Charles T. McClean is a political scientist whose research focuses on the politics of age and aging, institutions, representation, social policy, and Japan. Before coming to Yale, he was the Toyota Visiting Professor at the University of Michigan’s Center for Japanese Studies and a Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University’s Program on U.S.-Japan Relations. His work has most recently appeared in the peer-reviewed journals Comparative Political Studies, Nature Medicine, and Political Psychology. He is currently working on a book, Silver Democracy: Youth Representation in an Aging Japan, that explores the causes and consequences of youth underrepresentation in democracies. Previously, he was a Research Associate at the Council on Foreign Relations and a Fulbright Fellow at Kobe University. He holds a BA in International Relations and Japanese from Tufts University (summa cum laude), an MA from the Regional Studies East Asia program at Harvard University, and a PhD in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego.
EAST 408, PLSC 418
Japanese Politics and Society
This class introduces students to 12 important puzzles about contemporary Japanese politics and society, discusses various ways in which scholars have attempted to solve these puzzles, and suggests pathways for future research. Together, we seek to explain public policy outcomes across a wide range of topics, including gender equality, nuclear energy, territorial disputes, population aging, and immigration. In the process, we learn (1) the important actors in Japanese politics (e.g., voters, politicians, parties, bureaucrats, and firms); (2) the positions that different actors take with respect to various policies, as well as the sources of these policy preferences; and (3) how political institutions block or enhance the representation of these actors’ interests.