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Consumer Politics in Postwar Japan: The Institutional by Patricia L. Maclachlan

By Patricia L. Maclachlan

Supplying comparisons to the U.S. and Britain, this booklet examines Japan's postwar patron safeguard circulation. geared up principally by means of and for housewives and spurred via significant situations of rate gouging and product infection, the circulation ended in the passage of uncomplicated patron security laws in 1968. even supposing a lot of the tale issues the recognized "iron triangle" of huge company, nationwide bureaucrats, and conservative occasion politics, Maclachlan takes a broader viewpoint. She issues to the significance of job on the neighborhood point, the function of minority events, the constrained software of the courts, and where of legal professionals and lecturers in delivering entry to energy. those gentle social thoughts have led to an important volume of customer protection.

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Extra resources for Consumer Politics in Postwar Japan: The Institutional Boundries of Citizen Activism

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In that statement, Kennedy identified the need for greater government involvement in consumer protection 38 theoretical, comparative, and historical perspectives and outlined four basic consumer rights that were to define the parameters of that involvement: the rights to safe products, to consumer-related information, to a range of product choice at competitive prices, and to be heard by both industry and government. By the late 1960s, the list was expanded to include the right to redress for damages caused by defective products and unfair business practices.

As a result of the pro-business policies and political alignments of key policymaking actors, the few governmental consumer protection measures that were introduced during this period were the result not so much of routine policymaking in the so-called consumer interest than of legislative accident or, more rarely, of last-minute presidential responses to public backlashes against the egregious abuses of the health and safety of consumers. The Second Wave: The 1930s Consumer activism experienced a lengthy lull as a result of World War I, the decline of the Progressive Movement, and the “business dominated spirit 36 theoretical, comparative, and historical perspectives of the 1920s” (Nadel 1971:16).

In the case of consumerism, it is unlikely that the issues in question will stimulate comparable levels of group solidarity, since the burdens of consumer “injustices” such as high prices and defective products often transcend social, economic, and political divisions to affect all citizens to varying degrees. 6 These mobilizational challenges are further compounded by free-rider problems faced by all social movement organizations involved in political advocacy (see Mayer 1989:6–7). Since consumer advocacy organizations seek the provision of public goods like product safety regulations—regulations that benefit members and nonmembers alike—individuals engaged in rational calculations of costs and benefits have few incentives to join those organizations (Olson 1965).

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