Search | Directories | Reference Tools
UW Home > Discover UW > Student Guide > Course Catalog 

Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Robert J. Pekkanen
SISEA 490
Seattle Campus

Special Topics

Course content varies.

Class description

COURSE WILL BE RENUMBERED TO SISEA 436/SISEA 586(536?)/POL S 419 Course Goals: This course is designed to provide an in-depth examination of how representative, or party, democracy functions in Japan. Students will learn theoretical perspectives on political parties and democracy, and we will also examine South Korean party politics. Course Description: The focus of this class is on political parties in Japan. Democracy, representation, and governance are addressed through that lens. Modern representative democracy is inconceivable without political parties. We will also investigate South Korean political parties, but the bulk of our attention is on Japan. The class will combine theoretical readings on political parties with an intensive study of Japanese political parties. Students with either a good general understanding of Japanís postwar political history or a thorough knowledge of political party theory (but both are not required) will be best positioned to succeed in the course. Topics include: democracy and representation, parties and party competition, Japanese political parties pre-1993, party system change, Japanese political parties since 1993, electoral reform causes and consequences, factions in Japanese parties, koenkai (personal support organizations), policy-making and PARC, the Diet, coalition government, interest groups and political parties, parties and voters.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

This is a seminar. It is not a lecture class. Active participation is required and essential.

Recommended preparation

Recommended: either SISEA 242, SISEA 423, SISEA 440, or SISEA 442. In essence, either (1) A general post-war Japanese history class, or (2) theoretical training in political parties. A general familiarity with either will be great preparation, although no student would be expected to have trained in both.

Class assignments and grading

You have two options for papers. You may select the short papers option or the long paper option. The long paper option requires you to produce a Paper Prospectus of 2-5 pages that clearly outlines the topic, argument, and sources for a paper to be turned in at the end of the quarter. The final paper should be 20-30 pages, although shorter or longer papers are permissible.

The short paper option requires four short papers (5 pages maximum) throughout the quarter. Each paper is due at 3 PM the day before class meets. No late papers will be accepted for short papers. These papers are based on the readings for that particular week and are written in response to questions provided in advance. These papers should make reference to all relevant readings for that week, but not use any outside sources (the optional readings are okay). If you take the short paper option, you do not have to write a 1 page weekly paper on the weeks for which you write a short paper.

Roughly similar to the below: Long Paper Option: 1 page weekly papers 10 Papers 10% May 5th Paper Prospectus 10% June 6th Final Paper 50% Throughout Term Class Participation 30%

Short Papers Option 1 page weekly papers 6 Papers 6% 4 times in term Short Papers 64% Throughout Term Class Participation 30%


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Additional Information
Last Update by Robert J. Pekkanen
Date: 11/14/2005