Comparative Politics

B21 - Voters, Politicians and Public Policy: A Comparative Perspective

Date: Jun 1 | Time: 03:15pm to 04:45pm | Location:

Chair/Président/Présidente : Hideki Kido (Kyoto Women's University)

Discussant/Commentateur/Commentatrice : Jim Farney (Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, Regina)

Discussant/Commentateur/Commentatrice : Hideki Kido (Kyoto Women's University)

Understanding the Role of Candidates’ Visual Information - Application of Conjoint Analyses and Eye Tracking Techniques: Etsuhiro Nakamura (Aichi Gakuin University)
Abstract: Because the methodological foundations and online survey platforms for conjoint analysis have been developed, conjoint analysis has been used widely to analyze Japanese electoral politics and candidate choice by voters. Although these analyses provide very interesting insights, they are based on verbal descriptions of candidates. Recently, several studies indicated the importance of visual information about candidates. Some scholars contended that voters infer important traits, such as competence, from candidates’ faces. Other researchers found that attractiveness helps candidate win more votes. Japanese electoral studies using conjoint analysis have not incorporated the facial information into their analysis so far. Although a great deal of experimental evidence suggests that better-looking candidates have some electoral advantages, the extent to which voters use facial information compared with other information remains unknown. For example, candidates’ faces convey information about their ages and genders. It is remains unclear whether age and gender or facial information has the stronger effect. The comparison of facial information and policy platforms is another important research target, but researchers are unsure how facial information affects the voters’ choices. Thus, in order to fill the gap between the conjoint literature and facial information research, in this paper, I examine whether facial information affects voters’ choices even when other traits are controlled. I accomplish this using conjoint analysis to compare verbal and pictorial descriptions of candidates. Then, I investigate whether voters’ information processing styles are influenced by facial information using eye tracking techniques. Finally, I summarize the experimental results and present this study’s conclusions.

Measuring the Implementation Gap of Land rights for Indigenous and Afro-descendant Peoples in Central America: Comparative analysis of four key aspects: Ritsuko Funaki (Chuo University)
Abstract: Latin America is one of the most crucial regions regarding realization of Indigenous Peoples’ rights. Most states have reformed the Constitution with the aim of recognizing the rights of Indigenous Peoples and Afro-descendant peoples during the last two decades. However, in practice, they have frequently failed to comply with the responsibilities established in national and international laws, which is why researchers and stakeholders have repeatedly reported situations of such implementation gaps. But it has not been clear how much gap exists in comparative view, basically because of the methodological limitations of above-mentioned reports, and the qualitatively complex features of the gaps themselves. Within various aspects of the gap, violation of the right to lands and territories for the Indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples demonstrates one of the most conflictive and controversial situations with respect of the phenomenon. Considering its population and geographic diversity, in the present study we will analyze the gaps in Central American countries focusing on following four key aspects of the right to lands and territories: 1) Collective property titles; 2) Territorial security against invaders; 3) Territorial security against evictions and displacement; and 4) Consultation about natural resources in the lands occupied by Indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples.

Connecting Intergovernmental Relations? Career Paths of Canadian Parliament Members: Hideki Kido (Kyoto Women's University)
Abstract: This presentation will examine the political careers of parliament members in Canada. I will focus on how many politicians are moving into the federal government from the provincial and/or municipal level. Many studies show that parliament members in the Canadian federal government started out in professional occupations such as accounting, legal practice, and medicine before becoming politicians. This is because the federal political party is completely separated from the provincial party in Canada, and provincial and/or municipal politicians are not regarded as significant resources for the federal parliament. Even though it is often said that local autonomy is the school of democracy, Canadian local and/or provincial politics is separated from its federal politics in terms of political careers. My presentation will question this aspect of political careerism in Canada and examine how many federal politicians are coming from the provincial and/or municipal level and how they behave in the parliament. Indeed, over 25% members of the House of Commons after the 2015 election have had a previous political career at the provincial and/or municipal level. These parliament members would behave in parliament to reflect provincial/local interest in the policymaking process. To reveal this, this presentation will investigate the former jobs of all parliament members in the House of Commons between 1988 to 2022, including former party affiliation and types of political careers, such as mayor, provincial legislative assembly member, etc.

The Changing Relationship between Politicians and Bureaucrats in Japan: A Focus on Personal History of Government Official: Masatoshi Kato (Ritsumeikan University), Kyoko Tokuhisa (Ritsumeikan University)
Abstract: The relationship between politicians and bureaucrats is changing to meet the needs of the times and the power balance of them. Postwar Japanese political history also applies to this pattern. In the early postwar years, bureaucrats had the power in policy making over politicians based on information asymmetry and expertise. Under the LDP government, politicians improved their abilities during the long careers and had the power over bureaucrats. In recent years, the power has been concentrated on prime minister since political-administrative reforms. Political scientists usually find this change based on case study and explain it focusing on institutional and/or political factors. While these analyses show the changing relationship and reveal the causal factors, they understate the perspective of actors such as government official. This paper reconsiders above analysis on Japanese political system based on the interpretation of personal history of government official. According to the perspective of official, the cooperative relationship based on mutual trust is changing, but endure until recently. This paper shows that the superficial changes result from transformation in issues and the unintended consequences of political-administrative reforms destroy the cooperative relationship.