To reach gluemaker Delo Industrie Klebstoffe GmbH, you drive an hour from Munich, past villages with onion-domed churches and the Ammersee, a cobalt-blue lake with views of the Alps, before turning into offices nestled between a cornfield and a grove of beech trees—hardly the kind of place you'd expect to find a global leader in its industry.
Yet one of Delo's adhesives is used in 80 percent of the world's smart cards, and its customers are spread across Europe, the U.S., and Asia. That success is testament to Germany's commitment to globalism—now a dirty word in some countries—and helps explain a political puzzle: How, in 2017, can Europe's biggest economy have a normal, even boring, election while crusading populists have upended the political order elsewhere? "Other countries haven't had the stability we've enjoyed," says Delo Managing Partner Sabine Herold. "It's a mistake to believe that you can save your castle by building more walls."