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Perennial Anti-Americanism in Germany? Critical comments on Ruth Hatlapa’s and Andrei S. Markovits’ “Obamamania and Anti-Americanism as Complementary Concepts”

PERENNIAL ANTI-AMERICANISM IN GERMANY? Critical comments on Ruth Hatlapa’s and Andrei S. Markovits’ “Obamamania and Anti-Americanism as Complementary Concepts” Stefan Immerfall Sociology, Pädagogische Hochschule Schwäbisch Gmünd ing of the Second Iraq War in 2003 was accompanied by an unusually widespread public contempt for U.S. President George W. Bush. No doubt, vast majorities in Germany (and in many other European countries) rejected the Iraq invasion. But how should we interpret their motives? Was criticism levelled against a specific policy or was it based on negative stereotyping of America? Three kinds of arguments have been brought forward as to why the latter should be the case. A first argument harks back to the German Kulturkritik, i.e., the resentment of the perceived shallowness of modernity. In this view, America stands for crude materialisms and hypocrisy. Accordingly, “Anti-Americanism” would be anchored historically in a “New World” stereotype. A second strain of thought objects to the previous notion of a continuity between current and past anticapitalist, antimodern, and often antisemitic “anti-American” mind-set. This second kind of argument posits that a new kind of political “Anti-Americanism” has emerged since the 1960s that accepts capitalism, but is wary of the uneven “Americanization” of twentieth-century Germany. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png German Politics and Society Berghahn Books

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