THE ELECTORAL CLOUT of UNIONS in Japan: VOTE MOBILIZATION in COMPANY TOWNS

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Interest groups and other organizations are crucial vehicles for voter mobilization, but variations in their capacities are not well understood. To clarify the ways in which vote mobilization capacities vary, I analyze vote mobilization in two private-sector industrial unions supporting the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ). The Japanese Federation of Textile, Chemical, Food, Commercial Service and General Workers' Union (UA Zensen), has a very large membership but mobilizes few votes. The Confederation of Japan Automobile Worker's Unions (JAW), on the other hand, has fewer members but mobilizes more votes. In this article, I argue that unions whose constituent units operate company towns are most successful in mobilizing votes. Organizational capacity-independent of membership size-matters in the electoral arena. Using data from House of Councillors elections, I show that those industrial unions that include many enterprises with company towns have advantage in voter mobilization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-87
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of East Asian Studies
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Mar 1
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • elections
  • labor unions
  • organizational votes
  • political parties
  • the Democratic Party of Japan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Political Science and International Relations

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