Stokes, Bruce 1948–

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Stokes, Bruce 1948–


Born February 12, 1948, in Butler, PA; son of Edward A. (a podiatrist) and Beulah (a teacher) Stokes; married Wendy Ruth Sherman (an international business consultant), January 8, 1980; children: Sarah Renee. Education: Georgetown University, B.S.F.S., 1970; Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, M.A., 1974; further graduate study at Columbia University, 1974-75.


Home—Bethesda, MD. Office—National Journal, 600 New Hampshire Ave. NW, Washington DC 20037. E-mail—[email protected].


Worldwatch Institute, Washington, DC, senior researcher, 1975-82; National Public Radio, Washington, DC, editor of "All Things Considered," 1983, and commentator on "Marketplace"; National Journal, Washington, DC, international economic correspondent, 1984—. Senior fellow, Council on Foreign Relations, 1996-2002; fellow, Pew Research Center; journalism fellow, German Marshall Fund; reporter, Transatlantic Policy Network.


Freedoms Foundation Award, 1981, for Helping Ourselves; fellow of Japan Society, 1987.


(With Lester R. Brown and Patricia L. McGrath) Twenty-two Dimensions of the Population Problem, Worldwatch Institute (Washington, DC), 1976.

Filling the Family Planning Gap, Worldwatch Institute (Washington, DC), 1977.

Local Responses to Global Problems: A Key to Meeting Basic Human Needs, Worldwatch Institute (Washington, DC), 1978.

Worker Participation: Productivity and the Quality of Work Life, Worldwatch Institute (Washington, DC), 1978.

Men and Family Planning, Worldwatch Institute (Washington, DC), 1980.

Helping Ourselves, Norton (New York, NY), 1981.

Global Housing Prospects: The Resource Constraints, Worldwatch Institute (Washington, DC), 1981.

(Editor) Open for Business: Creating a Transatlantic Marketplace, Council on Foreign Relations (New York, NY), 1996.

(Editor, with Geza Feketekuty) Trade Strategies for a New Era: Ensuring U.S. Leadership in a Global Economy, Council on Foreign Relations (New York, NY), 1998.

Future Visions for U.S. Trade Policy, Council on Foreign Relations (New York, NY), 1998.

The Challenge to Lead: U.S. Global Economic Responsibilities in the 21st Century, Committee for Economic Development (New York, NY), 1999.

(Editor, with Richard H. Steinberg) Partners or Competitors? The Prospects for U.S.-European Cooperation on Asian Trade, Rowman & Littlefield (Lanham, MD), 1999.

A New Beginning: Recasting The U.S.-Japan Economic Relationship, Council on Foreign Relations (New York, NY), 2000.

Democratizing U.S. Trade Policy, Council on Foreign Relations Press (New York, NY), 2001.

(With Andrew Kohut) America against the World: How We Are Different and Why We Are Disliked, Times Books (New York, NY), 2006.

Contributor to periodicals, including Foreign Affairs.


International economist Bruce Stokes, a newspaper columnist and radio commentator, has published widely on such issues as globalization, modernization, and democratization. Partners or Competitors? The Prospects for U.S.-European Cooperation on Asian Trade, a collection of nine articles co-edited by Stokes, analyzes the importance of the developing economies in the Asian market and argues the need for cooperative trade strategies between North Americans and Europeans. The work "views the ongoing rivalry between the United States and the European Union (EU) over the Asian market as counterproductive and proposes cooperation between them on issues pertaining to their trade interests in that market," observed Hooman Peimani in the International Journal of Comparative Sociology. Peimani also noted, however that while the United States and the EU "have strong economic capabilities, there are limits to what they can achieve individually or together as many Asian countries (e.g., Japan, India, China, and South Korea) have capabilities to withstand foreign pressure and seek their own interests."

In America against the World: How We Are Different and Why We Are Disliked, Stokes and coauthor Andrew Kohut look at the causes of rising anti-American sentiment around the globe. Using data from the Pew Global Attitudes Project, which interviewed more than 91,000 people in fifty nations between 2002 and 2005, the authors "explore the image change of the U.S. from champion of freedom and land of opportunity to world bully," reported Booklist reviewer Vanessa Bush. "Kohut and Stokes offer interesting survey results on many subjects, including the image Americans have of themselves and of others, as well as the world's image of the United States," observed Gerard Alexander in the Claremont Review of Books. "But their book turns on the question of what is causing anti-Americanism. They are open to the notion that some perceptions of America are exaggerations or even outright misperceptions. But their consistent claim is that anti-Americanism is a reaction to American power and policies."

Though some of the antipathy to the United States, particularly in Muslim nations and Western Europe, can be traced to the foreign policies pursued by President George W. Bush in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Stokes and Kohut note that anti-Americanism was recorded in polls as early as the 1980s. What has changed, they contend, is the reputation of the American public. "Unhappily," wrote American Prospect contributor Suzanne Nossel, "foreigners now blame not just the U.S. government but the American people for the policies they dislike, and a majority of Europeans think that the world would be better off if a second great power, like the European Union, were to challenge American primacy." As New York Times Book Review critic Robert Wright stated: "Only a few years ago, anti-Americanism focused on government policies; the world ‘held Americans in higher esteem than America,’ Kohut and Stokes note. But foreigners are ‘increasingly equating the U.S. people with the U.S. government.’" Though Stokes and Kohut argue that Americans do not consider themselves imperialistic, Wright continued, "this reserve seems grounded less in humility (60 percent of Americans consider their culture ‘superior to others’) than in apathy. Americans, Kohut and Stokes write, tend ‘to downplay the importance of America's relationship to other nations … to be indifferent to global issues … to lack enthusiasm for multinational efforts and institutions’ and in general to have ‘an inattentive self-centeredness unmindful of their country's deepening linkages with other countries.’"

Another significant finding in America against the World, according to Commentary reviewer Daniel Johnson, is that "attitudes toward Americans are not necessarily linked to specific actions that the United States takes." Citing statistics that Indonesians overwhelmingly approved of U.S. relief efforts after the 2004 Asian tsunami, Johnson noted that "anti-Americanism in Indonesia actually grew during the same period. What this means is that a shift in American foreign policy is unlikely to reverse or even to affect the tide of anti-Americanism. The mere fact of American power, combined with a readiness to use it in defense of American interests, seems enough to damn the United States in the eyes of many." A Kirkus Reviews critic described America against the World as "a fascinating and troubling index," while Foreign Affairs reviewer Walter Russell Mead praised the efforts of Stokes and Kohut, stating that "the results of their global surveys and their interpretative essays make for interesting and enlightening reading."



American Prospect, July-August, 2006, Suzanne Nossel, "Why Don't They Like Us?," review of America against the World: How We Are Different and Why We Are Disliked, p. 54.

Booklist, April 15, 2006, Vanessa Bush, review of America against the World, p. 24.

Christian Science Monitor, May 5, 2006, David T. Cook, review of America against the World.

Claremont Review of Books, winter, 2006, Gerard Alexander, "Blame America First," review of America against the World.

Commentary, June, 2006, Daniel Johnson, "America and the America-haters," review of America against the World, p. 27.

Foreign Affairs, May-June, 2006, Walter Russell Mead, review of America against the World, p. 158.

International Journal of Comparative Sociology, November, 2001, Hooman Peimani, review of Partners or Competitors? The Prospects for U.S.-European Cooperation on Asian Trade, p. 482.

Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2006, review of America against the World, p. 222.

New York Times Book Review, May 14, 2006, Robert Wright, "Books on Anti-Americanism," review of America against the World.

Publishers Weekly, March 20, 2006, review of America against the World, p. 48.


Evian Group, (April 15, 2007), brief biography of Bruce Stokes.