The third seminar in the UK–Japan Global Seminar Series was held at Chatham House in London on 21–22 September 2015. It considered the contemporary debate over competing models of governance and political economy. This debate is of increasing relevance for both Europe and East Asia. Political populism is on the rise and authoritarian trends are challenging democratic norms in response to widening economic disparities (both between and within countries) and growing threats to state stability in Europe (e.g. in Ukraine), the Middle East (Syria) and potentially East Asia (Thailand and North Korea).
The event brought together knowledgeable Japanese and British participants for an extended series of discussions on how to capitalize on past and present experiences to confront a number of common policy problems. Several critical issues formed the focal point of deliberations over two days. Day one opened with a plenary session to discuss the wider challenges to capitalist democracy in the UK and Japan. It was followed by sessions on neoliberal economics and new forms of state security (and insecurity). Day two continued with an examination of the challenges to social cohesion and the rules-based order in Europe and Asia. The meeting closed with a session discussing the extent to which the UK and Japan will need to engage the United States to successfully confront today’s challenges.
This publication brings together a summary of the discussions at the seminar and a co-authored essay by two of the participants, Bill Emmott and Masayuki Tadokoro, on the role of the UK and Japan in the changing international order.