Assistant Professor Jou’s Interview Dec.2015

We would like to introduce one of ICR International Tenure Track member Assistant Professor Willy Jou’s research progress.

 Willy san

I stayed at the Università degli Studi di Milano between June and October, to complete a book with Professors Luigi Curini and Vincenzo Memoli. The book, titled Why Policy Representation Matters: The consequences of ideological proximity between citizens and their governments, has just been published by Routledge. This book shows that the distance between ordinary citizens and their government along the left-right spectrum exerts an independent and significant impact on political participation, attitudes toward democracy, and subjective well-being, and argues that centrist (rather then radical) governments enhance positive assessments of how democracy works, and also make people feel more satisfied with their lives.

Building on one part of this book, I am currently working with Professor Curini on a paper that explores the relationship between ideological distance and various forms of political participation. One innovative aspect of this paper is that we introduce an electoral winner/loser variable, and examine the interaction between this factor and ideological proximity.

In August I presented two papers at the general conference of the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR). One paper, co-authored with Professors Masahisa Endo (Kochi University) and Yoshihiko Takenaka (University of Tsukuba), utilizes a number of recent surveys to discuss whether the Japanese electorate has shifted to the right in the 2010s. The other paper, co-authored with Seijin Koo (Nazarbayev University), investigates the link between the length of democratic experience and quality of governance on one hand, and the presence of self-identified ideological radicals on the other, in new democracies in eastern and southern Europe, Latin America, and east Asia.

I have been collaborating with Professor Endo for the past several years. Currently we are writing a book that traces trends in Japanese citizens’ understanding of ideological semantics and perceptions of party placements over the course of more than a quarter-century. The book, tentatively titled Generational Gap in Japanese Politics: Changes in political attitudes and behavior, also includes chapters on comparing different sets of ideological labels, and profiling radical right support.

Finally, my recent publications are listed below:

– Willy Jou and Masahisa Endo. (2015). “Presidentialization of Japanese Politics? Examining Political Leader Evaluations and Vote Choice”, Japanese Journal of Political Science 16(3): 357-387

– 竹中佳彦,遠藤晶久,ウィリー・ジョウ (2015) 「有権者の脱イデオロギーと安倍政治」『レヴァイアサン』 52号

– Airo Hino and Willy Jou. “Political Communication Research in Asia”, in Gianpietro Mazzoleni, Kevin G. Barnhurst, Ken’ichi Ikeda, Rousiley C. M. Maia, Hartmut Wessler (eds.), International Encyclopedia of Political Communication (Wiley-Blackwell, 2015)