10 Brown J. World Aff. 167 (2003-2004)
Threat of International Terrorism and the Image of the United States Abroad, The

handle is hein.journals/brownjwa10 and id is 455 raw text is: The Threat of International
Terrorism and the Image of the
United States Abroad
Michigan State University
THERE CAN BE FEW ANAfYlTICAL tasks more complicated than tracing the origin of one
country's attitudes toward another. The task is especially difficult in the case of the
United States, a country with high visibility in foreign affairs, no military or economic
equals in the world, and an infinite number of international contacts. Any effort to
gauge international views of the United States must take into account numerous causal
factors. Drawing from the rich literature on anti-Americanism, one type of factor in-
fluencing attitudes towards the United States may be described as external. Several
authors have proposed that external factors are attitudes toward the United States de-
termined by the character of U.S. foreign policies and actions, ranging from military
campaigns to the export of Hollywood movies. Other authors emphasize internal
factors as causal agents. They argue that foreign attitudes derive from the particular
psychological, cultural, or political aspects of each nation. The relative importance of
the classification of these two factors has become a subject of heated debate both inside
and outside the United States, leading to the polarization of public discussion on the
United States' image abroad.
Authors who focus on external factors tend to highlight the deleterious effects of U.S..
economic and cultural expansion, foreign policies, and military actions. Their main
goal is often to corroborate an empirical basis for negative assessments of the United
VLADIMIR SHLAPENTOKH and JOSHUA WOODS are the directors of the World Attitudes Project, a study of
international press coverage of the United States. Shlapentokh is a professor of sociology at Michigan
State University. Woods is a doctoral student in the same department.
Copyright © 2004 by the Brown Journal of World Affairs


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