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America and the politics of identity in Britain

By David Ellwood
‘The Americanisation of British politics has been striking this conference season,’ declared The Economist last autumn. ‘British politicians and civil servants love freebies to the US “to see how they do things,”’ reported Simon Jenkins in The Guardian in November.

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Why do the French insist on their ‘cultural exception’?

By David Ellwood
Is French culture exceptional, exceptionalist, or just… unique ? The question was raised again this year by the row which broke out just before the start of US-EU trade talks. The French government insisted that cultural products, particularly film and television, should be left out of the negotiations due to their special status as timeless acts of artistic creation.

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McDonald’s revisited: when globalization goes native

By David Ellwood
In January 2013 the Daily Telegraph ran a story on the refusal of the inhabitants of the famed old neighbourhood of Montmartre, in Paris, to accept the arrival in their midst for the first time of a Starbucks coffee shop. The Paris Pride heritage association denounced this “attack on the place’s soul.” A resident said “we must do everything to stop this disfiguring, as it opens the door to any old rubbish.”

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