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The term “American exceptionalism” is used to describe the belief that the United States occupies a special position in history and on the global stage by virtue of certain characteristics held to be unique to the United States. This belief has undergone a number of incarnations since it developed in the 1800s, and there are both supporters and critics of American exceptionalism. Since it plays a role in political thought in the United States, understanding exceptionalism and the roots behind the idea is important for people interested in history and politics.
Ruggie (2003) – “ American exceptionalism: a perceived need to safeguard the special features and protections of the U.S. constitution from external interference. And it also taps into a core element of American identity: ours is a civic nationalism, defined by the institutions and practices that bind us, not by blood and soil, and none is more foundational than the constitution itself”
Generally relatively negative perceptions – strong anti-Americanism
US tendencies to not conform with international regimes pose problems and further support criticisms of American ‘superiority’ attitude
Complex area with little hard evidence
References What is American exceptionalism? (2009) Ian Tyrrell - Blog for Wordpress http://iantyrrell.wordpress.com/papers-and-comments/ American Exceptionalism : A Double Edged Sword (1996) Seymour Martin Lipset – Washington Post article http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/books/chap1/americanexceptionalism.htm Why US exceptionalism is not exceptional (2010) Michael Goldfarb – BBC article online http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-12052320 References
The New Sovereigntists (2000) Spiro, Peter J. – Academic Article http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail?hid=110&sid=4bbe925f-5979-4d93-b488-ac265cb9d52c%40sessionmgr114&vid=1&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=buh&AN=3668196 Globalisation, the New US Exceptionalism and the War on Terror (2006) Robert G Patman – Academic article http://web.ebscohost.com/bsi/detail?hid=113&sid=38eb3b74-58e7-46cd-ac47-2b9c48daad28%40sessionmgr110&vid=5&bdata=JnNpdGU9YnNpLWxpdmU%3d#db=buh&AN=22306648 Website - www.AmericaInTheWorld.com
Washington’s Exceptionalism and the United Nations (2004) Paul Heinbecker – Academic article http://web.ebscohost.com/bsi/pdf?hid=113&sid=d79368a6-8d3c-4ad5-ab66-776a37cf1dd5%40sessionmgr115&vid=7 American Exceptionalism, Exemptionalism and Global Governance (2003) John Gerard Ruggie – Academic article http://www.drworley.org/NSPcommon/Ruggie%20american_exceptionalism.pdf The Problem of American Exceptionalism (2006) Andrew Kohut & Bruce Stokes – Pew Research Centre article http://pewresearch.org/pubs/23/the-problem-of-american-exceptionalism