Casual cynics or disillusioned democrats? Political alienation in Japan

Ikuo Kabashima, Jonathan Marshall, Takayoshi Uekami, Dae Song Hyun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines the structure of political alienation among Japanese eligible voters, using data from the first, second, fifth, and sixth waves of the seven-wave Japanese Electoral Survey II (JES II). Political alienation can be expressed as comprising two dimensions, political trust and civic-mindedness. Males and people with more years of schooling are more allegiant in general; that is, they are both more trusting and more civic-minded. Evaluations of cabinet performance and support for democratic mechanisms are strongly related to political trust and civic-mindedness. Supporters of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) are no more civic-minded than average but are more trusting politically, whereas Japan Communist Party supporters are more civic-minded but a good deal less politically trusting than average. Independents are below the overall average on both the political trust and civic-mindedness dimensions. Even though party support is unstable, Japan's political system will not lose its stabilitv as long as LDP supporters and independents constitute the majority of Japan's electorate. The advent of a new party capable of providing an alternative to the LDP is important to the future of Japanese democracy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)779-804
Number of pages26
JournalPolitical Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2000


  • Japan
  • Party identification
  • Political alienation
  • Political efficacy
  • Political trust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Philosophy
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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