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"Anti-Americanisms in World Politics"

Professors Peter J. Katzenstein and Robert O. Keohane, who are two leading international relations experts at Cornell and Princeton, have just published Anti-Americanisms in World Politics (, According to the book description, they have "assembled a distinguished group of experts, including historians, polling-data analysts, political scientists, anthropologists, and sociologists, to explore Anti-Americanism in depth, using both qualitative and quantitative methods. The result is a book that probes deeply a central aspect of world politics that is frequently noted yet rarely understood."
Policy Review has published the essay "Anti-Americanisms: Biases as diverse as the country itself" by Katzenstein and Keohane, adapted from their new book. In the book and the essay they discuss four themes:
First, we distinguish between anti-Americanisms that are rooted in opinion or bias. Second, as our book's title suggests, there are many varieties of anti-Americanism. The beginning of wisdom is to recognize that what is called anti-Americanism varies, depending on who is reacting to America. In our book, we describe several different types of anti-Americanism and indicate where each type is concentrated. The variety of anti-Americanism helps us to see, third, the futility of grand explanations for anti-Americanism. It is accounted for better as the result of particular sets of forces. Finally, the persistence of anti-Americanism, as well as the great variety of forms that it takes, reflects what we call the polyvalence of a complex and kaleidoscopic American society in which observers can find whatever they don’t like -- from Protestantism to porn. The complexity of anti-Americanism reflects the polyvalence of America itself.
Another one of their conclusions:
Perhaps the most puzzling thing about anti-Americanism is that we Americans seem to care so much about it. Americans want to know about anti-Americanism: to understand ourselves better and, perhaps above all, to be reassured. This is one of our enduring traits. Americans’ reaction to anti-Americanism in the twenty-first century thus is not very different from what Alexis de Tocqueville encountered in 1835: "The Americans, in their intercourse with strangers, appear impatient of the smallest censure and insatiable of praise... They unceasingly harass you to extort praise, and if you resist their entreaties they fall to praising themselves. It would seem as if, doubting their own merit, they wished to have it constantly exhibited before their eyes." Perhaps we care because we lack self-confidence, because we are uncertain whether to be proud of our role in the world or dismayed by it.
The second book Ueberpower: The Imperial Temptation of America (, was published in the summer of 2006 and is written by Fulbright Alumnus and ZEIT editor Josef Joffe, who is very pro-American and even supported the Iraq war. The title is a bit misleading since the book examines Anti-Americanism at great length. I have read an interesting essay in the American Interest by Joffe based on his book, but that essay is no longer available online. Joffe presented and discussed his book at Carnegie.


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Mad Minerva on :

Well, Joerg, thanks for adding still MORE books to my list of things to read! ;-) I've linked to this, and added one more recent book: "The American Enemy: the History of French Anti-Americanism" by Philippe Roger (University of Chicago Press, 2005). In it, Roger, professor at Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris, argues that anti-Americanism has a long history of being part and parcel of French self-identification. Cheers, MM

JW-Atlantic Review on :

Yes, Anti-Americanism has a long history. It is at least as old as the United States, as Markovits explains in the book and the working paper (available for download): [url][/url] Though, I doubt that "anti-Americanism has a long history of being part and parcel of French self-identification." Sounds exaggerated. Not just a part, but "part and parcel"? And a "long history"? The US revolution inspired and contributed to the French revolution. The French supported the Americans against the British. The Statue of Liberty was a French gift to mark the 100th anniversary of the American Declaration of Independence. And then there is: [url][/url] What are Philippe Roger's main arguments?

Wolf on :

Und wie nennen wir es wenn die Positionen der Amerikanischen Regierung auf ganzer Linie unvertretbar sind? Die die das klar sagen sind anti-amerikanisch? Und das soll ich ernst nehmen? Der Grand Canyon ist nur 10,000 Jahre alt...

Raetsel on :

Most people can not differ between anti-Americanism and the people who are against the american politics, which is made from by a small grouop of gangsters.

Vigilant on :

That's right. I think that most people call as anti-Americanism isn't against the American people. It is the expansive American policies that are contrary to the American idea. Is an American, who questioned the policy of the government critically, an Anti-American? I think not.

Mason on :

I think that all these Anti-Americanisms were caused just by the politics of Bush, and I hope that sir Obama will change the attitude of the world towards American society for the better, I believe he can do it!

Jorden on :

Can Americans worry about anything else except America?))) I suppose no... I'm always surprised about their sense of patriotism wich comes to the extend that they do not care about learning about the existance of other countries of thw world)))

Donovan on :

Personally me, I think that United States is the only coutry that really likes America. You know there are some fans in poor countries, but they dream of America because of this hard influence of mas0media, but not because of a cool head...

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