Since joining the JETRO Institute of Developing Economies in 1994, I have conducted research mainly on Malaysian politics. As I have studied Malaysia, I have expanded my interests to include various subfields of political science such as political system theory, political regime theory, and ethnic politics. In particular, I devoted much time to researching the conditions under which power sharing among multiple ethnic groups can be sustained in a multiethnic country (Masashi Nakamura, Power Sharing: The Experience of Multiethnic Malaysia, University of Tokyo Press, 2015). I also conducted a comparative study on the political systems of five Southeast Asian countries (Masashi Nakamura, ed., The Comparative Political Science of Southeast Asian Countries, JETRO Institute of Developing Economies, 2012).
Current research projects
In Malaysia, the 2018 general election led to the first change of government since the founding of the country, and the state of politics has drastically changed since then. Although a “one strong, many weak” party system centering on an enormous ruling coalition lasted for some time, recent years have seen continued chaotic situations in which many political parties have repeatedly come together and broken apart. At present, my main work is to follow the latest political trends, analyze what socioeconomic contexts have led to recent political changes, and consider how new political conditions might affect the economy and society. I publish analyses of political trends in Malaysia as needed on our website and through other media. For more detail, please check researchmap.jp.