As market competition has replaced state regulation in many economic fields, competition policy has been one of the most important policy areas in recent years. However, this policy area apparently lacks political analysis. Legal and economic specialists have dominated the discussion for a long time, and little attention has been drawn from political scientists. As a result, such matters as organised interests and power relations are often set aside in the textbook of competition policy.
The lack of concern about these political matters is particularly evident in the recent debate on international convergence of competition policy. Many inter-pret the phenomenon as the result of such external changes as the growth of international economic interdependence and the development of international political cooperation. While those external changes are no doubt important, other changes-in the domestic political structure-should not be overlooked. In this book, the importance of the domestic political structure for competition policy is highlighted through the analysis of competition law reforms in Britain and Japan. In turn, the political analysis of competition policy casts new light on the mechanisms of the British and Japanese political economies from a non-traditional perspective.
The original work for this book was conducted as a doctoral thesis at the Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick, from 1996 to 1999. However, the entire content has been revised for the purpose of this new publication. For the study, I interviewed various people in the business, public and academic worlds in Britain and in Japan. All interviews were highly enjoyable and full of interest, and I am grateful for the cooperation of all respondents. The study also benefited from using a number of archives and libraries, especially the Library and the Modern Records Centre at Warwick University, the British Library of Political and Economic Science at the London School of Economics and Political Science, the Public Record Office in London, the library of the Stockholm School of Economics, the National Diet Library in Tokyo and the library at the University of Tokyo.
I would strongly thank Professor Wyn Grant of the University of Warwick and Professor Magnus Blomström of the European Institute of Japanese Studies for their continuous, patient supervision. I also appreciate much useful advice