Date of Graduation

Fall 12-16-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in International Studies (MAIS)


College of Arts and Sciences


International Studies

First Advisor

John Zarobell

Second Advisor

Lucia Cantero


This thesis aims to reveal the hypothesis that long working hour reduce people’s happiness and undermine democracy. For achieving this goal, this study clarifies the relationship between long working hours, happiness, and political engagement. Moreover, in order to seek the way to increase social happiness, it tries to figure out how global free market economy relates the working hours. The research method mainly relies on the fieldwork in Japan and Denmark.

First, this study succeeded to reinforce the argument that long working hour negatively influenced people’s happiness. Also, if we define the quality of democracy as the society constituted with the people who are satisfied with their political actions, the hypothesis could be confirmed. The reason for this is that long working hours would hamper the people’s satisfaction for their political action. My study revealed that long working hours reduce the time to enhance sociopolitical literacy, which means the quality of self-informing on social and political issues, and interfere with people’s satisfaction that they spend enough time to figure out their stand point: this is the logic that the hypothesis could be verified.

Second, the difference of movements for working hour reduction between Japan and Denmark offers ones the insights of understanding the relationship between working hours and free market economy. By contrast Japan started the movement of work hour reduction from top-down structure and for economic reasons, Denmark keeps fewer work hours by collective bargaining without governmental regulation. Furthermore, the difference contributes to establishing the better strategies to decrease working hours.