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xi Acknowledgments This book could not have been completed without the support of numerous individuals and institutions. I am deeply indebted to several scholars in the Department of Government at Harvard University, Torben Iversen, Susan J. Pharr, Jorge I. Domínguez, and Margarita Estévez-Abe, all of whom have provided intellectual guidance and moral support over the years. Torben provided me great intellectual stimulation and critical advice for this project from the beginning, and he never lost confidence in me even when I was questioning myself. His constructive comments and challenging questions on earlier drafts pushed me to sharpen my analytical framework, tighten empirical presentation, and develop more generalizable arguments. Susan offered invaluable feedback and encouragement on the project. Her sharp questions led me to consider the big picture and to develop more succinct but powerful claims. Her insights and knowledge of Asian politics, particularly Japanese politics, contributed to solid foundations. Jorge was extremely generous in reading numerous manuscript versions and giving me incisive comments. Jorge’s office door was always open, from day one, when I arrived at Harvard in the summer of 2001. His strategic advice and unwavering support kept me strong. Margarita (now at Syracuse University) was also very generous in sharing her time when I needed to discuss ideas and arguments.Margarita’s in-depth knowledge and understanding of labor markets, social protections, and Japanese politics helped me to shape the project. She also offered me a rewarding opportunity to work as a teaching fellow for her classes, which was the start of my career as a teacher. I owe all of these advisors a great debt of gratitude. I hope to follow in their footsteps to become a great scholar, good teacher, and generous mentor in the future. I am also very grateful to Professor Byung-Kook Kim,my undergraduate advisor at Korea University, who guided me to this great profession. He has always been supportive of my work and helped to open many doors for me. Professors Andrew D. Gordon and Mary C. Brinton at Harvard University helped me to enhance my knowledge and understanding of Japanese industrial relations and the labor market. I owe special thanks to Steph Haggard, Henry Laurence, and Kathy Thelen, who generously participated in an author’s conference organized and funded by the Program on US-Japan Relations at Harvard University. They read an early manuscript and gave me invaluable comments and suggestions. Steph was extremely helpful at various stages and invited me xii ACKNOWLEDGMENTS to the Workshop on Social Policy and Labor Markets in Korea at the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, University of California, San Diego, to present my work and receive feedback from other workshop participants. I appreciate his time and help. I also have many friends and colleagues to thank. At Harvard, I was fortunate to have a wonderful group of friends. I thank Daniel Aldrich, Lucy Barnes, Shameem Black, Amy Catalinac, Magnus Feldmann, Daniel Ho, Rieko Kage, Andy Kennedy,Wendy Pearlman,Alison Post,Yongwook Ryu, Gergana YankovaDimova , and Jong-Sung You for their advice, help, and comradeship. I am also grateful to participants in the Comparative Politics Workshop,the Political Economy Workshop, and the Contemporary Japanese Politics Study Group for valuable feedback. I am very glad to have the chance to express my thanks to my Korean friends at Harvard with whom I went through good and bad times: Sei Jeong Chin, Youngjeen Cho, Hunsang Chun, Jeomsik Hwang, Soo-yeon Jeong, Hakyung Jung, Jee Young Kim, Sang-Hyun Kim, Suhan Kim, Ji-eun Lee, Eunmi Mun,Seongmun Nam,Wonmok Shim,Jiwuh Song,Joo-Hyun Song,HayanYoon, and Hyung-Kon Yum. I owe special thanks to Geunwook Lee for his advice, help, and friendship over the years. Geunwook has preceded me in every step, from graduate study to job searches and publication, and he has always been a source of advice. Finally, I thank my good old friends from college who have shared with me the joys and sufferings of writing,searching for jobs,and settling into the profession as political scientists: Jin Seok Bae, Jai Kwan Jung, Engsoo Kim, Joo-Youn Jung, Heonjoo Jung,Woochang Kang, Suhyun Lee, and Hyunji Lee. In particular, Jung Kim has generously provided me with practical and strategic advice and shared his wisdom with me whenever I faced challenges. My friends outside of academia treated me to delicious food and drinks, and helped me keep a sense of humor. Most of all, they taught me that...


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