The American Impasse: U.S. Domestic and Foreign Policy after the Cold War

The American Impasse: U.S. Domestic and Foreign Policy after the Cold War

The American Impasse: U.S. Domestic and Foreign Policy after the Cold War

The American Impasse: U.S. Domestic and Foreign Policy after the Cold War

Excerpt

The Fourth of July is usually a day not of sober analysis but of patriotic speeches. James Russell Lowell, American poet and U.S. ambassador in London, chose to talk about patriotism itself at his Fourth of July speech in 1883: "Now the Fourth of July has several times been alluded to, and I believe it is generally thought on that anniversary the spirit of a certain bird known to heraldic ornithologists -- and I believe to them alone -- as the spread eagle, enters into every American's breast, and compels him, whether he will or no, to pour forth a flood of national self-laudation." And to make sure that he not be understood as unpatriotic, he added: "I ask you, is there any other people who have confined their national self-laudation to one day in the year?"

With this critical distance, American and German political scientists gathered in Göttingen on Independence Day 1993 and undertook a comprehensive examination of American politics after the end of the East-West conflict. The papers given at this Second European-American Conference at the Center for European and North American Studies at the Georg-August Universität Göttingen are now available in this volume.

This rather apatriotic, that is, international, conference was made possible by a grant from the Fritz Thyssen Stiftung. The editors would like to thank the Stiftung for its generous and unbureaucratic support. In Göttingen, Peter Lösche contributed substantially to making the conference a success by his tireless efforts. Theodore Lowi helped out the editors with invaluable advice whenever they ran into problems. Special thanks also to Paul Denig of the Amerikahaus in Hannover, Frank Gress of the University of Frankfurt, Carl-Ludwig Holtfrerich of the John F. Kennedy Institute at the Free University of Berlin, Manfred Knapp of the University of the Armed Forces in Hamburg, Ernst Kuper of the University of Göttingen, Martin Seelaib-Kaier of the University of Bremen, Kurt L. Shell of the University of Frankfurt/ Main, Bernhard Welschke of the Federal Association of German industry, and Jürgen Wilzewski of the University of Frankfurt/ Main. All have commented on the conference papers and thereby contrib-

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