Local Government in Comparative Perspective-E2

Numbering Code U-LAS06 20045 LE42 Year/Term 2021 ・ Second semester
Number of Credits 2 Course Type Lecture
Target Year All students Target Student For all majors
Language English Day/Period Mon.3
Instructor name HIJINO KEN (Graduate School of Law Professor)
Outline and Purpose of the Course This course introduces students to the universe of local government and local democracy. It asks students to think about why modern local governments exist at all, their designs and consequences, and potential in terms of contributing to challenges such as climate change, inequality, and globalization. We investigate these themes by looking primarily at the Japanese local government system but also in comparison to other local government systems elsewhere.
Course Goals After taking this course, students should be able to explain the basic features of the origin and evolution of modern local government systems (both in federal and unitarty systems), their institutional designs and consequences, and how their “performance” can be compared. Such knowledge should be grounded in empirical cases and examples including, but not limited to, Japan.
Schedule and Contents 1. Introduction and overview: modern states and local government
2. The historical origins of modern local government
3. Institutional designs: constitutional frameworks
4. Institutional designs: local government powers
5. Institutional design: local government finance
6. Institutional designs: local government electoral systems
7. Institutional designs: local government executive systems
8. Institutional designs: local government bureaucracy
9. Institutional designs: multilevel party politics
10. Unitary Case: Japan
11. Unitary Case: Sweden
12. Unitary Case: UK
13. Federal Case: Canada
14. Federal Case: Germany

Total:14 classes and 1 feedback
Evaluation Methods and Policy Participation and/or posting on online Forum threads: 10 per cent
Biweekly class assignments (reading summaries): 40 per cent
Final term paper and/or examination: 50 per cent
Course Requirements Students do not need to have any background in social sciences or political science, though this would be helpful. Students should be able to read 30 or so pages of English texts weekly (supplemented by Japanese material for Japanese students), engage in discussion during class, and complete a final term paper with referencing of a minimum 2,500 words.
Study outside of Class (preparation and review) The student would be expected to spend some 2 hours a week reading and 1-2 hours preparing assignments for this class.
Textbooks Textbooks/References There will be no textbook, but suitable articles and readings (around 30 pages per week in English with supplementary readings in Japanese) which will be assigned from handbooks and articles, each week.
References, etc. Hijino, K. V. L. (2017). Local politics and national policy: Multi-level conflicts in Japan and beyond.
曽我謙吾 (2019) 日本の地方政府
ヒジノ、ケン (2015)日本のローカルデモクラシー