Title page for ETD etd-10192011-162907

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Hanes, Madalina Cristina
Author's Email Address mhanes1@lsu.edu
URN etd-10192011-162907
Title Old Europe versus New Europe: Cultural Similarity, Tolerance, Religion and Anti-Americanism in a Divided European Union
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Political Science
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Ray, Leonard P Committee Chair
Clark, William Committee Member
Kenny, Christopher Committee Member
Kim, Wonik Committee Member
Sobek, David Committee Member
Koray, Faik A. Dean's Representative
  • New Europe
  • Old Europe
  • tolerance
  • religion
  • cultural similarity
  • anti-americanism
Date of Defense 2011-10-05
Availability unrestricted
This research focuses on anti-Americanism in Europe. Old Europe, including countries like France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and Belgium, is significantly more anti-American than New Europe, which includes countries such as Romania, Bulgaria, Poland and Hungary. In this project, however, I have made a number of observations that go beyond than this simple conclusion. I examined factors that could be behind these different levels of anti-Americanism in Old Europe and New Europe, and one key answer that emerged was “cultural similarity.” There are, of course, other factors that impact attitudes towards the United States and Americans, such as the frequent travels to and from the U.S., a country’s trade ties with the American government, and people’s views on U.S. policies in the Middle East and towards the environment. But even when we take all these elements into account, cultural similarity still plays a significant role in why Old Europe is more anti-American than is New Europe. The United States and New Europe resemble each other more culturally than Old Europe and the U.S. do, particularly in their levels of religiosity. Secularism never took root in New Europe and the United States with the force that it has in Old Europe. As the two case studies have shown, Romanians and Americans go to church more often, pray more frequently, and place more importance on religion in their lives than do the French.

The second element of cultural similarity investigated in this dissertation is tolerance. There is a significant relationship between levels of anti-Americanism and tolerance towards women, immigrants/foreign workers and immigrants in Old Europe versus New Europe. New Europe and the United States are, in general, more intolerant than Old Europe.

The results presented in this dissertation provide a better understanding of European anti-Americanism than was previously the case in the already extensive literature on this topic. There is a clear cultural divide in the European Union between Old Europe and New Europe that parallels their respective attitudes towards the United States and the American people.

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