Czynnik kulturowy w relacjach francusko-amerykańskich

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relacje francusko-amerykańskie
czynnik kulturowy

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LAKOMY, M. (2018). Czynnik kulturowy w relacjach francusko-amerykańskich. Przegląd Politologiczny, (1), 39–48.


French-American relations certainly are among the most complex and at the same time most controversial in French foreign policy. The main factors that determine the nature of relations between France and the US include culture. A few features can be pointed out here to demonstrate their unique nature. Firstly, the importance of anti-American sentiments and Francophobia (anti-French sentiments) should be emphasized. The roots of these broadly shared attitudes may be sought both in the past (the experiences ofWWIand WWII) as well as in the present political relations between the two countries. The French nation is generally critical of American foreign policy, the US social and economic system. In the USA, in turn, we come across a similar attitude of Francophobia. This mainly stems from the commonly shared image of France as a difficult, chaotic and unpredictable ally. While anti-American sentiments and Francophobia do not translate into political decisions made either in Washington or Paris, they still influence the atmosphere of mutual relations, as became apparent when American restaurant owners boycotted French wines during the Iraqi crisis. At the same time, though, both nations recognize each other’s achievements in such fields as culture, art or human rights. Secondly, the “conflict of universalism” described by Stanley Hoffman is worth noting. As both countries deem themselves to be the cradle of such universal values as liberty, equality, justice and human rights, they both assign themselves with a unique status among other countries. It is true that the repertoire of values France and the US represent is nearly identical, yet they are frequently understood differently on both sides of the Atlantic. Thirdly, the French-American relations are also profoundly influenced by the common French belief in France being an exceptional and powerful country. The national perspective and the manifestation of France’s privileged position in the international arena are to a significant degree present in their relations with the US. Ezra Suleiman, among others, observed that the French political elite were allergic to any forms of political, economic or cultural domination. Other issues that influence the state of French-American relations concern differences in the economic or social system, or the role of religion in the life of the state.

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