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Unformatted text preview: #1 Causes of resentment to American power States resent American power because of the values we embody, actions we take (or have taken) with regard to foreign policy, and they naturally suspect the intentions and actions from a concentrated monopoly of unilateral power. The US has used its power to harm others in the past, even those with assurances and those werent evil. States hold different and opposing interests of value and if a states interests conflict with the US, it will likely lose. Even if the US had acted for the greater good in the past, there are no assurances that it will continue to do so. This imbalance of power and uncertainty will always be intimidating. States recognize the disproportionate voting monopoly the US holds in international institutions. This was highlighted with the US disregard for international law with the invasion of Iraq. George W. Bush is taking advantage of US primacy and using it in unconstrained ways such as in the elimination of potential threats through preemption and prevention, and the policy of encouraging the proliferation of American ideals. The strongest state is always a potential threat because it is uncertain what its going to do with its power. The US also has an abundance of soft power. Soft power is the ability of a state to indirectly influence the behavior or interests of others through cultural or ideological means. Soft power is derived from culture (its attractiveness to others), values (lack of hypocrisy in practice) and foreign policies (legitimacy in others eyes). Popular culture and media, the spread of national language or a set of normative structures are all examples of soft power. While unique US political ideals and culture are highly regarded in our region, they are not universally appealing and can be a powerful source of anti-American sentiment. Many states and nations view American culture as inherently evil or immoral. For example, religious fundamentalists condemn the sexual explicitness of American popular culture. There are also concerns over individualism and commercial greed, violence and incarceration rates. There is a fear that American culture is too attractive, and its spread is threatening to other ways of life, resulting in a cultural genocide in which existing norms and practices are replaced with American norms and practices. This is compounded by US leaderships heavy promotion and spread of US values across international borders. The US forms of libertarian democracy, freedom of religion and speech are viewed with contempt and distrust from authoritarian states, states that contain heavy religious domination, and states that censor media and speech. The State Department says that Arabs and Muslims support our values but believe that our policies do not live up to them....
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This note was uploaded on 10/28/2009 for the course POL SCI 121 taught by Professor Schevchenko during the Spring '08 term at UCLA.
- Spring '08