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Greek anti-Americanism and the war in Kosovo

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Abstract:

This paper focuses on the perceptions of Greek public opinion concerning NATO's intervention in Kosovo as a case study for Greek anti-Americanism and, especially, its post-Cold War expression. Greek opposition towards NATO intervention in Kosovo (1999) has often been attributed to bias, nationalism and emotionalism. However, the main influential factor in the shaping of the Greek perception of the Kosovo war was the anti-American legacy. It should also be emphasized that the post-Cold War version of Greek anti-Americanism has distinct qualitative characteristics, the most important of those being its diffusion into the ideological and political spectrum. Based on a qualitative analysis of the press, this study attempts to show how this generalized anti-Americanism functions like a prism during the Kosovo crisis and to illustrate the influence of a complex set of historical myths and conceptual schemes, as well as the role of several secondary factors such as political strategies and party competition. In the conceptual field, the legacy of the Kosovo narration is the establishment of the totalitarian argument as far as the US is concerned and the shaping of a negative image of American society that is directly linked to US aggression in foreign relations.

Keywords: Greece; Kosovo; anti-Americanism; discourse analysis; media; post-Cold War

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14608944.2011.572066

Affiliations: Panteion University of Political and Social Sciences, Politics and History, Athens, Greece

Publication date: June 1, 2011

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