Reforms and flexible political structures in Meiji Japan

Profound transformation followed Japan’s encounter with the West in the mid-1800s. Its political system changed - a representative assembly was created to publicly discuss national issues - and new national goals and strategies were agreed that focused on industrialisation and interaction with the West. 

This study analyses the transformation between the signing of commercial treaties with the West in 1858 and the settlement on the basic directions of political and economic reform in 1881. It examines how political leaders emerged and interacted in a constant reformation of alliances, and how a flexible structure of politics resulted in the steady achievement of political and economic reforms. Goals, alliances, leaders and leading groups evolved dynamically without solidifying into a simple hard structure or falling into uncontrollable chaos.

 

Researchers: Junji Banno and Kenichi Ohno (University of Tokyo)

Related items

The politics of redistribution: we need you

Which are the key country cases? Help us shape new research.

Opinion by David Hudson 16th October 2014

It's all about inclusion, but how?

Guest post for the World Bank

Opinion by Alina Rocha Menocal 6th April 2016

What's in a name? Leadership as more than the 'big men' and 'big women' of history

Looking beyond 'The Leader' for a deeper understanding of how change happens

Opinion by Heather Lyne de Ver 11th February 2014

Climate change and adaptation in the Pacific Islands: watering down women's security?

How women leaders are challenging a narrow adaptation agenda.

Opinion by Nicole George 7th March 2014

Peace and security in Africa: from summitry to solutions

Will today's African leaders build on Mandela's legacy?

Opinion by Stefan Wolff 20th December 2013

Inequality – the politics behind the policies

Discussion starter for the #polinequality conference

Opinion by David Hudson 11th February 2015

Politics - the problem and solution to poor services?

Why - and how - does politics trump everything else in service delivery?

Opinion by Claire Mcloughlin 13th March 2014

What do we do on Monday? Political settlements in theory and practice

The value of the political settlements framework

Opinion by Edward Laws 15th July 2015

Politics shape services; and services shape politics

How governance and sector specialists can help each other understand the politics of service delivery

Opinion by Richard Batley 19th June 2014
Opinion by Alina Rocha Menocal 24th November 2014

Gender - the power relationship that Political Economy Analysis forgot?

Why more questions about gender relations could help

Opinion by Evie Browne 13th February 2014

Developmental leaders, 'dirty hands', and the dark side of collaboration

The ambiguities of supporting 'developmental leadership'

Opinion by Niheer Dasandi 11th December 2013

Somaliland's route to peace

What can we learn from Somaliland's approach to peacebuilding? 

Opinion by Sarah Phillips 12th December 2013

Cancer and the links between medicine and development

Guest post for From Poverty to Power

Opinion by Chris Roche 15th April 2015

Medellin - more than a miracle

From the most murderous city on earth to 'a new global standard for urban policy': the politics of change in the wake of crisis

Opinion by Cheryl Stonehouse 4th March 2014

Political analysis as the practical art of the possible

Bringing politics back into PEA - a new paper with Adrian Leftwich

Opinion by David Hudson 24th July 2014

Fiji's Roshika Deo - outlier, positive deviant or simply feisty feminist?

First in a series on 'Power, politics and positive deviance', theme of DLP's 2016 annual conference.

Opinion by Priya Chattier 1st February 2016

Taking the Results agenda to the next level?

On new book The Politics of Evidence and Results in International Development

Opinion by Chris Roche 15th July 2015

Forgotten South Sudan tangled in factionalism and failed politics

A toxic blend of complex historical identity politics and short-term elite politicking

Opinion by Jonathan Fisher 4th September 2014

Is developmental patrimonialism a dead end?

The first of two posts introducing a new DLP paper on growth and democratic transition

Opinion by Tim Kelsall 27th September 2016

Welcome to DLP's blog

Welcome to DLP's new blog on politics, power, policy and developmental leadership

Opinion by Heather Marquette 10th December 2013

Politics, risk and development: three takeaways

Reflections from two conferences

Opinion by Chris Roche 19th February 2016

About DLP

The Developmental Leadership Program (DLP) is an international research initiative that explores how leadership, power and political processes drive or block successful development.

DLP focuses on the crucial role of home-grown leaderships and coalitions in forging legitimate political settlements and institutions that promote developmental outcomes, such as sustainable growth, political stability and inclusive social development.

Find out more

News

New role for Alina Rocha Menocal

Monday 31st October 2016

After many significant contributions to DLP's research, events and impact, Alina Rocha Menocal is now moving on to take up a USAID Senior Democracy Fellowship. Alina will also continue her role as a Research Fellow in ODI's Politics and Governance Programme, on a part-time basis, and we are delighted that she will retain close links with DLP as a Research Associate.

Read more

2016 Adrian Leftwich Memorial Lecture

Thursday 27th October 2016

The University of Manchester's annual lecture in memory of DLP's founding Director of Research, Adrian Leftwich, will be given this year by Nic van de Walle, Professor of International Studies at Cornell University, on Wednesday, 16 November.

Read more

Follow: @dlprog