This book explains the increasing importance of value politics in Europe and Japan, shedding light on various arenas: social values; parties, elections and politics; public action, private sector and law; identity politics and religion; media and public spheres. It analyses how, against different but commensurable backgrounds, the rise of value politics alters (or not) the political game, for which purposes and with which effects. Applying both qualitative and quantitative methods from a wide range of primary and secondary sources, the comparison is organized by joining skills from experts of Japan and Europe and by systematizing a common analytical framework for the two cases. As such, it presents a revealing and unique analysis of the changing relationship between values and political behaviour in the two polities. Beyond the comparison, it also documents the opportunities and challenges underlying the interactions between Europe, Japan and the rest of the world; and the competition/combination between different versions of modernity. This book is of key interest to scholars and students of European studies and politics, Asian politics/studies, Japanese studies/politics and more broadly to comparative politics, sociology, cultural/media studies, and economics.
Contribution to a forum for International Political Anthropology journal A spectre is haunting Europe: decline or even decadence. Is it so new, or the last occurrence to date of a familiar ghost? The critical distance of the “longue durée” offered by the historian or the “distant look” by the anthropologist suggest that today’s fears and doubts are not without precedent across time and space. The text ‘Decadence and the Phenomenon of Generations’ published in 1985 by Julien Freund is a powerful illustration of this iterative interrogation.