Early-Career Scholar Forum

Unveiling Valence: Explaining LDP Dominance in Japan

Friday, 22 October 2021 | 9:00 - 9:45 (JST)
Zoom Meeting
  • Jordan Hamzawi Postdoctoral Fellow, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Kenneth Mori MCELWAIN Professor, Institute of Social Science, The University of Tokyo
Event Description

I discuss how party policy and valence shape Japanese politics. Drawing from the literature valence, which highlights the significance of things like competence and capability on voter choice, I provide evidence that the LDP lost in 2009 due to poor policy positioning while facing the DPJ, a party with comparable valence. However, after the DPJ split apart, the LDP was able to dominate a fragmented opposition once more through its relatively superior valence. I conclude that opposition parties in Japan are either poorly positioned on policy relative to voter preferences or do not have the necessary valence to compete with the LDP even when better positioned on politics

About the Speaker

Jordan Hamzawi began studying Japanese politics as an undergraduate at Brigham Young University where he double majored in International Relations and Japanese. He continued his studies at the University of Michigan where he received a Master’s in Area Studies: Japan and then went on to complete his Ph.D. in political science at the University of California, Davis. He is currently working as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University, researching Japanese electoral politics and drafting a manuscript for a book on LDP dominance.