Amakudari: The Hidden Fabric of Japan's Economy by Richard A. ColignonAmakudari: The Hidden Fabric of Japan's Economy by Richard A. Colignon

Amakudari: The Hidden Fabric of Japan's Economy

byRichard A. Colignon, Chikako Usui

Hardcover | May 15, 2003

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The widespread migration of civil servants to high-profile positions in the private and public sectors is known in Japan as amakudari, or "descent from heaven." Recent media stories associate the practice with corruption as the former officials seek government favors for their new employers. In their timely book, Richard A. Colignon and Chikako Usui offer the first systematic exploration of this influential yet poorly understood Japanese institution.Colignon and Usui analyze amakudari as a ministry-level phenomenon that is consciously constructed and reproduced with intricate networks in many political and corporate spheres. Drawing on five decades of qualitative and quantitative data delineating the post-retirement careers of leading bureaucrats, they examine changes in traditional job patterns. Although not as strong a force as in the 1960s and 1970s, amakudari, in their view, remains a critical feature of Japanese society and heavily shapes the relationship between government and business.The authors warn that despite the Japanese media criticism of amakudari, it comprises a power structure resistant to radical change. Most important, their book demonstrates that a gradual weakening of this practice may not lead to a more democratic, meritocratic society.
Title:Amakudari: The Hidden Fabric of Japan's EconomyFormat:HardcoverPublished:May 15, 2003Publisher:CORNELL UNIVERSITY PRESSLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0801440831

ISBN - 13:9780801440830

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Editorial Reviews

"A major strength of the book is its data: Colignon and Usui provide extensive information on a host of amakudari-related problems. They also succeed in giving the reader a clear sense of why this topic is important—the various forms of amakudari are well laid out so the reader can see how different bureaucratic agencies connect to business, to public corporations, and the political world."—T.J. Pempel, University of California, Berkeley.