Globalization and ideology: The competing images of the contemporary Japanese economic system in the 1990s


Journal Article

The convergence argument in the debate on globalization regards globalization as a structural change. Globalization, however, is as much a structural change as a social construction - an imagined order of the future that involves value judgment and an ideological stand. Through an analysis of the ideological conflicts in the politics of Japan's national response to the challenge of globalization, the article shows that the convergence argument is being challenged on four specific issues in Japan: the universal model of market economy conflicts with the search for national identity; the big bang strategy that asserts a radical turnover of the national economic system is discrec ited by the holistic view of the economy that emphasizes the social embeddedness of the economic system; the new interpretation of the Japanese economic system as a product of wartime control contradicts the widely held image of postwar Japan as a democratic country; and the efficiency principle for future economic governance is challenged by the established norms concerning equality. This study indicates that the convergence argument in the debate on globalization faces strong resistance from the deeply institutionalized beliefs in the national economic system.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Gao, B

Published Date

  • January 1, 2000

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 15 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 435 - 453

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0268-5809

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/026858000015003001

Citation Source

  • Scopus