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Cultures of Antimilitarism

, 272 pages
April 2003



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Cultures of Antimilitarism

National Security in Germany and Japan

After suffering crushing military defeats in 1945, both Japan and Germany have again achieved positions of economic dominance and political influence. Yet neither seeks to regain its former military power; on the contrary, antimilitarism has become so deeply rooted in the Japanese and German national psyches that even such questions as participation in international peacekeeping forces are met with widespread domestic opposition. In Cultures of Antimilitarism: National Security in Germany and Japan Thomas Berger analyzes the complex domestic and international political forces that brought about this unforeseen transformation.

Thomas U. Berger is an associate professor of International Relations at Boston University.

"Thomas Berger not only makes an important new contribution to our understanding of national security and defense planning in those countries, but also does a great service to the scholarly community by showing that cultural theory remains a viable methodology for the study of war."

"An important academic achievement."

"A remarkable documentation of these two quite different cultures, one European and the other Asian, which experienced varying political pressures, but which agreed to remain demilitarized and unaggressive."

"Through his incisive comparative analysis of Germany and Japan, Thomas Berger makes an important contribution to the debate on how much culture and norms matter for national security policies. Essential reading for those interested in the theoretical study of international security as well as students of German and Japanese defense policy after World War II."

"Thomas Berger's study is brilliant and original. It is nothing short of a landmark in its analysis of Germany and Japan but also in its conceptualization of comparative foreign policy."