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Politics Of The Usa American Exceptionalism Notes

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Peter Baldwin. The Narcissism of Minor Differences: How America and Europe are Alike. Oxford: OUP, 2009 Byron Shafer. Is America Different? A New Look at American Exceptionalism. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991 Seymour Martin Lipset. Continental Divide: The Values and Institutions of the United States and Canada. New York: Routledge, 1990 Byron E. Shafer (1999). American Exceptionalism. Annual Review of Political Science, 2 Harold Hongju Koh (2003). On American Exceptionalism. Faculty Scholarship Series (Yale Law School) Graham K. Wilson. Only in America? The Politics of the United States in Comparative Perspective. Sergio Fabbrini, Compound Democracies: Why the United States and Europe are Becoming Similar Desmond King. Making Americans

2 Peter Baldwin. The Narcissism of Minor Differences: How America and Europe are Alike. Oxford: OUP, 2009 'In almost every quantifiable respect, the US and W. Europe approximate each other': The US is only as different from Europe as European countries are from each other; it lies closer to the European mean in most cases than European outliers. The Economy: Americans are more laissez-faire, BUT are...


Partial towards government interference in production, e.g. believing that government should generate jobs, control wages, control prices, support new and declining industries (proportionately more in favour than many European publics). There is relatively high public ownership of land to finance education and railroads. US is near the bottom of the European scale for business-friendliness and has a highly legalised regulatory environment. Workers are better paid than European counterparts (except Switzerland) as percentage of GDP; over half the states have comparable minimum wages to Europe. Americans have less vacation but more public holidays; many Europeans work longer. Productivity is the European mean, as is income tax; taxes are more progressive in US than Nordic countries! Property taxes are at European top-end and inheritance tax is on the European mean.

Civil Society


Americans have comparatively high trust in government and have low levels of tax avoidance. They more highly involved in civil society movements than all but the Dutch, even when union membership and church participation are excluded. Charitable giving is higher than anywhere in Europe and volunteer more than all but the Swedes. Voter turnout is extremely low but interest in politics is very high.



Americans are no more patriotic and nationalistic than some Europeans: they are more likely to think that their country is better than most, but "proportionately more Portuguese, Danes and Spaniards feel that the world would be improved if other people were like them". Scandinavians are proportionately more willing to fight for their countries than Americans.

Religion and Science


Americans have low levels of atheism; they believe in God not much more than the Catholic countries, in some of which church attendance is higher; market competition has produced greater variety of religious services. Differences in secularism are belied by the number of Europeans who believe in some 'higher power'; Americans believe in heaven and hell much more than Europeans. Public expressions of religion are higher in Europe (e.g. daily prayer in Parliament, Church intervention in Italian politics, 10


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