Since September 11 2001, the global ability to manage international problems and conflicts has faced major challenges. This capacity rests on the power and influence of key players in the international system; obviously, the United States plays a pivotal role, but while most analyses of international relations have designated Russia and China the next most influential actors, the major economic powers of Germany and Japan also have important roles to play. These two countries together represent two-thirds of the size of the US economy and with America account for more than half of global gross product. This engaging analysis focuses on the foreign policies of these two countries, their attitudes and policies towards the United States, the international institutions of Pax Americana, regional and international co-operation and conflict, and towards compliance and sanctions against non-compliance. Intellectually innovative, this comparative work is ideally suited to courses on global governance, comparative politics and foreign policy.