Japan’s Democratic Backsliding: Why is it invisible to “the West”?

15:00 to 16:30


Concerns over “democratic backsliding” – the destruction of democratic institutions and constitutional safeguards by populist “outsiders” – have been spreading in Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the United States. In political science, thephenomenon has spawned a growing literature on “competitive authoritarianism” and a popular discussion on the crisis, even death, of democracy. Oddly, Japan – a country known for its perpetual conservative one-party rule of the Liberal Democratic Party (that is often said to be neither liberal nor democratic) – has been largely missing from the picture. If anything, Japan has been receiving praises for standing up for the defense of the liberal democratic order in recent years. Why is this? Is there really no democratic backsliding in Japan today, or is it just invisible to “the West”?


Professor Koichi Nakano, Sophia University Koichi Nakano is Professor of Political Science, and former Dean (2017-2021), at the Faculty of Liberal Arts, Sophia University. B.A. in philosophy from the University of Tokyo; B.A. in philosophy and politics from the University of Oxford; and an M.A. and a Ph.D. in politics from Princeton University. He specializes in the comparative politics of advanced industrial democracies, particularly Japan and Europe, and in political theory. His research has focused on a variety of issues of contemporary Japanese politics from comparative, historical, and philosophical perspectives, including constitutional politics and civic activism; neoliberal globalization and nationalism in East Asia; amakudari and administrative reform in Japan.


Professor Linus Hagström, Swedish Defence University

• Date and Time: Tuesday, August 22, 15:00-16:30
• Language: English
• Venue: Lecture Hall 7, Södra Huset D, Floor 3, Stockholm University
• Registration: [email protected] by August 18.

The Japan seminar series is jointly organized by the European Institute of Japanese Studies at Stockholm School of Economics, the Asia Programme at The Swedish Institute of International Affairs, the Department of Asian, Middle Eastern and Turkish Studies at Stockholm University and the Swedish Defence University. It features monthly seminars on Japanese economy, politics and society.

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