Early-Career Scholar Forum

Elite Mobility and Continuity during a Regime Change

Friday, 10 December 2021 | 12:15 - 13:00 (JST)
Zoom Meeting
  • Tomoko Matsumoto Junior Associate Professor, the Tokyo University of Science
  • Kenneth Mori MCELWAIN Professor, Institute of Social Science, The University of Tokyo
Event Description

How does a regime change influence elite mobility? Our study provides new evidence that the impact of a regime change on elite mobility is not linear but different by phases of a regime change, collecting elite data after the Meiji Restoration in Japan (1868). We analyze the impact of the regime change from the two aspects: (1) composition of elites or the elite membership and (2) the internal hierarchy within them. Regarding the elite membership, the regime change surely opened an opportunity for commoners to join the elite group. The share of the elites whose fathers were commoners increased. On the other hand, although the commoners’ disadvantages in achieving higher ranks within the elite group was insignificant after the regime change but this did not last long. After the new regime established, the internal elite hierarchy again started to reflect the social stratum of the former regime and weaken meritocracy.

About the Speaker

Dr. Tomoko Matsumoto is a Junior associate professor at the Tokyo University of Science. She is interested in the relationship between ordinary people and democracy. Her research is published in Electoral Studies and Journal of Japanese Political Science.