Anti-Americanism around the globe

A wave of anti-Americanism has gripped the world and a new book series explores and analyses why.

Edited by Griffith University Senior Lecturer in Politics Dr Brendon O’Connor, the four volume series provides the most comprehensive overview of anti-Americanism ever published.

Dr O’Connor said the series defined anti-Americanism, how it had developed over time and how it differed from country to country.

“Looking at the history of anti-Americanism a lot of the issues and attitudes have been around for a very long time,” Dr O’Connor said.

“Anti-Americanism didn’t just come along with President Bush. Bush rejuvenated these feelings, but anti-Americanism sentiment has been around for 150 years.”

Dr O’Connor said in addition to the usual suspects of the Middle East and France, lesser explored frontiers of anti-Americanism such as the Philippines and Greece were also analysed in the texts.

“The series also explores the contradictions and paradoxes of anti-Americanism, such as American pop culture, which is consumed at a startling rate around the globe but remains a source of much anxiety and criticism, including in Australia,” Dr O’Connor said.

The series features work from 50 leading experts from around the world and each volume explores a different theme.

Volume one defines anti-Americanism and explores the anti-Americanism mindset, showing how negative impressions and narratives about America and Americans from the 19th century have been recycled in more recent debates.

Volume two examines the crucial events and ideas throughout history that have shaped the development of anti-Americanism.

Volume three explores anti-Americanism in a comparative perspective, giving an exhaustive survey of nine countries and two regions.

Lastly, volume four focuses on the contemporary situation, suggesting reasons for the current wave of anti-American feeling, exploring issues like the war in Iraq and recent US economic and human rights policies.

Dr O’Connor said although a lot of people had made comment in the media about anti-Americanism in recent times there hadn’t been much research done in the area prior to the series.

The Anti-Americanism: History, Causes, Themes series was recently released and will be formally launched later in the year in Budapest, Hungary.