2007, Sat, Sep 22

On the Critique of the Transatlantic Dialogue

Daniel Hamilton and Dan Diner

The German-American rift that has opened up with the Second Iraq War is deeper than hitherto recognised. This is the warning from Daniel Hamilton and Dan Diner, who see the transatlantic dialogue as a vital necessity. Daniel Hamilton, director of the Center for Transatlantic Relations in Washington and associate director of policy planning under Madeleine Albright, detects an ambivalence in US policy toward Europe. Is a strong, independent Europe still desirable, given its indecision and decreasing significance in international conflicts? In Feindbild Amerika, historian Dan Diner (Leipzig and Jerusalem) describes the long history of German anti-Americanism as a traditionally-oriented society's fearful and dismissive reaction to a modern era represented by the USA.

Moderated by Robert von Rimscha (journalist, Berlin)

Daniel Hamilton is the director of the Center for Transatlantic Relations at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC and the executive director of the American Consortium on EU Studies (ACES), a cooperative venture among five major Washington universities. Mr. Hamilton has held a variety of senior positions in the US Department of State, including Deputy Assistant Secretary for European Affairs, US Special Coordinator for Southeast European Stabilization, and Senior Policy Advisor to the US Ambassador and US Embassy in Germany. From 1982-1990 Mr. Hamilton was Deputy Director of the Aspen Institute Berlin. In 2001 Mr. Hamilton conducted a study on transatlantic implications of September 11 at the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies. His recent publications include Terrorism and International Relations (ed., 2006), Conflict and Cooperation in Transatlantic Relations (ed., 2004), and Transatlantic Transformations: Equipping NATO for the 21st Century (ed., 2004).

Dan Diner was born in 1946 in Munich and grew up in Germany and Israel. Since 1999 he is the director of the Simon Dubnow Institute for Jewish History and Culture at Leipzig University and since 2000 a member of the German Historical Association of the Saxon Academy of Sciences in Leipzig. Before Mr. Diner became a professor of modern European history at Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 2001, he was the director of the Institute for German History at Tel Aviv University. Mr. Diner’s research interests are in 20th-century history, particularly in Middle East history and German history, with emphasis on nationalism. His most recent publications include Versiegelte Zeit. Über den Stillstand in der islamischen Welt (2005), Gedächtniszeiten. Über jüdische und andere Geschichten (2003), and Feindbild Amerika. Über die Beständigkeit eines Ressentiments (2002). In 2006 Dan Diner was awarded the Ernst-Bloch-Prize.

The Transatlantic Dialogues are put on jointly by the House of World Cultures, the Federal Agency for Civic Education, and the American Academy in Berlin.