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Promoting Political Participation through Experience-based Political Education
Unformatted Document Text:  Table 24 Legitimacy of Election System and Influence from School Education Influence from Class and Textbook Strong Relatively strong Relatively weak Weak Total Percent Agree 14% 12% 19% 34% 19% Somewhat agree 35 44 42 32 40 Somewhat disagree 10 14 5 13 10 Disagree 14 6 3 2 5 Election system reflects voters' voice. DK/NA 27 24 31 19 27 Total 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% x 2 = 42.999 000 . < p , Note: N=557 Chapter 2: Theoretical Framework for Experience-Based Political Education Program 1) The Objectives and Expected Effects of the Program This chapter examines what kind of political education is needed as we are faced with the emerging low internal political efficacy among the youth and the introduction of lower voting age near future in Japan. The recent trend that young people expect to be served by the politics, while avoiding even the indirect political participation is unwelcome from the participatory democracy viewpoint. From the competitive elite democracy viewpoint, this trend is unwelcome since the lack of voter involvement deprives the representative democratic system of its legitimacy. Classic democratic theory and participatory democracy not only expect citizens to have input in policy making, but through the educational effects of civic engagement, citizens are expected to enhance their political interest and political efficacy, thus to play active role in the process 21 . Politics is regarded as activities that make the peaceful coexistence of those with various interests possible. And the best way to learn how to coexist with others is through meeting those with different values and actually struggling to find the agreeable solutions. This leads to the answer that citizens can best lean the politics through participating it, and thus emphasis of political education is placed more on practice than on knowledge. Our analyses pointed out that the lower the sense of political efficacy, the less the youth are inclined to participate in politics. Thus, we are in need of political education programs that help 21 Naoko Onizuka, “Political Participation and the Theory of Democracy,” Teikyo Sociology 15 (2001) 14-44; Wataru Sano, Problem Solving Thinking as Norm: The Difference between Policy Thinking and Legal and Political Thinking,” in Yukio Adachi, ed., What is Policy Studies Thinking: Principles of Public Policy Studies, Tokyo: Keiso Shobo, 2005. 22

Authors: Ishibashi, Shoichiro. and Chieko, Otsuru.
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Table 24 Legitimacy of Election System and Influence from School Education
Influence from Class and Textbook
Strong
Relatively
strong
Relatively
weak
Weak
Total
Percent
Agree
14%
12%
19%
34%
19%
Somewhat agree
35 44 42 32 40
Somewhat disagree
10 14 5 13 10
Disagree
14 6 3 2 5
Election system
reflects voters'
voice.
DK/NA
27 24 31 19 27
Total
100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
x
2
= 42.999
000
.
<
p
,
Note: N=557
Chapter 2: Theoretical Framework for Experience-Based Political
Education Program
1) The Objectives and Expected Effects of the Program
This chapter examines what kind of political education is needed as we are faced with
the emerging low internal political efficacy among the youth and the introduction of lower voting
age near future in Japan.
The recent trend that young people expect to be served by the politics, while avoiding
even the indirect political participation is unwelcome from the participatory democracy viewpoint.
From the competitive elite democracy viewpoint, this trend is unwelcome since the lack of voter
involvement deprives the representative democratic system of its legitimacy. Classic democratic
theory and participatory democracy not only expect citizens to have input in policy making, but
through the educational effects of civic engagement, citizens are expected to enhance their political
interest and political efficacy, thus to play active role in the process
. Politics is regarded as
activities that make the peaceful coexistence of those with various interests possible. And the best
way to learn how to coexist with others is through meeting those with different values and actually
struggling to find the agreeable solutions. This leads to the answer that citizens can best lean the
politics through participating it, and thus emphasis of political education is placed more on practice
than on knowledge.
Our analyses pointed out that the lower the sense of political efficacy, the less the youth
are inclined to participate in politics. Thus, we are in need of political education programs that help
21
Naoko Onizuka, “Political Participation and the Theory of Democracy,” Teikyo Sociology 15 (2001) 14-44;
Wataru Sano, Problem Solving Thinking as Norm: The Difference between Policy Thinking and Legal and
Political Thinking,” in Yukio Adachi, ed., What is Policy Studies Thinking: Principles of Public Policy Studies,
Tokyo: Keiso Shobo, 2005.
22


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