Safeguarding German-American Relations in the New Century: Understanding and Accepting Mutual Differences

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Hermann Kurthen, Antonio V. Menéndez Alarcón, Stefan Immerfall
Lexington Books, Jan 1, 2006 - Political Science - 277 pages
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American-German relations are in transition. A number of explanations have been given for this fact: some focusing on the personalities of politicians, some on political and attitudinal disparities, still others pointing to disagreements about foreign policy objectives since the end of the Cold War and 9/11. This volume, written by American and German scholarly experts, while not denying the relevance and validity of such explanations of the transatlantic estrangement, address the extent, resilience, and the causes of misconceptions, misunderstandings, and confrontations in the transatlantic relationship as well as highlighting commonalities and enduring ties between the U.S. and Germany. The chapters analyze domestic and foreign policies, political cultures, and compare trends in business relations, migration, culture, education, journalism, law, and religion. The authors contend that differences in political cultures, societal priorities, and national interests are inevitable, perhaps even desirable and not necessarily an obstacle to a continuous and mutually beneficial exchange or even the development of a special relationship. But first of all they need to be acknowledged, then understood, and finally dealt with in an atmosphere of mutual trust recognizing common ground. The book ends with suggestions about how to deal with different interpretations and perceptions in order to reclaim a strategic partnership for progressive changes in an increasingly multipolar world.

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About the author (2006)

Hermann Kurthen is associate professor of sociology at Grand Valley State University. His publications in English include:Immigration, Citizenship, and the Welfare State in Germany and the United States (JAI, 1998).

Antonio V. Menéndez-Alarcón is associate professor of sociology at Butler University. He is the author ofThe Cultural Realm of European Integration (Greenwood, 2004) andPower and Television in Latin America (Westport, 1992).

Stefan Immerfall is professor of sociology at Schwäbisch Gmünd University. His publications in English include:The New Politics of the Right (St. Martin's, 1998) andTerritoriality in the Globalizing Society (Springer, 1998).

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