Anti-Americanism

Two protesters in Iran tearing a U.S. flag at an anti-American rally after the United States withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action

Anti-Americanism (also called anti-American sentiment and Americanophobia)[1] is a sentiment that espouses a dislike of or opposition to the American government or its policies, especially in regards to its foreign policy, or to the United States in general.[2]

Political scientist Brendon O'Connor of the United States Studies Centre in Australia suggests that "anti-Americanism" cannot be isolated as a consistent phenomenon, since the term originated as a rough composite of stereotypes, prejudices, and criticisms evolving to more politically-based criticism. French scholar Marie-France Toinet says use of the term "anti-Americanism" is "only fully justified if it implies systematic opposition – a sort of allergic reaction – to America as a whole."[3]

Discussions on anti-Americanism have in most cases lacked a precise explanation of what the sentiment entails (other than a general disfavor), which has led to the term being used broadly and in an impressionistic manner, resulting in the inexact impressions of the many expressions described as anti-American.[4] Author and expatriate William Russell Melton described that criticism for the United States largely originates from the perception that the U.S. wants to act as a "world policeman."[5]

Negative or critical views of the United States or its influence are widespread in Russia, China, Serbia, the Middle East, and North Korea,[6][7] but remain low in Vietnam, Israel, the Philippines, Sub-Saharan Africa, South Korea, and certain countries in central and eastern Europe.[6] As of 2018, countries in the European Union (EU) with the most positive opinions of the U.S. are Poland (79%), followed by Romania (78%), Lithuania 74% and Hungary (68%), according to Eurobarometer.[8]

Etymology

In the online Oxford Dictionary the term "anti-Americanism" is defined as "Hostility to the interests of the United States".[9]

In the first edition of Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language (1828) the term "anti-American" was defined as "opposed to America, or to the true interests or government of the United States; opposed to the revolution in America".[10]

In France the use of the noun form antiaméricanisme has been cataloged from 1948,[11] entering ordinary political language in the 1950s.[12]