Atlantic Reverberations: French Representations of an by Paul C, Dr Adams

By Paul C, Dr Adams

The 2004 US election supplied the French media and its voters with a springboard for reconceiving 'self' and 'Other'. Given its popular competition to fresh US overseas coverage, corresponding to the invasion of Iraq; volley of insults and caustic feedback reverberated among France and the USA, with French observers linking the Bush administration's rules to specific teams and areas in the US, to a democratic deficit, to a perceived probability people cave in and to the necessity for an improved Europe. by means of studying how the French media - newspapers, tv, the net and scholarly learn - represented the election from a severe geopolitical point of view, this booklet presents the 1st significant in-depth learn of perspectives of the USA in modern overseas media.

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Generally this device was employed by the Republican party and conservative stalwarts rather than by the President himself, but he did declare pointedly in a campaign speech at Allentown, Pennsylvania: “The use of troops to defend America must never be subject to a veto by countries like France” (Bush, 2004). 1 In theory, this was true but France was a powerful political tool for conservatives no longer able to solidify domestic support by brandishing terms associated with skin color or the defunct communist threat.

Each scale of identification offers a person something different so, for example, a sense of historical roots and cultural belonging may come from the region while the state offers political power and a common market. Then again, the market may be perceived as regional in scale, as with the EU and one may feel historically rooted in the nation of the Netherlands, Germany or France. Opinion leaders who wish to “script” the nation for a range of differently situated audiences generally try to engage with various forms of sectionalism, subordinating local loyalties to patriotic sentiments and at the same time asserting the primacy of the nation over the broader transnational region as a framework for geographical affiliation (O’Tuathail 1992; Herod, O’Tuathail and Roberts 1998; O Tuathail, Dalby, & Routledge, 1998; Agnew, 1998).

Soft power is in fact better understood as an indirect effect of general respect for transborder democratic processes which in the long run will confer their primary benefits not on any single state but on the citizens of many states, including Americans. Conclusion This chapter has examined geopolitical representation in the abstract, linking representation to perception and conception. In this context we can speak of geopolitical “motifs” and analyze their functions. The motif of “America” appears as a kind of symbolic glue that holds together otherwise disparate worldviews, and the prevalence of America in geopolitical discourses around the world is not explicable simply in light of the strength of the US, but more subtly it reflects the usefulness of a powerful competing state as a symbolic motif (good and bad) within various local political contexts.

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