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Anti-Americanism and the American World Order

Giacomo Chiozza

Publication Year: 2009

News stories remind us almost daily that anti-American opinion is rampant in every corner of the globe. Journalists, scholars, and politicians alike reinforce the perception that anti-Americanism is an entrenched sentiment in many foreign countries. Political scientist Giacomo Chiozza challenges this conventional wisdom, arguing that foreign public opinion about the U.S. is much more diverse and nuanced than is generally believed. Chiozza examines the character, source, and persistence of foreign attitudes toward the United States. His findings are based on worldwide public opinion databases that surveyed anti-American sentiment in Islamic countries, Europe, Latin America, Africa, and East Asia. Data compiled from responses in a wide range of categories—including politics, wealth, science and technology, popular culture, and education—indicate that anti-American sentiments vary widely across these geographic regions. Through careful analyses, Chiozza shows how foreign publics balance the political, social, and cultural dimensions of the U.S. in their own perceptions of the country. He finds that popular anti-Americanism is mostly benign and shallow; deep-seated ideological opposition to the U.S. is usually held among a minority of groups. More often, Chiozza explains, foreigners have conflicting attitudes toward the U.S. He finds that while anti-Americanism certainly exists, the United States is equally praised as a symbol of democracy and freedom, its ideals of liberty, equality, and opportunity applauded. Chiozza clearly demonstrates that what is reported as undisputed fact—that various groups abhor American values—is in reality a complex story.

Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. v-vi


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pp. vii


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pp. ix-x


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pp. xi

Part I: Themes and Theory

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1. Overview

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pp. 3-31

What is the image of the United States of America abroad? What opinion do foreign publics have of the United States, its citizens and its institutions, its ideals and its culture, its policies and its symbols? What attitudes do they have towards all things American? In the early years of...

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2. Two Theories on Anti-Americanism

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pp. 32-50

If shelves in university bookstores count as reliable indicators of the fundamental political questions faced by a society, the message they convey in the early years of the twenty-first century is clear: the position of the United States in the world has emerged as the central issue...

Part II: Features

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3. Patterns of Anti-Americanism

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pp. 53-84

To unravel the puzzle of the mixture of aspiration and opposition that is associated with the United States, that is, to understand who says what of the United States, I begin with an analysis of the status of America’s image in 2002 in seven regions of the...

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4. Testing the Soft Power Thesis

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pp. 85-106

As we have seen, attitudes towards the United States are far from homogeneous. Ordinary people elaborate a variety of opinions that reflect their individual assessment of the United States, its society, and its international political behavior. Taken at face value, that evidence...

Part III: Sources

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5. Profiles of Anti-Americanism

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pp. 109-136

The empirical investigations conducted in Chapters 3 and 4 demonstrate the multidimensional nature of anti-American sentiment. When ordinary people are asked to express their feelings towards the United States, their responses reflect their evaluations of a variety of national...

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6. The Sources of the Policy and Polity Frames

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pp. 137-157

Next we shall try to identify some sources of anti-American sentiment by probing the characteristics of the respondents and the political contexts within which they elaborated their opinions in the two samples of data from the 2002 Zogby International Survey and the 2002...

Part IV: Persistence

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7. Anti-Americanism beyond 2002

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pp. 161-183

The wide array of empirical evidence presented here mounts a strong challenge to the idea of an anti-American syndrome in the American world order. The perceptions of the United States among ordinary people are multifaceted, not an endemic cultural opposition. When Timothy...

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8. An Evaluation of the Persistence of Anti-Americanism

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pp. 184-198

From the empirical profile of negative public opinions of the United States, we can assess to what extent these opinions are responses to contingent factors, such as the current U.S. president, or to more deeply ingrained and antagonistic beliefs, such as the sense that the...

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9. Conclusions

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pp. 199-202

Elusive or ubiquitous, pernicious or irrelevant, anti-Americanism has been a staple feature of the discourse on international politics in the dawning years of the American world order. It informs everyday conversations, journalistic commentaries, and academic reflections in a variety of...


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pp. 203-213


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pp. 215-225


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pp. 227-235

E-ISBN-13: 9780801895869
E-ISBN-10: 0801895863
Print-ISBN-13: 9780801892080
Print-ISBN-10: 0801892082

Page Count: 256
Illustrations: 30 figures
Publication Year: 2009