Japan's Budget Politics: Balancing Domestic and International Interests

Japan's Budget Politics: Balancing Domestic and International Interests

Japan's Budget Politics: Balancing Domestic and International Interests

Japan's Budget Politics: Balancing Domestic and International Interests

Synopsis

Suzuki (political science, Ohio University) explores questions surrounding the increasing politicization of Japan's budgetary policy, finding answers in the interplay of domestic and international politics from the early 1970s through the 1990s. He points out that modern state leaders must continually negotiate with their foreign counterparts to foster freer international markets while mitigating the social costs they entail. He tells how the Japanese state has responded to the challenge of devising budgetary policies that accommodate both domestic and international concerns. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Excerpt

The road to the free market was opened and kept open by an enormous increase in continuous, centrally organized and controlled intervention…. Thus even those who wished most ardently to free the state from all the unnecessary duties, and whose whole philosophy demanded the restriction of state activities, could not but entrust the self-same state with the new powers, organs, and instruments required for the establishment of laissez-faire.

—Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation

The danger we face is not too much power in the international economy, but too little, not an excess of domination, but a superfluidity of would-be free-riders, unwilling to mind the store, and waiting for a storekeeper to appear.

—Charles Kindleberger, “Dominance and Leadership in the International Economy”

And so emerged the compromise of embedded liberalism, the grand domestic and international political bargaining on which the postwar economic regimes came to rest…. the broad expectation was held in governing circles at the dawn of the postwar era that the international economic order would be multilateral in form. Movement toward greater openness in the international economy, however, would be coupled with safeguards that acknowledged and even facilitated the interventionist character of the modern capitalist state.

—John Gerald Ruggie, “Embedded Liberalism Revisited”

The International Level: Embedded Liberalism
and the Politics of Macroeconomic Coordination

Political Leadership and International Economic Stability

The relationship between political leadership and international economic stability is one that is obscure and highly contested. the focus of classical liberal economists whose primary concern is to understand how market forces operate has centered on how factor endowments such as land, labor . . .

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