Dynamics of Indian Politics and the 2019 General Elections
Professor of Rikkyo University
1. Dynamics of Indian democracy
The volatility of Indian politics is accentuated by --- apart from snap elections --- the General Elections over 543 seats of the Lok Sabha (House of the People), or the lower house of India's bicameral federal parliament, held every five years. In 2014, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won 282 seats and became the dominant party in the Lok Sabha. The National Democratic Alliance (NDA), or BJP's electoral coalition, secured 332 seats, much more than the majority mark, inclusive of those acquired by allied parties. The BJP established a coalition government headed by Narendra Modi, who gained the support of the people. Moreover, in the elections for the state legislatures, BJP accumulated victories; and by the end of 2018, NDA established its government in seven states, while BJP in nine states, out of a total of 31 administrative zones consisting of 29 states, a Union Territory and a National Capital Region.
Taking BJP's strength for granted, some experts have gone so far as to coin the term "BJP System"(Guha 2015) to describe the party's realpolitik. Once a political scientist R. Kothari invented a term "The Congress System" to represent the dominance the Indian National Congress (INC) --- the India's first nationalist party --- kept in both federal and state legislatures over 20 years after India's independence, thereby realizing a lasting political stability. "BJP System" is a designation reminiscent of Kothari's. G. Sartori, an eminent scholar on party system theory, applied the concept of "predominant party system" to the INC-centered party politics in 1947-1967 (Sartori 1976). Then, will a one-party dominant system return again --- this time with BJP at center instead of INC?
The power base of the BJP government is Hindu supremacist forces, negating "Indian secularism" that pledges the religious pluralism and the protection of minorities --- tenets handed down from the days of Independence. As a policy of the "Hinduization" of state and society, the BJP government has advanced "Hindutva Politics" aiming at "the revival of the great Hindu state." The driving forces leading the BJP government into that direction are collectively referred to as the "RSS Family (Sangh Parivar)," including the National Volunteers Organization or Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and related Hindu supremacist organizations. These forces have made an outright persecution against the people labelled as "the enemies of Hindutva," such as minority Muslims, equality-seeking Dalits, and women asserting their civil rights, and have imposed further control over the people.
In the General Elections scheduled for mid-2019, it will be tested whether BJP dominance can be maintained. This paper will characterize the Indian election mechanism that generates strong political dynamism, then review the recent elections, and finally discuss where Indian politics is heading.
2. The Indian electoral system: the first-past-the-post system, reservation system, and electronic voting machines
India's politics and its unique electoral system are closely related with each other. After Independence in 1947, the INC government led by the first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru worked on the enactment of the Constitution. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar was appointed as chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee. Ambedkar had took the leadership in anti-caste discrimination movements. His career was expected to help achieve the unity of the people by surmounting divisions over caste. Incorporating the ideas of Ambedkar, the Constitution was enacted in 1950. It introduced much novelty: a democracy principled on gender equality and a one-man-one-vote suffrage; a federal system integrating multi-ethnic groups, and a British-modelled parliamentary system of government and first-past-the-post system.
Based on Article 324 of the Constitution, the Election Commission of India was established (and still exists today) as an independent entity. The Commission has jurisdiction over elections to elect members of the upper house of the federal parliament of India (Rajya Sabha or Council of States); the lower house of the federal parliament of India (Lok Sabha or House of the People); the state legislative assemblies (Vidhan Sabha); President, and Vice President. Currently the Commission employs more than 300 staff members and fulfills administrative work for elections. Electorally, India comprises 35 zones that include the states and Union Territories. A state election commission is established in each state.
An important role of the Election Commission of India is to complete the pollbooks; change electoral districts according to population ratios; register candidates, and register political parties holding candidates. Parties fall into "National Party," "State Party," and "Unrecognized Party." The Commission monitors election campaigns and the actual state of campaign funds. For a thorough management of information, it controls the media, while enlisting their cooperation. Furthermore, in cooperation with the states or more local administrations, the Commission sets up and operates polling stations; secures the safety of voters, and carries out ballot counting and tallying.
The sizes and forms of electoral districts are determined by the "Delimitation Commission" comprising the Election Commission members and judges. The Delimitation Commission is set up by the Federal parliament. The Constitution stipulates that based on the census (every ten years), electoral districts with almost an equivalent population should be decided taking into consideration geographical conditions and administrative areas.
The total number of voters exceeded 814 million in the 2014 General Elections. The population growth rate has well surpassed 1%; and more than 100 million voters have increased over the past five years. When it comes to the 2019 General Elections, the total number of voters is expected to be over 900 million, of which more than 2% are youth aged 18-19. The average age of the citizens is in the mid-20s. The large number of young voters influences Indian politics.
The first characteristics of Indian electoral system is the first-past-the-post system, where one representative is elected from one constituency, and the candidate who wins the largest number of votes is elected. India's electoral system is modeled on the British system. Does the British-born system really function in a society where voters are anything but uniform, with variegated backgrounds in terms of religion, ethnicity, caste, language, race, rich-poor disparity, educational gap, gender, and rural-urban antagonism? It is of great interest to see how Indian society has utilized this system in a unique way.
Another feature of the Indian electoral system is a "reservation system." Ambedkar, chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee, introduced it to eliminate discrimination against the untouchables. The system is to guarantee a certain number of representatives for both Scheduled Castes (SC) which were the untouchables in the past but now called Dalit, and Scheduled Tribes (ST) which used to be called tribes but now Adivasi. According to the revision of electoral districts in 2002, 84 out of the 543 seats of the Lok Sabha were allotted to SC, while 47 to ST. The number of constituencies for SC and ST amounted to 131, accounting for one fourth of the total number of the Lok Sabha seats.
Regarding the reservation of parliamentary seats, there is a recent move. In the era of Rajiv Gandhi's INC government, the Constitutional amendment took place in 1991, and a new system was introduced to reserve for women one third of the total number of seats at prefectural and municipality legislatures and their heads. It widely enlarged opportunities for women to enter politics from a grass-root level. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who took charge of the INC government in 2004-14 submitted a bill to introduce reservation for women in the Federal parliament. Although the bill passed the Rajya Sabha in 2010, it was scrapped in the Lok Sabha dominated by opponents.
On the other hand, the people of the farmer caste called Shudra, a caste which ranks above the SC/ST, claimed that protection by the reservation system should also be provided to them, "Other Backward Classes (OBC)" stipulated in the Constitution. This policy was adopted by the Janata party government (1977-79) and was implemented in all the states in the 1990s, guaranteeing OBC a recruitment quota for civil servants, and the distribution of stipends and subsidies. However there was no constituency reserved for OBC. Amid these trends, higher caste people are also demanding reservations. In January 2019, the 124th Constitutional amendment bill was approved by the Lok Sabha to secure a 10% reservation in employment and education for the poor of "Forward Classes." This was really a shocking development to the citizens who consider the policy ruinous.
In order to realize a one-man-one-vote election by overcoming socio-economic disparity, the innovation of election-related tools is also important. Although the literacy rate has recently neared 70%, India has a large illiterate population. After Independence, a large format ballot sheet was introduced to facilitate voting --- the voter has only to put his/her thumbprint beside a party symbol, printed along with the names of the candidate and the political party he/she prefers. All that is required of the voter is to identify the symbol mark of the party he/she supports. In 2004, an electronic balloting machine capable of displaying as many as 16 candidates was introduced. Actually, two or three of this machine are installed beside a ballot box in a polling station. This technological innovation has succeeded in preventing election-related crimes such as the replacement of ballot forms or the robbery and destruction of ballot boxes. As a result voting results are tallied and publicized in a short time.
The Election Commission of India has also been increasing the number of polling stations. Recently, instructions were given that a polling station should be installed per 1,500 voters and be accessible with a distance of two kilometers or less. The voting rate for the 2014 General Elections averaged 66.4% on a nationwide basis, and exceeded 80% in many states. The voter turnout of women, young people, and poor people from lower castes tended to increase.
Election-related security policies are also important. It is an Indian commonsense that in elections, "muscle" will speak along with "money." Since long time ago, election-related crimes had been committed repeatedly, where in both urban and rural areas, some political parties and their candidates, by use of private armies, threatened or injured rival candidates and their supporters, destroying polling stations, stealing ballot boxes, etc. However, as the actual situation in electoral districts is attracting wide attention through the media and SNS, state governments, in collaboration with state election commissions, are making increasing efforts to maintain election-related security.
3. The Election Strategy of BJP: election coalition, election arithmetic, human wave tactics, and media warfare
It is not incidental that BJP won a large victory in the 2014 General Elections. BJP and its camp formulated effective strategies, employed many activists, and adopted a vigorous human wave tactic.
First, BJP created and utilized electoral coalitions. BJP, once a weak party, was quick to experience coalition politics. Jan Sangh, the precursor of BJP, joined in 1977 the Janata party belonging to the anti-INC coalition committed to fighting the Indira Gandhi government, and in due course joined the Janata party government. Jan Sangh abided by its anti-Muslimism and Hindu supremacist ideology, and later left the anti-INC coalition and created BJP. In the 1989 General Elections, BJP made a remarkable progress. It became the dominant parliamentary party in 1996, but could not establish a government due to opposition from other parties. In the 1998 General Elections, however, the National Democratic Alliance with BJP at center was formed, and the Vajpayee government came into existence, and lasted beyond the 1999 General Elections.
Different parties belonging to the Janata party group are acting independently in state assembly elections, but they have formed coalitions on the federal level to establish government. The Janata party was inaugurated in 1977 by the Congress (O) that parted with the Indira Gandhi government and by state-based farmers' parties. Afterward the Janata party divided into BJP and other parties. In the areas where OBC voters were their strong supporters, Janata-related parties were influential. In and after the 1980's these parties established government in many states, and on the federal level, the Janata coalition government was established in 1977-1979, 1989-1991 and 1996-1998. In other words, the Janata party group boasts abundant experience with electoral coalition and coalition government. With poor, local farmers as their main supporters, the Janata party group is calling for the distribution of wealth and the guarantee of social rights, while emphasizing identities such as caste and ethnicity. They advocate socialism and social democracy, and are proactive in forming a united front against Muslims.
Since Independence, the INC stayed aloof from other parties, although it cooperated with the pro-Soviet Communist Party of India (CPI) in the Indira Gandhi era. The INC had their own partisan politicians in all constituencies, and was reluctant toward electoral coalition or coalition government. Nonetheless, in the 1989 and 1996 General Elections, the INC played the role of a king maker by providing extra-cabinet supports to the Janata coalition government. In the 2004 General Elections, the INC, first in its history, formed an electoral coalition called "United Progressive Alliance (UPA)." Contrary to everybody's expectations, INC defeated BJP and established a government. This electoral alliance has survived since then.
In addition to these three major political forces, there are also the Communist leftist forces and unique political parties like the socialist Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), with SC/ST as its chief supporters in the state of Uttar Pradesh. In a situation where many parties are struggling, the BJP led the National Democratic Alliance and won a great victory in the 2014 General Elections. The reasons for BJP's victory will be recapitulated below.
First, BJP found a charismatic leader in Modi. Modi, who governed Gujarat State for three consecutive terms over 14 years, had a proven track record of realizing a "10% economic growth" in the state. He promised to realize a miraculous growth of India. In order to mobilize a tremendous number of voters to voting machines in a huge country, it was necessary to create a charismatic leader.
The second reason was the formation of "election machine." Modi and his right-hand man Amit Shah had been fighting campaigns in the STATE OF Gujarat since the end of the 1990s. When the young Shah was entrusted with election campaigns for an RSS big name Advani in Gandhinagar in Gujarat state in the 1989 General Elections, he ran exhaustive campaigns. He captured votes one by one by making full use of RSS campaign troops, and won a victory. This "Gandhinagar method" was implemented nationwide in the 2014 General Elections.
Thirdly, the Modi camp gathered as many as 16,000 engineers who graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) to Gujarat to form a professional group of election analysts. Dispatched from Gujarat to constituencies around the country, they collected and analyzed electoral information using the Internet and PC in the "War Room" of each election office. Specific strategies tailored for respective constituencies were executed.
Fourth, BJP mastered "election arithmetic" and "election engineering," both of which are commonsense terms in Indian politics. Taking the case of Uttar Pradesh (80 seats) for example, BJP supporters are people of higher castes, Brahman and Kshatriya, who account for just 5-10% of the total population there. According to Jha's analysis: "Muslims will never vote for BJP; OBC are almost loyalty to the Socialist Party, and especially Yadavs will never vote for BJP; the majority of Dalits may vote for Mayawati, not for BJP." Jha classifies voters into three categories A, B, and C. A is solid BJP voters; B is undecided, and C is anti-BJP voters. If this analysis is correct, victory will hinge on how to win category B voters (Jha 2017).
Fifth, BJP has consistently advocated a "unified Hindu nationalism." Modi emphasizes his origin as a poor OBC, and has acquired empathy of lower castes and the poor. Even in the 2017 Presidential Election, Prime Minister Modi recommended a Dalit BJP leader for a presidential candidate, advocating a unified Hindu nationalism beyond caste discrimination. Moreover, BJP promoted women's protection and empowerment policies to rectify the male-dominant Hindu society and to appeal to women's sympathy.
Will such strength of BJP in the past election campaigns be seen again in the 2019 General Elections? Under the Modi government, the RSS Family intensifies violent persecution against minority Muslims and Christians, Dalits, aborigines, and women. Such persecution is now drawing harsh public criticism. To what extent BJP's "unified Hindu nationalism" will be trusted by voters should be watched carefully.
4. The 2018 Legislative Assembly Elections: the twisted federal-local relationship, the ant-incumbency rule, and the opposition alliance
What kind of move happened in state assembly elections and by-elections in 2018? At this moment, it can be said that the invincible image of BJP has begun to fade and Prime Minister Modi's charismatic charms have somewhat diminished. Amit Shah, called "the present day Chanakya" is also fighting a tough fight.
Let us now point out two characteristics of the Indian political system. One of them is the relationship between federal and local governments and another the flipped control of the House. For example, if the federal government is led by BJP, BJP-led state governments will benefit in terms of finance distribution and policy considerations. Therefore, weak states tend to be influenced by federal politics, and in small border states and union territories, there is a tendency for a state government to be formed under the influence of the central government. When the federal government gains overwhelming popularity, a similar phenomenon may take place in larger states.
Another feature is the "anti-incumbency rule." Since, according to the rule, the support rate for any ruling party drops after a certain period of tenure, it will lose in the next election. When viewed from a constituency level, the incumbent will lose every time an election occurs. According to common sense in political science, "incumbent advantage" prevails, but in India the opposite is the case. If this rule works also in the relationship between federal and local governments, and the popularity of the federal ruling party is low, the said party may also be weak in state assembly elections. Perversely, when the federal ruling party runs a state government, the party will lose not only in the particular state assembly elections but also in the General Elections that precede the state elections. In other words, it is a seesaw game where voters who are dissatisfied with the incumbent government punish the ruling party every time an election occurs.
The General Elections and state assembly elections take place every five years unless there is a parliamentary dissolution. State assembly elections are ordinarily implemented a little behind the schedule. Since after the General Elections in 2014, 22 elections in states and union territories have been fought so far --- unexceptionally fierce battles.
In 2014, the Jammu-Kashmir legislative assembly elections took place and the People's Democratic Party (PDP), which holds many Muslim supporters, won, and BJP helped PDP to establish government. In the February 2015 Delhi assembly elections, the incumbent Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) won one-sidedly despite that BJP had been expected to win a great victory. The "anti-incumbency rule" worked more with the federal BJP government than with the Delhi AAP government. BJP was defeated alike in the Bihar legislative assembly elections in March 2015. Janata Dal (United) --- JD (U) --- and National People's Party or Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) formed a united front for a victory and established the Nitish-Kumar government (JD (U)).
In 2016, in the state of Punjab, Akali Dal, supported by BJP, decreased its seats and an INC government came into existence. In West Bengal and Kerala states, the grass-root All-India Trinamool Congress (AITC) and Communist Party of India (Marxist) --- CPI(M) --- won, respectively. BJP managed to secure seats, small in number as they were. In Assam state, BJP became the dominant party and set up a coalition NDA government with local parties. In the Tamil Nadu legislative assembly elections in February 2017, All-India Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) emerged victorious.
In these political moves, BJP thought much of the 2017 Uttar Pradesh legislative assembly elections. Uttar Pradesh is India's largest state with a population of more than 200 million, and is a homeland state for BJP. Prior to the said elections, the BJP federal government allegedly abolished larger banknotes in November 2016 with a view to depleting the campaign funds of opposition camps. The combined effects of the banknotes ban and the "ant-incumbency rule" defeated the Socialist Party, which had been the ruling party there since 2012, and BJP won a large victory over INC and Bahujan Samaj Party, and established the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government. Taking advantage of the created momentum, BJP also won the state assembly elections in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, as well as in Manipur in northeast India and the Union Territory of Goa, and established BJP government in succession.
In the December 2017 legislative assembly elections held in Gujarat, which is Prime Minister Modi's home base, the BJP receded. Yet, BJP managed to win a close margin victory over INC and the BJP government survived there. After this, the tide changed. In the legislative assembly by-elections in Uttar Pradesh in March 2018, BJP was defeated severely and lost face. In Tripura, Meghalaya, and Nagaland, however, the BJP coalition won the legislative assembly elections and established government --- BJP dominated in the northeast India. The result of the Karnataka state assembly election in May 2018, on the other hand, was something like a "hung parliament." BJP failed to dominate the majority, and INC helped Janata Dal (Secular) --- JD(S) --- to establish government.
Thereafter, elections were held in four states in November and December of the same year. In the Mizoram state of northeast India, BJP won the legislative assembly elections. After that, however, BJP registered successive defeats. A local ethnic party won in Telangana, whereas neither BJP nor INC could acquire a seat. Furthermore, in the state assembly elections for three Hindi-speaking states, INC won in Chhattisgarh, encroaching the strong BJP power base; and in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh as well, INC also defeated the ruling BJP by a close margin and inaugurated new governments.
Thus, as of the beginning of 2019, BJP cannot always keep its dominance. In the background are observable a peculiar Indian political dynamism featuring the twisted federal-local relationship, the "anti-incumbency rule," and electoral coalitions. Attached below is a figure showing the state governments map and the number of votes acquired by each political party and coalition.
Source: Bloomberg, The Economic Times, Dec. 21, 2018
5. Where does Indian politics go?
Where is Indian politics headed? The following is a brief analysis as of this moment prior to the 2019 General Elections.
In the General Elections five years ago, Prime Minister Modi pledged a 10% economic growth, but the actual growth of 7% to 8% has fallen short of the pledge. Foreign capital corporations and large enterprises are given preference thanks to neoliberal policies, whereas labor-intensive, small and medium-sized industries are sluggish and the unemployment rate has not improved. If the global economy further declines and the depreciation of the rupee and inflation advances, while unemployment, low wages, and price hikes hit the livelihood of the people, the upcoming General Elections will not be exempted from the influences of these factors.
In particular, two economic policies of the Modi government are criticized. One is the abrupt abolition of larger banknotes in November 2016, which deprived the people of cash on hand and cast their lives and jobs into dire difficulties. Some experts say the damage has been restored in 10 months. Many people, however, have not recovered yet. The second is the nationally unified "goods and services tax (GST)" system introduced in July 2017. The government advertised it as the largest tax reform after the 1947 independence. The system was welcomed by foreign capital corporations and large enterprises which would be freed from complicated administrative procedures, but not domestically in general. Small and medium-sized business owners are worried much about the "pay and reimburse" system and complicated procedures concerning business with outside the state.
The other concern is what the people will think about "Hindutva politics." The primary focus in the 2014 General Elections was not "Hindutva politics" but economic growth. The people, however, did not agree to let Hindu supremacists go unchecked. The President, Vice President, and Prime Minister are now all from RSS, and "Hindutva politics" intervention in government institutions, courts, police, media, universities, schools, and grassroots society is remarkable. Freedom of education and research, as well as freedom of speech are violated. Dissident judges, journalists, social activists, researchers, and students are attacked by Hindu radicals, and minority Muslims and Christians, Dalits, and women are subject to persecution. Prime Minister Modi's handling of these questions will attract fresh attention. There is likelihood that the media and SNS that endorsed the popularity of Modi and Shah may this time work in favor of the opposite camps.
At the end of 2018, right after BJP's defeats in four state assembly elections, Amit Shah drew attention by his aggressive remarks. His prediction is that the coming elections will be an easy victory for BJP, because BJP activists have increased in number from 20 million to 94 million, the number of coalition parties has also increased from 25 to 31. This time, Modi-led BJP and Raful Gandhi-led INC will fight a duel, and a great variety of campaigns may be fought in states and constituencies, and the focus in the elections will irrefutably be economic growth and the distribution of its fruit. The situation surrounding the upcoming elections is unpredictable. People wonder how fierce a battle will be engaged. How will the ruling party design electoral campaigns? What strategy will the opposition employ?
What judgement will the people make a few months away? Will a national consensus be reached? What economic policy will be pursued? What security policy will be taken? Will BJP's "Hindutva politics" aiming at a great India be again supported? Or will INC be chosen for its moderate nationalism based on diversities like religion, caste, ethnicity, and gender? The steering of the global India will depend on 900 million voters. The elections results must exert a great impact not only on Indian politics but also on the politics of neighboring countries, Asia and the world.
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- August 2022, " Current Assessment of the Xi Jinping's Rule and Prospects for the Third Term of the Xi Administration " written by Takashi Suzuki, Associate Professor, Aichi Prefectural University
- August 2022, " Economic Challenges Awaiting the Xi Jinping Administration As it Enters its Third Term" written by Toshiya Tsugami, Director, Tsugami Toshiya's Works
- July 2022, "The Russian Invasion of Ukraine and the Future International Legal Order" written by Masahiro Kurosaki, Associate Professor, National Defense Academy
- July 2022, "The Ukraine War and Security in East Asia" written by Narushige Michishita, Vice President, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies
- July 2022, "How Will the Ukraine War Change the New US-China Cold War?" written by Yasuhiro Matsuda, Professor, the University of Tokyo
- July 2022, "Impact of the Ukraine War on the Global Economy" written by Tatsuhiko Yoshizaki, Chief Economist, Sojitz Research Institute, Ltd.
- June 2022, "Why War Occurs in Europe?--The Structural Transformation of the European Security Order in the Post-Cold War Era --" written by Yuichi Hosoya, Professor, Keio University
- June 2022,"The Russia-Ukrainian War and the Behind-the-Scenes Stance of the United States" "On Economic Security" written by Tsuneo Watanabe, Senior Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- June 2022, "The Russia-Ukraine War and NATO", written by Michito Tsuruoka, Associate Professor, Keio University
- June 2022, "The Ukrainian War Viewed from Theories of International Politics" written by Matake Kamiya, Professor, National Defens Academy
- March 2022, "Economic Security Challenges and Cyber Security" written by Jun Osawa, Senior Research Fellow, Nakasone Peace Institute
- March 2022, "On Economic Security" written by Matake Kamiya, Professor, the Ntional Defense Academy
- March 2022, ""Economic Security" and the Review of the 2013 NSS and the Related Strategy Documents" written by Nobushige Takamizawa, Visiting Professor, the University of Tokyo
- March 2022, "The US-China Rivalry and Economic Security" written by Yuzo Murayama, Professor, Doshisya University
- March 2022, "Japan's National Security Policies and Science and Technology" written by Nobukatsu Kanehara, Professor, Doshisya University
- March 2022, "Economic Security in the Free Trade Regime" written by Kazuto Suzuki, Professor, the University of Tokyo
- January 2022, "The 2022 South Korean Presidential Election and the Next Administration's Foreign and Security Policy" written by Junya Nishino, Professor, Keio University
- January 2022, "North Korea's Nuclear and Missile Development and Japan's Defense" written by Hideshi Tokuchi, Senior Fellow, GRIPS
- January 2022, "What will Become of Japan-South Korea Relations? The 1965 Japan-South Korea Treaty System in Jeopardy" written by Masao Okonogi, Professor Emeritus, Keio University
- December 2021, "Economic and Social Conditions in North Korea and its Relations with South Korea" written by Mitsuhiro Mimura, Chief Research Fellow, The Economic Research Institute for Northeast Asia.
- December 2021, "China's Korean Peninsula Policy and North Korea" written by Shin Kawashima, Professor, the University of Tokyo.
- December 2021, "China's Korean Peninsula Policy and North Korea" written by Shunji Hiraiwa, Professor, Nanzan University.
- December 2021, "What to Do with the Relations with North Korea?" written by Hitoshi Tanaka, Chairman for Institute for International Strategy at the Japan Research Institute.
- October 2021, "Strategic Implications of North Korea's Enhanced Nuclear and Missile Capabilities" written by Narushige Michishita, Vice President, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.
- October 2021, "The Biden Administration's North Korea Policy: Its Low Priority and Looming Crises" written by Tsuneo Watanabe, Senior Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation.
- October 2021, "The Evolution of the US-ROK Alliance: Tasks in the Biden Era" written by Yasuyo Sakata, Professor, Kanda University of International Studies.
- September 2021, "The Development of Regional Security Architecture: From Asia-Pacific to Indo-Pacific" written by Ken Jimbo, Professor, Keio University.
- September 2021, "The Strategic Development of Japanese Security Cooperation under Superpower Competition and the Development of the FOIP and its Operationalization" written by Nobushige Takamizawa, Visiting Professor, Graduate School of Public Policy, The University of Tokyo.
- August 2021, "Security Perceptions of Central Asian Countries--- From the Perspective of China Studies ---" written by Shin Kawashima, Professor, the University of Tokyo.
- August 2021, "Security in the Indian Ocean Region---Implication of the Galwan Incident for QUAD in the Indo-Pacific" written by Dr. Satoru Nagao, Fellow (Non-Resident), Hudson Institute.
- August 2021, "Easternization and Security in Asia" written by Tsuneo Watanabe, Senior Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation.
- July 2021, "The Ideas of "Autonomy" and "Self-Reliance" in Contemporary India's Foreign Strategy" written by Kazutoshi TAMARI, Associate Professor,Chukyo University.
- July 2021, "Thailand's Security Policies and Threat Perceptions" written by Saya Kiba, Associate Professor, Komatsu University, Faculty of Intercultural Communication.
- July 2021, "Myanmar's Security Perceptions and the February 1 Coup d'Etat" written by Yoshihiro Nakanishi, Associate Professor, Kyoto University.
- July 2021, "Australia's Security Perceptions and the "Asia Threat"" written byTomohiko Satake, Senior Fellow, Defense Policy Division, Policy Studies Department, NIDS .
- June 2021, "The Indo-Pacific Regional Architecture: Its Future--- Multipolar Order Beyond US-China Relations ---" by Tsutomu Kikuchi, Professor, Aoyama Gakuin University
- June 2021, "The Quad Plus in the Security of Asia: Its Significance and Outlook" by Hideshi Tokuchi, Senior Fellow, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies
- June 2021, "Indonesian Views and Perceptions on National Security" by Nobuhiro Aizawa, Associate Professor, The Graduate School of Social and Cultural Studies, Kyushu University
- June 2021, "Normalized Tensions in the Cross-Strait Relations--- Structural Changes in Taiwanese Society and the Xi Jinping Administration's Strategic Shift ---" by Yasuhiro Matsuda, Professor, The University of Tokyo
- June 2021, "China's Maritime Strategy and Responses of the United States and Japan" by Yoji Koda, Former Commander in Chief, Self Defense Fleet
- June 2021, "The South China Issues from the Perspective of the International Law Order",by Shigeki Sakamoto, Emeritus Professor, Kobe University
- May 2021, "Indonesian Views and Perceptions on National Security" by Nobuhiro Aizawa, Associate Professor, Kyushu University
- May, 2021, "The Philippine Foreign and Security Policy Perspective" written by Yusuke Takagi Associate Professor,National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.
- May, 2021, "Vietnam's Security: Challenges and Responses" written by Tomotaka Shoji Head, Asia and Africa Division, Regional Studies Department, National Institute for Defense Studies
- March, 2021, "Can the Biden Administration Restore America as a Global Leader?" written by Matake Kamiya, Professor, the National Defense Academy of Japan.
- March, 2021, "The Biden Administration and Japan's Security Strategy" written by Hideshi Tokuchi, Senior Fellow, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.
- February,2021, "US Foreign and Security Policy Direction Viewed from the Biden Administration's Lineup" written by Tsuneo Watanabe, Senior Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- February,2021, "Trade Policies of the Biden Administration" written by Takaaki Asano, Senior Analyst, Sumitomo Corporation Global Research Co. Ltd.
- February,2021, "The Biden Administration's Policy toward Russia" written by Taisuke Abiru, Senior Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- January,2021, "Will US Policy Toward China Change?" lectured by Ryo Sahashi, Associate Professor, the University of Tokyo
- January,2021, "How will China View the Biden Administration?" written by Bonji Ohara, Senior Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- January,2021, "An Assessment of the 2020 US Presidential Election－American Democracy Now－" lectured by Fumiaki Kubo, Professor, the University of Tokyo
- January,2021, "Two Trumpian Mysteries－Why did Trump win over 70 million votes? Why is his outrageous behavior unchecked?－" lectured by Kazuhiro Maeshima, Professor, Sophia University
- September, 2020, "The Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic and Internationa Relationsl" by Matake Kamiya, Professor, National Defense Academy of Japan
- September, 2020, "The Policy Agenda for the Xi Jinping Administration- COVID-19 Countermeasures and China's International Relations -" by Shin Kawashima, Professor, The University of Tokyo
- "Control in the United States and International Relations" by Koji Murata, Professor, Doshisha University
- September, 2020, "The EU's Response to COVID-19 and International Relations" by Yuichi Hosoya, Professor, Keio University
- August, 2020, "The Corona Crisis Seen from a Macroeconomic Perspective" written by Motoshige Itoh, Professor Emeritus, The University of Tokyo
- August, 2020, "The Coronavirus Pandemic and Japan's Infectious Disease Control" written by Takashi Mihara, Senior Research Fellow, NLI Research Institute
- August, 2020, "Infectious Disease Crisis Control in Japan- Recommendations on an Exit Strategy -" written by Kazumasa Oguro, Professor, Hosei University
- August, 2020, "Security against Infectious Disease Threats --- Policy Responses Abroad" written by Takashi Sekiyama, Associate Professor, Kyoto University
- June 2020,"Transformation of the International Order in the Middle East--- Varying Degrees of "Stateness" and Three Directions of the New Order" written by Satoshi Ikeuchi, Professor, Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, The University of Tokyo
- June 2020,"Destabilization in the Middle East and its Impacts on Japan's Energy Security" written by Amane Kobayashi, Research Fellow, The Institute of Energy Economics
- May 2020: Urgent Recommendations "Toward a V-shaped Recovery after the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic "Coronavirus Testing for All" --- the First Step of the Next Phase"
- May 2020: "US Diplomacy toward Iran: Economic Sanctions as a Diplomatic Tool" Hiroki Sugita Columnist, Kyodo News
- "Russian Factors in the Middle East" Taisuke Abiru Senior Research Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- "The SDF Dispatches to the Middle East --- History and Significance" Ippeita Nishida Senior Research Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- March 2020, "Space and Security" Kazuto Suzuki Professor, Hokkaido University
- March 2020, "The US Security Space Policy --- With a Focus on the Establishment of Two Space Forces" Yasuhito Fukushima Chief Researcher, The National Institute for Defense Studies
- March 2020, "China's Recent Activities in Space and Cyberspace" Bonji Ohara Senior Research Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- March 2020, "Environmental Security and Japan" Takashi Sekiyama Associate Professor, Kyoto University
- March 2020, "Changes in Global Environment and Security --- US Security Strategy" Hideshi Tokuchi Senior Fellow, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS)
- February 2020, "Cyberspace Security" Motohiro Tsuchiya Professor, Keio University
- February 2020, "Japan's Space and Cyberspace Policy" Yukinari Hirose Former President of the National Institute for Defense Studies
- December 2019, "The US-China Confrontation --- Where Will Hegemony Reside Next?" Akio Takahara Professor, the University of Tokyo
- December 2019, "Challenges Facing the Chinese Economy" Osamu Tanaka Chief Senior Researcher, Institute of Developing Economies, JETRO
- December 2019, "US Strategic Perception on China: Implications for US Allied Partners" Tsuneo Watanabe Senior Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- November 2019, "The Xi Jinping Administration's View of the International Order– China's emphasis on United Nations diplomacy and liberal economic policies−" Shin Kawashima, Professor, the University of Tokyo
- November 2019, "The Future of China's Security Strategy" Hideshi Tokuchi, Senior Fellow, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies
- November 2019, "China --- Its Confidence and Anxiety" Bonji Ohara, Senior Research Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- August 2019: Several Perspectives on the Korean Peninsula Issue--- The Deteriorating Japan-South Korea Relationship and the Uncertain Denuclearization of North Korea --- By Masahiro Akiyama Chairman, the SSDP
- July 2019, "An Outlook on the Denuclearization of North Korea--- What is the Stance of North Korea?---", Junya Nishino, Professor, Keio University
- July 2019, "An Outlook on the Denuclearization of North Korea --- How will the US move?", Narushige Michishita, Vice President, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies
- July 2019, "Discussion on Denuclearization of North Korea", SSDP Discussion Meeting on May 8, 2019
- May 2019: "Current Status and Prospects of South Korea and Japan's Frictions over History: How to address the Judicial Problems", Masao Okonogi, Professor Emeritus, Keio University
- May 2019: "South Korea and Japan's Frictions over History" (Comments), Junya Nishino, Professor, Keio University
- May 2019: Japan and South Korea Relationships (Question & Answer)
- March 2019: "The Present State and Prospects of the Indian Economy and Economic Policies" written by Koji Kobayashi, Senior Economist Mizuho Research Institute Ltd.
- March 2019: "The "Modi diplomacy" in the History of Indian diplomacy--- Departure from or maintenance of the traditional diplomacy? ---" written by Toru Ito, The National Defense Academy of Japan
- February 2019: Dynamics of Indian Politics and the 2019 General Elections, written by Chiharu Takenaka, Professor of Rikkyo University
- February 2019: "Cooperative Strategy" to Realize "Competitive Strategy"--- The composite structure of Japan's "Free and Open Indo-Pacific" strategy (vision) ---, written by Matake Kamiya, Professor at The National Defense Academy of Japan
- January 2019:, A paper, "How will the US midterm elections results affect the Trump administration's foreign policy for 2019?" written by Tsuneo Watanabe, Senior Fellow, the Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- January 2019:, A paper, "The Present and Future of the International Trade Order" , written by Akihiko Tamura, Professor, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies
- December 2018: The US-China Competition and Japan, written by Ryo Sahashi, Professor at Kanagawa University
- December 2018: An Outlook for the US-China Trade War―What makes the two economically interdependent superpowers confront each other?―, written by Takashi Sekiyama, Associate professor at Toyo University
- September 2018: Proposal, "The Denuclearization of North Korea and the Restoration of Peace in the Korean Peninsula― Correct Perceptions and Eight Proposals on Japan's North Korea Diplomacy－" edited by the Society of Security and Diplomatic Policy Studies
- September 2018: "The Taiwan Policy of the Xi Jinping Administration in its Second Term: An Outlook on Cross-Strait Relations in the New Era" written by Yasuhiro Matsuda, Professor of the Tokyo University
- July 2018: "The EU States and Russia on North Korea Issues- Expansion of Influence through Diplomacy: Attempts and Limitations -" lectured by Yuichi Hosoya, Professor of Keio University
- "An Assessment of the US-North Korea Summit and an Outlook for the Future of the Korean Peninsula" lectured by Junya Nishino, Professor of Keio University
- "Korean Peninsula Issue and Japan's Future Security Policy" written by Hideshi Tokuchi, Senior Fellow of National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies
- July 2018: "US North Korea policy affected by personnel changes in the Trump administration" lectured by Tsuneo Watanabe, Senior Fellow of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation.
- "China-North Korea relationship under Xi Jinping" lectured by Shin Kawashima, Professor of the Tokyo University.
- "North Korean Denuclearization and Russia" lectured by Nobuo Shimotomai, Professor of the Hosei University.
- March 2018: "The Network Hegemony Theory for a Security Architecture in The Asia Pacific Region" lectured by Masahiro Akiyama, Chairman, the Society of Security and Diplomatic Policy Studies
- January 2018: "A Destabilized Middle East" lectured by Koichiro Tanaka, Professor, Keio University
- December 2017: "Problems in Sino-Japanese Relations, 1992-2042" lectured by Ezra F. Vogel, Professor of the Social Sciences Emeritus at Harvard University
- November 2017: "The Future of the Asia-Pacific Region" written by Yoriko Kawaguchi, Fellow, the Meiji Institute for Global Affairs, Former Minister Foreign Affairs
- October 2017: "A New Trend in India's Foreign Policy and Japan" Written by HIROSE,Takako, Professor, Senshu University
- August 2017: "The Shocks that shook the Transatlantic World and their Implication for Japan's Foreign Policy" written by HOSOYA, Yuichi, Professor, Keio University
- August 2017: "Does Economic Interdependence not Encourage Collaboration? ―Thinking Japan-China Relations from an Economic Perspective―" written by Takashi SEKIYAMA, Ph.D., Toyo University
- July 2017: Proposal article "The Trump Administration's Impact on the Cross-Strait Relations" written by Yasuhiro Matsuda, Ph.D.
- June 2017: Proposal article "The outlook for the relationship between two great powers and implications for Japanese diplomacy" written by Professor Shin Kawashima
- May 2017: (Emergency Proposal) Facing the Inconvenient Truth: Re-examining Policy for Peace and Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula (Chief author, Masao Okonogi)
- March 2017: "Economic Influences of the Trump Administration" written by Professor Motoshige Ito
- February, 2017: Proposal article "Trump's Foreign and Security Policy - Unpredictable President, Realistic Secretaries - " written by Mr. Tsuneo Watanabe is posted on the website of SSDP.
- December, 2016: Proposal article "Reconsidering North Korea Policy: How to Deal with a Nuclear Armed Divided States" written by Professor Masao Okonogi is posted on the website of SSDP.
- Taiwan-Japan Round Table on August 24th, at Capital Tokyu Hotel
- Japan-Korea Political Leaders Dialogue was held on February 10th,2023 at International House of Japan
- March 2022, A remembrance seminar "Remembering Professor Ezra Vogel" held on January 17, 2022
- March 2021, Japan-ROK Parliamentary Dialogue -Japan-ROK Cooperation in the Era of US-China Competition- held on March 11, 2021
- December 2020: The report of the Japan-ROK Future Dialogue held on November 21 to discuss "Japan-ROK Cooperation in the Post-Covid-19 Era
- October 2020: "Responses to COVID-19 and Agendas for the Post-COVID-19 Era", A Brief Overview of the Japan-Korea Experts Dialogue held on July 29,30, 2020
- October 2020: "The China-Taiwan Confrontation over Corona Response and Taiwan's Security" written by Makoto Ogata, Former Chief of the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association in Taipei
- May 2020: "Rivalries in the Middle East in New Security Dynamics", Written by Sayed Ghoneim, Major General (retired) of the Egyptian Armed Forces, Chairman, Institute for Global Security & Defence Affairs
- March 2020: The Japan-South Korea Relationship in a Cul-de-Sac--- Where is an Exit ? Masao Okonogi Professor Emeritus, Keio Universit
- December 2019: The Hong Kong Upheaval and the Future of Cross-Straits Relations－The 2019 Japan-Taiwan Strategic Dialogue Report OGATA, Makoto Former Chief of the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association in Taipei
- August 2019: Report; 2019 FUTURE CONSENSUS DIALOGUE --Sustainable Prosperity and Future of Korea-U.S.-Japan Cooperation-- By Future Consensus Institute (Yeosijae)
- June 2019: Report on India – Japan Security Dialogue 2019 by Ms. Vindu Mai Chotani, Ph.D Student, The University of Tokyo
June 2019: Four papers on Japan-India Cooperation submitted to India-Japan Security Dialogue 2019
Japan's Rationale for a Free and Open Indo-Pacific Vision
Tsuneo Watanabe, Senior Fellow, The Sasakawa Peace Foundation
The Significance and Possibilities of India-Japan Cooperation in the Concept of the Indo-Pacific
Toru ITO Associate Professor, National Defense Academy of Japan
Japan-India Defense Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific Context - Operationalizing the Security Aspect of the Indo-Pacific Vision –
Hideshi Tokuchi, Senior Fellow, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS)
India-US-Japan Defense Cooperation: What's next?
Dr. Satoru Nagao, Hudson Institute
- Japan's Rationale for a Free and Open Indo-Pacific Vision
- November 2018: "The Present State of the Japanese Economy and Policy Issues" lectured by Motoshige Itoh, Professor Emeritus at the University of Tokyo.
- November 2018: "Expanding Social Security Expenses and Fiscal Reforms" lectured by Kazumasa Oguro, Professor at Hosei University.
- September 2018: "Taiwan Identity and Cross-Strait Relations and Trump's Taiwan Policy and the Future of Taiwan-US Relations-Discussion at The Second Japan-Taiwan Strategic Dialogue (June 21, 2018, Taipei)-" written by OGATA, Makoto
- September 2018: "Japan-Taiwan Dialogue 2018 Minutes", 21st June 2018, Taipei, Taiwan.
- July 2018: Report on The Second Japan – Philippines Strategic Dialogue prepared by Ms. Vindu Mai Chotani, Ph.D. Student, Graduate School of Public Policy, Tokyo University.
- May 2018: "Civilian Control "at Crisis"? – Perhaps Not, for the Case of the Field Sit-reps from SDF's South Sudan Mission" reported by Ippeita Nishida, Research Fellow, the Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- January 2018: "Fukushima, Genki？Project－Young Taiwanese volunteers introduce the facts on Fukushima's revival through documentary films－" reported by OGATA, Makoto, Former Chief of the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association in Taipei
- December 2017: "Commemorating a Quarter Century of Dispatches of the JSDF's PKO Units: Challenges and Possibilities in the Post South Sudan" written by Takayuki Shoji, Lecturer, Nihon University
- November 2017: "19th CCP National Congress" written by Mr. Bonji Ohara, Senior Research Fellow, the Sasakawa Peace Fondation
- October 2017: "What is Japan's Role in the Indo-China border conflict?" written by Dr. NGAO,Satoru, Research Fellow, Institute for Future Engineering
- July 2017: "Overview of the Current Situation in Taiwan-" the Naturally Independent Generation" will affect the Taiwan"s politics-" written by Makoto Ogata MGE.(Ret.)
- June 2017: "Japan-U.S. Economic Dialogue" written by Mr.Takaaki Asano
- March 2017: "The Japan-Philippines Strategic Dialogue" written by Mr. Hideshi Tokuchi
- February, 2017: Current topic "The Importance of Japan's Security Role Under Trump" written by Dr. Satoru Nagao is posted on the SSDP website.
- December, 2016: Current topic "Widening Security Task: Will SDF do the Job?" written by Mr. Ippeita Nishida is posted on the SSDP website.
- September 2023, Research journal "Security Studies vol5 no3" (Hegemonic America: Where It's Headed) in English edition was published.
- June 2023,Research journal "Security Studies vol5 no2" (Nuclear Crisis Scenarios Facing Japan and the Outlook of Nuclear Deterrence and Arms Control and Disarmament) in English edition was published.
- March 2023,Research journal "Security Studies vol5 no1" (What Will Happen to European Security?―Facing the War in Ukraine) in English edition was published.
- January 2023, Research Jounal "Security Studies (vol 4 no 4)" - Defending Our Country – Defense Policy in a "New Cold War Era - was published.
- October 2022, Research Jounal "Security Studies (vol 4 no 3)" - Xi Jinping's China - Politics, Economy, Society and Diplomacy - was published.
- Jun 2022, Research Jounal "Security Studies (vol 4 no 2)" -The Russia-Ukraine War and Its Global Impact- was published.
- March 2022, Research Jounal "Security Studies (vol 4 no 1)"-What is Economic Security?- was published.
- December 2021, Research Jounal "Security Studies (vol 3 no 4)"-Korean Peninsula Situation- was published.
- September 2021, A research journal "Security Studies vol03 no03" -Asia's Security II- (English edition)
- June 2021, A research journal "Security Studies vol03 no02" -Asia's Security I- (English edition)
- March 2021: Research journal "Security Studies (vol3 no1) "- US Foreign Policy in the Biden Administration / The 2020 US Presidential Election and American Democracy -(English edition)
- December 2020: A research journal "Security Studies (vol2 no4) "- Normalize Japan-South Korea Relations trough Dialogues -(English edition)
- September 2020: A research journal "Security Studies (vol2 no3) "-The Novel Coronavirus and Security-(English edition)
- July 2020: A research journal "Security Studies (vol2 no2) - Middle East Situation and Japan's Security - " (English edition) was published
- May 2020: A research journal "Security Studies (vol2 no1) - Cyber, Space, Environment and Security - " March 2020 (English edition)
- February 2020, "A research journal "Security Studies (vol1 no4) " (English edition)"
- September 2019: A research journal "Security Studies (vol1 no3) " (English edition)
- August 2019: Korea-Japan Joint Seminar: FUTURE CONSENSUS DIALOGUE
- April 2019: "Security Studies (vol1 no2) April 2019"
- March 2019: A research journal "Security Studies vol1 no01" just published
- February 2019: The Denuclearization of North Korea and the Takeshima Issue
- December 2018: Former Vice Defense Minister Masahiro Akiyama's Memoirs (An Ad)
- November 2018: Participation in the Future Consensus Forum held in Beijing
- September 2018: "2018 Indo-Pacific Security Dialogue" reported by Masahiro Akiyama
- 2017 December: "The Butterfly Project-A possibility of showing a solution to the North Korea problem-"
- October 2017: Campaign on the problems with North Korea
- August 2017: A New Containment Policy Strategy
- June 2017: Korean peninsla
- March 2017: President Duterte
- February, 2017: Kazakhstan
- November, 2016: Participated in Astana Club 2016 held in Kazakhstan on November 14- 16, 2016.