US 2020

19.01.20 Publication:

Every year can be said to be important in the United States of America, for what happens in the world’s most powerful country affects us all. But this...

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Britain Elects the Lesser of Two Evils

14.12.19 Publication:

The British public have chosen the lesser of the two evils that were offered to them in the country’s first December general election since 1923. The result...

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The Paradox of Technological Progress

14.12.19 Publication:

Something strange is going on in our businesses and in the economy as a whole, all over the advanced, industrialised world, and Japan is at the forefront of...

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What Brexit Reveals About the EU

30.10.19 Publication:

LONDON – In another bizarre twist in the Brexit saga, the United Kingdom’s Parliament has signalled its acceptance of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s...

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The Implications of low Inflation

04.10.19 Publication:

We are living in a world of seemingly permanently low inflation. It is quite a contrast, at least for Europe and North America, to the world of the 1970s,...

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Populism and Central Banks

01.09.19 Publication:

In their ideal world, central bankers want to be thought of as boring. For them, less attention is better than more attention. They prefer to be seen as...

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Political Crisis in Britain and Italy

31.08.19 Publication:

In Europe, we are facing two political crises at the same time, both of which stimulate reflections on the nature of constitutions and the current populist...

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Five Star’s Identity at a Crossroads

30.08.19 Publication:

What is a populist political party, what is its purpose and how worried should we be? Those questions have been buzzing around in the heads of political...

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Why Women Will Shape Japan’s Furture

29.07.19 Publication:

Women will determine the future of Japan’s economy and of many Japanese businesses. That is the proposition I have put forward in a new book which was...

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Why has China Tolerated Hong Kong’s Challenge?

21.07.19 Publication:

It was always inevitable, even before Britain handed back control of Hong Kong to China in 1997 after 99 years as a colony, that there would eventually be...

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Next, a British General Election

12.07.19 Publication:

We will not know until July 24 whether Britain’s next prime minister will be Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt, and we may not know until after the summer...

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The surprising resilience of global economic growth

01.06.19 Publication:

This was supposed to be the year of the global economic slowdown, led by the United States and Europe. More than 10 years after those regions’ recovery from...

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Europe’s Protest Against the Protestors

28.05.19 Publication:

It can be counted as a protest vote against the previous protest vote. That is of course an over-simplification of the European Parliament elections, as any...

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Reflections on the Heisei era


Looking back on the three decades of the Heisei era, it is tempting to conclude that although much has changed in Japan's economy and society, very little is...

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Springtime for Nationalism?

01.04.19 Publication:

LONDON – Is populism still on the rise? That question will be looming over elections in Israel, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Spain, and the European...

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Japan’s Female Future

12.03.19 Publication:

The Japanese corporation, like Japanese society itself, has long been a rather rigid affair, with conservative HR policies and overwhelmingly male in its...

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The breakdown of British pragmatism over Brexit

09.02.19 Publication:

We British used to talk proudly about how pragmatic, reasonable and logical we are, by comparison with what we have liked to see as our impractical,...

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The danger of a US-China deal

03.02.19 Publication:

The trade war between the United States and China risks getting nastier, lasting for years and damaging all our economies. Negotiations in Washington, DC, on...

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Lessons of Japan’s Heisei period

12.01.19 Publication:

It is one of the pure coincidences that history sometimes produces. But the unusual point about the dawn of the Heisei era in 1989-90 is that at exactly the...

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Hard Brexit Truths

03.01.19 Publication:

DUBLIN – The March 29, 2019, deadline for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union is fast approaching, yet it remains far from clear how the departure...

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Book Review: JAPAN STORY: IN SEARCH OF A NATION, 1850 TO THE PRESENT. By Christopher Harding. Allen Lane 504pp £25.00

17.11.18 Publication:

When Japan hosts the Rugby Union World Cup next year, and still more so the summer Olympics in 2020, all eyes will be on its omotenashi (hospitality), perhaps...

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The US and Russia

04.08.18 Publication:

What has emerged from the summits with Kim Jong-Un and Vladimir Putin is a mixture of the psychological and the geopolitical. The psychological element is not...

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The greatest issue of our time…

08.07.18 Publication:

The greatest issue of our time in political economy is how to reconcile societies to the process we now call globalisation, with all the inequality and...

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22.06.18 Publication:

A common saying among military men is that a country should never send troops into battle without having an exit strategy, a plan for how to end the conflict...

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