The conference “The United States and the World: from Imitation to Challenge” was meant to gather those interested in various aspects of the mutual connections between the United States and the world. It concentrated on the problem of the model of American democracy, the presidential system, American politics, American society, American culture and the world's reflections about them from imitation to challenge. For this, there was an invitation to scholars from many research fields: political science, philosophy, law, culture studies, economy, and sociology. It was a result of our vision of American Studies as an interdisciplinary effort. And so, thanks to the rich and diverse approaches of the participants, our vision turned out to be true.
The effect of the conference is reflected in the contributions that follow in this volume and in the rich, interdisciplinary debate over the American impact on the world, integration in Pax Americana and patterns of integration in other parts of the world, different and/or similar approaches to challenges to international order, and last but not least the issue of continuity and change in politics. Here one also needs to mention the ever-present debate on the American “export” of values: separation of church and state, human rights, the idea of sovereignty, the rule of separation of powers, modern federalism, democratization approaches, Americanism, American Studies dilemmas, American exceptionalism, uniqueness in contemporary American society, and patterns in foregin policy.