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By Patricia L. Maclachlan

Offering comparisons to the U.S. and Britain, this booklet examines Japan's postwar client safeguard flow. prepared mostly through and for housewives and spurred through significant instances of rate gouging and product illness, the move ended in the passage of uncomplicated shopper security laws in 1968. even if a lot of the tale issues the recognized "iron triangle" of massive company, nationwide bureaucrats, and conservative get together politics, Maclachlan takes a broader standpoint. She issues to the significance of job on the neighborhood point, the function of minority events, the restricted application of the courts, and where of attorneys and lecturers in supplying entry to energy. those light social innovations have led to an important quantity of client protection.

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Extra resources for Consumer Politics in Postwar Japan: The Institutional Boundries of Citizen Activism

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Broadbent, for example (1998), points out shifts in the political opportunity structure to explain the evolution and impact of the postwar Japanese environmental movement. The positive contributions of Kitschelt and other pos theorists to the study of social movements notwithstanding, the concept of political opportunity structures is open to criticism as a deductive analytical device. ” As Gamson and Meyer argue, the notion of opportunity structure “threatens to become an all-encompassing fudge factor for all the conditions and circumstances that form the context for collective action” (Gamson and Meyer 1996:275).

As I argue in chapter 3, notions of consumer identity are particularly important in the Japanese case. In sum, the political opportunity structure and historical institutional perspectives complement each other in terms of the importance attached to the role of political institutions in shaping the nature and consequences of political participation by societal interests. They differ, however, in their research objectives, methodologies, and the range of variables incorporated into the analysis.

These contextual developments in turn had a profound effect on the resource configurations of private consumer advocates. For the first time in the movement’s history, advocates now had a number of powerful sympathizers and allies in the corridors of national power who were both willing and able to trumpet the consumer cause. The United States is unusual in this regard, for as we observed in chapter 1, organized consumer movements normally have trouble forging alliances with policymakers. It is important to remember, however, that the movement’s advances were attributable not so much to the power and savvy of movement advocates as to policy trends and the institutional configurations of the broader political system.

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