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These expressions reveal an authentic feeling of bewilderment and outrage, but they also constitute the basic tenet of a popular conception that is deeply ingrained in the collective psyche of the American nation. The American people’s “conviction that their interests and the world’s interests are one,” Robert Kagan (2003, 88) reminds us, “may be welcomed, ridiculed, or lamented. ” Those who stand to criticize or oppose the United States—so the logic goes— have ulterior motives that should be exposed and refuted.

For example, in a broad overview of criticism of the United States at home and abroad, Paul Hollander (1995, 7) argues that “the concept of anti-Americanism implies more than a critical disposition: it refers to critiques which are less than fully rational and not necessarily well founded. ” He later reiterates the point, emphasizing that “anti-Americanism may be defined as an unfocused and largely irrational, often visceral aversion towards the United States, its government, domestic institutions, foreign policies, prevailing values, culture and people” (Hollander, 1995, 334–335).

Chapter 4 continues the empirical investigations with a more focused analysis of the attitudes towards the United States among European and Islamic publics. Chapter 4 relies on the batteries of survey questions from the 2002 Zogby International Ten Nation Impressions of America Poll and the Worldviews 2002— European Public Opinion and Foreign Policy survey. The latter survey was conducted on behalf of the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations (CCFR) and the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF).

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