"A Quantitative Analysis of Constitutional Change: Lessons and Questions from Japan"
日時：2015年 11月10日 15時00分-16時40分
The Constitution of Japan (COJ) is the oldest un-amended constitution in the world. I argue that this is due to its rare asymmetrical specificity on political institutions versus human rights. The COJ leaves many details on institutions, such as the electoral system and local governance, to be determined by law, but enumerates more human rights than most contemporary constitutions. Using data from over 600 historical constitutions, I show that this asymmetric structure has broader comparative implications. The key determinant of constitutional longevity is the enumeration of human rights, not institutions. By contrast, the frequency of amendments increases with the level of institutional detail, but is unrelated to rights. In other words, constitutions that resemble the COJ tend to endure longer and are less likely to be changed. I will also compare the COJ with alternative constitutional proposals, particularly the 2012 LDP draft, and analyze how legislators and the public-at-large view the desirability of reforms. In doing so, I will highlight new approaches to comparative constitutional research, including how to measure and conceptualize constitutional similarities and differences.