Welcome to the Solution Across Borders blog. Not only for members, this blog is a a Baruch-wide initiative to keep our campus involved in global affairs. Feel free to comment and participate in our discussions here or to come to our meetings on Tuesdays in at VC11-160.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

America and its Perception Abroad

The way the world views the US has been debated as an issue of national and transnational importance. Why does it matter? Because of the unique status the United States has as a democratic government, as a nation of other nations, and as a commercial and industrial leader.

After World War II, the US emerged as a global leader, a status it maintained throughout the Cold War Era. The Bretton Woods institutions were established, and continued to dominated even in the aftermath of the fall of the Soviet Union. However, questions about the role of the World Bank and the WTO surfaced, and tensions exploded after the US entered the Iraq War. In the 2000s, the US lost much of its support abroad.

Is this situation different now? Is the new presidency signaling a return for American power? And why does this even matter?

A friend who visited Japan returned with Japaneses Obama pastries, told me that teenagers there were head over heels just to see the president on TV. And I remember that during the campaign, the European host of the MTV Awards pleaded for the American public to elect Barack Obama.

Let me know what you think...

Nastasiya Korolkova


  1. Power, control, influence. These are some traits the United States (for better or worse) has seemed to have on a never ending Seesaw. Questions will emerge over the next few years as to whether President Obama can restore all, if not most of these special and important tools to full operative mode. Yet it should be noted that we may not have even really lost them. In an age of endless connectivity, faster and faster communications and a diversifying world, these tools are more important than ever to have and maintain in order for the United States to resist emerging powers. I personally argue that we never lost these tools, but that for the passed eight years they have become illegitimate in the eyes of our allies and enemies. Yet with a new election comes a new slate. The American people and the new President have been given applause and approval from the world With this election.There was an apparently overwhelming push from the citizens of foreign countries to elect President Obama, that legitimacy that may have been misplaced, seems to have returned. What will truly be the test of America and this new president is how our capital influence will continue. Our language is spoken everywhere, our culture absorbed and transformed by each nation, it is our diplomatic and economic dominance that needs to be maintained, not repaired, but rather improved. Militarily we have not faltered, and still seem to be the supreme power in this world. This decade is crucial for the U.S. to prove its worth once again, to prove its benevolence, and innovation.

    -Kadri Augustin
    Member of SAB

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  3. America is a country with many diversities and ethnic groups living together. It is almost as if every country is represented in this one nation-almost like the UN. Therefore, America feels that it should be the leading power in interfering in other countries’ affairs as well as helping other nations. Because of this ideology, former President Bush must have taken this notion too literally and went to war without weighing the consequences. As a result, other nations are questioning our choices.

    Regarding our elections, many feel that it is time for “change”. History has shown us that when one party-Democratic or Republican- fails to live up to the public’s standards, the public will vote for the opposite party in the next election. This election was over-publicized because our President is African and Muslim and our troops are fighting against Muslim people.

    Despite political blunders, American culture is symbolic to many people even thought not everyone is influenced. According to the New Times article (that Stacy sent), some counties’ cultures are obsessed with American cultural influence while other countries are able to resist the temptation, especially in music. For example, in Bollywood, many music composers actually take ideas from “American” music such as hip-hop or jazz and even salsa and use Indian lyrics to it. As a result, many of them get in trouble for plagiarism. Very few composers like A. R. Rahman, are able to be inspired by these different styles and create unique music. For example, the music album Yuvvraaj (name of a person), composed by A.R.Rahman, has western orchestral music with Hindi lyrics. Another music album Naqaab (Disguise), composed by Pritam Chakraborty, has Salsa and other Spanish music with Hindi lyrics. On the other hand, some western singers like Shakira have done successful concerts in India.

    Many counties respect America for their boldness but are not always content with their actions. With a new global market rising, America is going to find it harder to be on top, especially now. Products from China and Japan, the songs from Slumdog Millionaire (composed A.R.Rahman) and hatred from the Middle East are finding their way into America. America needs to cooperate with other nations skillfully to change other nation’s perspective on America.