Research topic: Japan
Japan was one of the first non-Western nations to develop into a modern state and challenge Western hegemony.
Despite a near-total lack of natural resources, Japan has the world's third largest economy and is a world leader in many fields. At the same time the country is a front-runner in some less encouraging ways – many commentators have predicted that the problems now affecting Japan are a foretaste of those awaiting other post-industrial societies.
Not long ago the Japanese stereotype was a "salaryman" in suit and tie, with an aptitude for copying products and selling them cheaply. Today, however, Japan is associated with technological expertise and various forms of popular culture of a more creative nature. Japan also has a unique cultural heritage and has placed its own twist on trends from both East and South Asia, Europe and the USA. Japan combines the familiar with the foreign in a fascinating melting post of ancient and modern expression that can be experienced in few other places.