Current Institutional Affiliation
Professor, Political Science and International Studies, Washington College

Andrew L. Oros is Professor of Political Science and International Studies at Washington College in Chestertown,
Maryland and a fellow at the Wilson Center Asia program in Washington, DC from September 2020 through May
2021. His latest research project examines how demographic change – such as shrinking populations, aging
societies, and gender imbalances – will affect the security environment in the Indo- Pacific region and, in particular,
the network of US alliances and partnerships in the region. He conducted research for his last book, Japan’s
Security Renaissance (Columbia University Press, 2017), as an invited research fellow at Japan’s National Institute
of Defense Studies and as a Japan Foundation Abe fellow at Keio University in Tokyo and Peking University in
Beijing. He also is the author of two other books and numerous articles and book chapters on issues related to East
Asian security and Japanese politics. He serves as an executive editor of the scholarly journal Asian Security, is a
member of the US- Japan Network for the Future (Japan Foundation/Mansfield Foundation, Cohort 2), and is part of
the Mansfield- Luce Asia Network (Cohort 1, 2020). He earned his Ph.D in political science at Columbia University,
an M.Sc in the Politics of the World Economy from the London School of Economics as a British government
Marshall scholar, and a B.A. from the University of Southern California in East Asian Languages and Cultures and
International Relations.

Award Information

Abe Fellowship 2009
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Associate Professor, Political Science, Washington College
Trilateralism in the U.S.-Japan-China Security Relationship

Can concerted efforts at institutionalized cooperation among Japan, China, and the United States play a constructive role in managing the inevitable tension caused by a rising China? Can Japan, China, and the United States find ways to cooperate on other pressing global security issues rather than focusing only on security tensions among themselves? This project will publish and in other ways disseminate answers to these important questions based on original research conducted in all three states. In particular, it will approach these questions from an explicitly trilateral vantage point: putting at the center of the research the trilateral connections among the three states. In the current 21st century framework of global interactions, developments in each of the three bilateral dyads (US-Japan, Japan-China, and US-China) inherently impact the other state. Thus, even without formalized trilateral cooperation, the existing security relationship already can be described as “trilateral” in terms of its present interconnectedness. Greater thinking trilaterally—how the actions of one pair can affect the policy and perceptions of the third party—and more trilateral dialogue as a result of this thinking could benefit the nature of interactions among the three states as well as the broader security environment. To determine the opportunities for security cooperation one must consider not only the international systemic challenges but also the domestic political constraints inherent in each system. Scholarship in this area is extensive, but also segmented by country. This project will draw from this large literature on the politics of foreign policymaking and add to it new research findings derived from on-site interviews and previous research by the principal researcher on the Japanese security policymaking environment to address not only theoretical questions of great power rise, but also practical questions related to the political viability of different forms of future security cooperation. There is a growing urgency to this question as China’s rise and the mechanisms of great power transition appear to be moving inexorably forward; as well, formal governmental trilateral dialogue looks likely to begin quite soon. Despite growing attention to this issue, there still are few – if any – single-authored studies of the history and prospects for trilateral Japan-China-US security cooperation. This project argues that a greater contribution can be made by a single author who will synthesize pertinent scholarship from all three states with interviews and other new material from contemporary policymakers and policy analysts from each state. Specifically, the project will incorporate analysis and data collected through interviews with policymakers and scholars in each country, in government documents related to security cooperation and security strategy, in scholarly literature from each country, and in media reporting and studies of independent research institutes. Special attention will be paid to Japanese-language materials that have not been widely disseminated in English, including government documents, analysis from scholars and members of the research community, and interviews conducted in Japanese. The project requires nine months of support over fifteen months, including one semester of compensated leave and support for research in Beijing, Tokyo, and Washington, DC.