Barack Obama, Europe and the Transatlantic Relationship: From the World’s White Knight to the Spy that Came in from the Cold? – A German Perspective

Sarah Nike Makeschin

Abstract


Reading assessments of the transatlantic relationship omnipresent in the German media in 2014, one could easily assume that the so-called “Obamania” that had swept over Europe six years ago, has not significantly improved transatlantic relations since the Bush years. While Barack Obama was celebrated in the German media in 2008 as the presidential candidate with the “Messiah-Factor,” only six years later he was disparagingly dubbed the “Drone Warrior.” Examining the German media’s evaluation of the transatlantic relationship, one can observe an almost seamless transition from the celebration of a Obamanite age of multilateralism to the declaration of a new “transatlantic Ice Age.” Considering this circumstance, the following paper aims at giving this shift in transatlantic perceptions closer attention. It will be looking at how the perception of transatlantic relations under Barack Obama has been reflected and interpreted in German media discourse over the course of his presidency and which role President Obama plays as imaginative projection surface in the negotiation of a “Eurotopian” narrative of self in this context.

Keywords


Obama; American Presidency; Transatlantic Relationship; European Identity; NSA

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