Dr. HaraldWydra, in his book Communism and The Emergence of Democracy, maintains that the development of democracy should not be viewed as a purely procedural or as a static concept but rather as an ongoing “process of meaning formation”.[133] Drawing on Claude Lefort’s idea of the empty place of power, that “power emanates from the people […] but is the power of nobody”, he remarks that democracy is reverence to a symbolic mythical authority as in reality, there is no such thing as the people or demos. Democratic political figures are not supreme rulers but rather temporary guardians of an empty place. Any claim to substance such as the collective good, the public interest or the will of the nation is subject to the competitive struggle and times of for gaining the authority of office and government. The essence of the democratic system is an empty place, void of real people which can only be temporarily filled and never be appropriated. The seat of power is there, but remains open to constant change. As such, what “democracy” is or what is “democratic” progresses throughout history as a continual and potentially never ending process of social construction.[citation needed]
In 2010 a study by a German military think tank has analyzed how peak oil might change the global economy. The study raises fears for the survival of democracy itself. It suggests that parts of the population could perceive the upheaval triggered by peak oil as a general systemic crisis. This would create “room for ideological and extremist alternatives to existing forms of government”.[134]
See also
* Democracy Ranking
* Democratic peace theory
* E-democracy
* Spatial Citizenship
* Empowered democracy
* Foucault-Habermas debate
* Good governance
* Types of democracy
* Rule of law
* Recall election
* Cryptocracy
* Liberal Democracy
* Constitutional liberalism
* Totalitarianism
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Further reading
* Appleby, Joyce. (1992). Liberalism and Republicanism in the Historical Imagination. Harvard University Press.
* Archibugi, Daniele, The Global Commonwealth of Citizens. Toward Cosmopolitan Democracy, Princeton University PressISBN 978-0-691-13490-1
* Becker, Peter, Heideking, Juergen, &Henretta, James A. (2002). Republicanism and Liberalism in America and the German States, 1750-1850. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-80066-2
* Benhabib, Seyla. (1996). Democracy and Difference: Contesting the Boundaries of the Political. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-04478-1
* Blattberg, Charles. (2000). From Pluralist to Patriotic Politics: Putting Practice First, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-829688-1.
* Birch, Anthony H. (1993). The Concepts and Theories of Modern Democracy. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-41463-0
* Castiglione, Dario. (2005). “Republicanism and its Legacy.” European Journal of Political Theory.pp 453-65.
* Copp, David, Jean Hampton, & John E. Roemer. (1993). The Idea of Democracy. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-43254-2
* Caputo, Nicholas. (2005). America’s Bible of Democracy: Returning to the Constitution.SterlingHouse Publisher, Inc. ISBN 978-1-58501-092-9
* Dahl, Robert A. (1991). Democracy and its Critics. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-04938-1
* Dahl, Robert A. (2000). On Democracy. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-08455-9
* Dahl, Robert A. Ian Shapiro & Jose Antonio Cheibub. (2003). The Democracy Sourcebook. MIT Press. ISBN 978-0-262-54147-3
* Dahl, Robert A. (1963). A Preface to Democratic Theory. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-13426-0
* Davenport, Christian. (2007). State Repression and the Domestic Democratic Peace. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-86490-9
* Diamond, Larry & Marc Plattner. (1996). The Global Resurgence of Democracy.Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-5304-3
* Diamond, Larry & Richard Gunther. (2001). Political Parties and Democracy. JHU Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-6863-4
* Diamond, Larry & Leonardo Morlino. (2005). Assessing the Quality of Democracy. JHU Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-8287-6
* Diamond, Larry, Marc F. Plattner& Philip J. Costopoulos. (2005). World Religions and Democracy. JHU Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-8080-3
* Diamond, Larry, Marc F. Plattner& Daniel Brumberg. (2003). Islam and Democracy in the Middle East. JHU Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-7847-3
* Elster, Jon. (1998). Deliberative Democracy. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-59696-1
* Emerson, Peter (2007) “Designing an All-Inclusive Democracy.” Springer. ISBN 978-3-540-33163-6
* Emerson, Peter (2012) “Defining Democracy.” Springer. ISBN 978-3-642-20903-1
* Fotopoulos, Takis. (2006). “Liberal and Socialist “Democracies” versus Inclusive Democracy”, The International Journal Of Inclusive Democracy.2(2)
* Fotopoulos, Takis. (1992). “Direct and Economic Democracy in Ancient Athens and its Significance Today”, Democracy & Nature, 1(1)
* Gabardi, Wayne. (2001). Contemporary Models of Democracy. Polity.
* Griswold, Daniel. (2007). Trade, Democracy and Peace: The Virtuous Cycle at the Wayback Machine (archived September 28, 2007)
* Gutmann, Amy, and Dennis Thompson. (1996). Democracy and Disagreement. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-19766-4
* Gutmann, Amy, and Dennis Thompson. (2002). Why Deliberative Democracy? Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-12019-5
* Haldane, Robert Burdone (1918). The future of democracy. London: Headley Bros. Publishers Ltd.
* Halperin, M. H., Siegle, J. T. & Weinstein, M. M. (2005). The Democracy Advantage: How Democracies Promote Prosperity and Peace.Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-95052-7
* Hansen, Mogens Herman. (1991). The Athenian Democracy in the Age of Demosthenes. Oxford: Blackwell. ISBN 978-0-631-18017-3
* Held, David. (2006). Models of Democracy. Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0-8047-5472-9
* Inglehart, Ronald. (1997). Modernisation and Postmodernisation. Cultural, Economic, and Political Change in 43 Societies. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-01180-6
* Isakhan, Ben and Stockwell, Stephen (co-editors). (2011) The Secret History of Democracy. Palgrave MacMillan. ISBN 978-0-230-24421-4
* Jarvie, I. C.; Milford, K. (2006). Karl Popper: Life and time, and values in a world of facts Volume 1 of Karl Popper: A Centenary Assessment, Karl Milford. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. ISBN 978-0-7546-5375-2.
* Khan, L. Ali. (2003). A Theory of Universal Democracy: Beyond the End of History.MartinusNijhoff Publishers. ISBN 978-90-411-2003-8
* Köchler, Hans. (1987). The Crisis of Representative Democracy. Peter Lang. ISBN 978-3-8204-8843-2
* Lijphart, Arend. (1999). Patterns of Democracy: Government Forms and Performance in Thirty-Six Countries. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-07893-0
* Lipset, Seymour Martin. (1959). “Some Social Requisites of Democracy: Economic Development and Political Legitimacy”. American Political Science Review53 (1): 69-105. doi:10.2307/1951731. JSTOR 1951731.
* Macpherson, C. B. (1977). The Life and Times of Liberal Democracy. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-289106-8
* Morgan, Edmund. (1989). Inventing the People: The Rise of Popular Sovereignty in England and America. Norton. ISBN 978-0-393-30623-1
* Ober, J.; Hedrick, C. W. (1996). Demokratia: a conversation on democracies, ancient and modern. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-01108-7.
* Plattner, Marc F. &AleksanderSmolar. (2000). Globalisation, Power, and Democracy. JHU Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-6568-8
* Plattner, Marc F. &João Carlos Espada. (2000). The Democratic Invention. Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-6419-3
* Putnam, Robert. (2001). Making Democracy Work. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-5-551-09103-5
* Raaflaub, Kurt A.; Ober, Josiah; Wallace, Robert W (2007). Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-24562-4.
* Riker, William H.. (1962). The Theory of Political Coalitions. Yale University Press.
* Sen, Amartya K. (1999). “Democracy as a Universal Value”. Journal of Democracy10 (3): 3-17. doi:10.1353/jod.1999.0055.
* Tannsjo, Torbjorn. (2008). Global Democracy: The Case for a World Government. Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 978-0-7486-3499-6. Argues that not only is world government necessary if we want to deal successfully with global problems it is also, pace Kant and Rawls, desirable in its own right.
* Thompson, Dennis (1970). The Democratic Citizen: Social Science and Democratic Theory in the 20th Century. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-13173-5
* Volk, Kyle G. (2014). Moral Minorities and the Making of American Democracy. New York: Oxford University Press.
* Weingast, Barry. (1997). “The Political Foundations of the Rule of Law and Democracy”. American Political Science Review91 (2): 245-263. doi:10.2307/2952354. JSTOR 2952354.
* Weatherford, Jack. (1990). Indian Givers: How the Indians Transformed the World. New York: Fawcett Columbine. ISBN 978-0-449-90496-1
* Whitehead, Laurence. (2002). Emerging Market Democracies: East Asia and Latin America. JHU Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-7219-8
* Willard, Charles Arthur. (1996). Liberalism and the Problem of Knowledge: A New Rhetoric for Modern Democracy. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-89845-2
* Wood, E. M. (1995). Democracy Against Capitalism: Renewing historical materialism. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-47682-9
* Wood, Gordon S. (1991). The Radicalism of the American Revolution. Vintage Books. ISBN 978-0-679-73688-2 examines democratic dimensions of republicanism
External links