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Jochen Rehmert (University of Zurich), Naofumi Fujimura (Kobe University), “Ideological Positions and Committee Chair Appointments”

June 16, 2022 @ 9:00 am - 10:00 am EDT

U.S. EDT: June 16 (Thu), 9 – 10 AM

JST: June 16 (Thu), 10 – 11 PM

NOTE: Registration required! Link.

Paper is available here.


Committee chairs hold crucial positions in the legislative process and can push or quell legislative initiatives. While extant studies examine the formal powers and legislative consequences of committee chairs, we know less about their appointment. We examine who ruling parties (principal) appoint to committee chairs (agent) in order to minimize the risk of policy moving away from government positions. Using data from Japan (2003 to 2017) we test expectations derived from the principal-agent framework, conditional on committee type. Japan makes an ideal case to study intra-party chair appointments due to its coalitions’ office allocation patterns. We find that cabinets appoint as chairs ideologically close MPs to committees with jurisdiction on high and foreign policy. However, we find no effect for chair appointments on particularistic committees. Our findings are robust across cabinets, parties and variation in committee classifications. These findings contribute to our understanding of political appointments and legislative processes.

Presenter: Jochen Rehmert (University of Zurich).

Discussants: Benjamin Nyblade (UCLA School of Law), Yoshikuni Ono (Waseda University).

Chair: Amy Catalinac (New York University).


June 16, 2022
9:00 am - 10:00 am EDT