Democratic Alliances

America's foreign alliances have become an issue in this year's presidential election campaign. Senator John Kerry, the Democratic candidate, has accused President George W. Bush of neglecting and offending America's allies, particularly in Europe. A Kerry administration, he claims, will restore respect for America in the world.

Anti-Americanism is not new in Europe, but views of America have generally been more positive in the past. During the Cold War, the United States not only pursued far-sighted policies like the Marshall Plan, but also represented freedom and democracy.

Admiration for American values does not mean, of course, that others want to imitate all the ways Americans implement them. While many Europeans admire America's devotion to freedom, they prefer policies at home that temper the liberal economic principles of individualism with a robust welfare state. Despite all the rhetoric about "old" and "new" Europe, at the end of the Cold War opinion surveys showed that two-thirds of Czechs, Poles, Hungarians, and Bulgarians perceived the US as a good influence on their respective countries, but fewer than a quarter wanted to import American economic models.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

To read this article from our archive, please log in or register now. After entering your email, you'll have access to two free articles from our archive every month. For unlimited access to Project Syndicate, subscribe now.


By proceeding, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, which describes the personal data we collect and how we use it.

Log in;

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.