Internationalization of markets and political changes exert pressure on business associations. The question is: how do associations respond to this pressure?
This presentation will introduce business associations in Japan’s ICT (information and communication technology) and chemical sectors. Of special interest for this research project are processes of information exchange between business associations and actors of the political system, such as certain ministries and specialized committees. Empirical research by methods of network analysis so far has revealed an interest intermediation system, which is strongly based on personal relations between elite decision-makers. My data set comprises 20 ICT and chemical industry associations, selected with the help of reputation analysis through expert panels.
I argue that business associations provide an arena where policy-makers get together and establish long-term relationships. Associations can be seen as platforms of communication and socialization, which make vital use of mechanisms such as amakudari and shukko. Visualization of these networks helps to gain insights into the complex mechanisms of policy-making in Japan.
Andreas Schaumayer holds a M.A. in public policy and management. He is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Konstanz / Germany, and is currently
affiliated with Waseda Graduate School of Political Science.