Economy, Society and Culture,
and Globalization

The period from the 2010s to the early 2020s saw three changes in party politics in developed nations.

The first was a change in the established political parties. For example, the Republican Party in the US, which had traditionally favored small government and free trade, underwent a major transformation with the advent of Donald Trump. The Trump administration withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), reconsidered the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and allowed the budget deficit to expand even prior to the COVID-19 crisis. At the same time, Germany's historically conservative party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), became more liberal under Chancellor Angela Merkel, as evidenced, for example, by her tolerant acceptance of refugees and abolition of nuclear power.

Second, and related to this, was the growth of populist parties in advanced nations. In 2017, Marine Le Pen of the National Front (now the National Rally) reached the runoff in the French presidential election, and, in the German federal election, the Alternative for Germany (AfD) rapidly became the third largest party in the Bundestag. But populism is not the exclusive domain of the right; Italy's leftist populist party, the Five Star Movement, became the largest individual party in the 2018 general election and realized the government of Giuseppe Conte.

The third change was the upset to the trend of globalization. In the United States, a nation-first orientation began to rise; the United Kingdom left the European Union in 2020. In 2020 also, COVID-19 swept through every nation in the world, cutting off the flow of people and goods, and casting a dark shadow over every level of the system of international cooperation, including cooperation in measures against the disease itself.

NIRA has reported on the political situation in various nations through such publications as Hints – Kadai “kaiketsu” senshinkoku wo mezase (“Hints – Towards becoming a ‘Problem-solving’ Advanced Nation”) (Jiji Press, 2017), supervised by Masaki Taniguchi, and Populism no Honshitsu – Seijiteki sogai wo kokufuku dekiru ka (“The Nature of Populism: Can We Overcome 'Political Alienation'?”) (Chuokoron-Shinsha, 2018), edited by Masaki Taniguchi and Jiro Mizushima. This report represents a continuation of these books, discussing the latest trends in party politics in major nations while taking into consideration the three changes mentioned above.

President, NIRA /Professor, Graduate Schools for Law and Politics, The University of Tokyo
Adjunct Senior Fellow, NIRA Professor, Graduate School of Social Sciences, Chiba University
Toru Yoshida
Professor, Faculty of Policy Studies, Doshisha University
Sho Niikawa
Associate Professor, Graduate School of Intercultural Studies, Kobe University
Hirohito Yasoda
Professor, Faculty of International Studies, Kyoritsu Women's University
Sho Muto
Professor, School of Law and Politics, Kwansei Gakuin University
Mitsuo Koga
Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, Chuo University
Takayuki Nishiyama
Professor, Faculty of Law, Seikei University
Jeyong Sohn
Associate Professor, Graduate School of Law and Politics, Rikkyo University