A New Identity for Old Europe

How and Why the French Imagined Françallemagne in Recent Years

in French Politics, Culture & Society
Author: Scott Gunther
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This article examines recent efforts to foster a sense of “Franco-Germanness” in France through an analysis of popular media generated by the fortieth anniversary of the Elysée Treaty in 2003, including: (1) a Franco-German television news program, (2) a light-hearted television program called Karambolage that presents daily life in France and Germany, and (3) a new history textbook for use in both German and French schools. These recent efforts differed from previous attempts to bring France and Germany closer both in terms of how they operated (earlier efforts focused on informing one country about the other's foreign culture; recent efforts were more about identifying what the two have in common) and why they occurred (earlier efforts focused on transforming a former enemy into a friend; recent efforts were about coming together in the face of a common adversary, namely, the Bush administration and its position on Iraq).

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