Reluctant Followers: Germany, Japan and the Future of International Order
The present turbulence in world politics and the decay of U.S. leadership poses severe challenges for two of America’s most steadfast and committed allies, Germany and Japan. As trading states and “civilian powers,” both are particularly dependent on an effective and legitimate rules-based international order – yet that order in the past heavily relied on American leadership, which Berlin and Tokyo did much to buttress as Washington’s partners in Europe and East Asia. How have they responded to the challenges? Are they stepping up to assume more responsibility for maintaining and developing a rules-based international order? Will that include a greater willingness to build and project military power, something both have been reluctant to do, given their militarist past?