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Anglo-American relations and the intangibles of ‘specialness’

This book examines how intangible aspects of international relations – including identity, memory, representation, and symbolic perception – have helped to stimulate and sustain the Anglo-American special relationship. Drawing together world-leading and emergent scholars, this volume breaks new ground by applying the theories and methodologies of the ‘cultural turn’ in diplomatic history to the study of Anglo-American relations. It contends that matters of culture have been far more important to the special relationship than previously allowed in a field hitherto dominated by interest-based interpretations of American and British foreign policies. Fresh analyses of cultural symbols, discourses, and ideologies fill important gaps in our collective understanding of the special relationship’s operation and expose new analytical spaces in which we can re-evaluate its strengths and weaknesses. Designed to breathe new life into old debates about the relationship’s purported specialness, this book offers a multidisciplinary exploration of literary representations, screen representations, political representations, representations in memory, and the roles of cultural connections and constructs that have historically influenced elite decision-making and sculpted popular attitudes toward and expectations of the special relationship. This book will be of particular interest to students and informed readers of Anglo-American relations, foreign policy, and diplomatic history, as well as all those who are interested in the power of culture to impact international relations.

Srdjan Vucetic

Always far more special in London than in Washington, the so-called Anglo-American (i.e. UK–US) special relationship has greatly influenced British foreign policy for at least seven decades, and it continues to influence it under the conditions of ‘Brexit’ and the radical presidency of US president Donald Trump. This is most clearly evident in Britain’s strategy and operations in security and military matters, including the British nuclear deterrent, intelligence, and counter-terrorism. How do we explain this phenomenon? In a recent study, I have argued that

in Culture matters
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Robert M. Hendershot
Steve Marsh

Although the Second World War is commonly seen as the zenith of US–UK cooperation and Churchill launched the nomenclature ‘special relationship’ in 1946, scholars have also traced the roots of the special relationship further back into history. See, for example, Iestyn Adams , Brothers Across the Ocean: British Foreign Policy and the Origins of the Anglo-American ‘Special Relationship’ 1900–1905 ( New York : Taurus Academic Studies , 2005 ). 3 For example, see H. C. Allen , Great Britain and the United States: A History of Anglo-American Relations, 1783

in Culture matters
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Robert Lister Nicholls

Throughout the debates on EEC membership, sovereignty has been referred to by several of the leading actors to either advance or prohibit the cause of Britain in Europe. This chapter is therefore devoted to the history and concept of this highly complex term. The internal and external challenges to parliamentary sovereignty are examined, including the power of the executive, governance, globalisation and British foreign policy. Numerous examples of the various types of sovereignty and how these have been utilised by MPs are included. These examples show precisely how the term can be open to exploitation, particularly over the course of Britain’s relationship with Europe. This chapter therefore demonstrates how this concept has been used by members of the political elite to influence an unaware British public.

in The British political elite and Europe, 1959–1984
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Arms, energy and ideology
Robert Mason

Britain promised to stay out of northern Persia and extended loans and some political support. Russia recognised southern Persia as part of the British sphere of influence, British influence in Afghanistan, and that neither country would interfere in the internal affairs of Tibet. The British assumption was that it would keep an entente with Russia rather than being definite or binding. D. W. Sweet and R. T. B. Langhorne, ‘Great Britain and Russia, 1907–1914’, in F. H. Hinsley (ed.), British Foreign Policy Under Sir Edward Grey , Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates
Stephen Royle
Simon Mabon

where the Islamic Republic tried to cultivate influence amongst this nascent Iraqi diaspora. The establishment of the modern states of Iraq and Saudi Arabia are intertwined within broader British foreign policy objectives in the Middle East at the turn of the twentieth century. While the exploits of Lawrence, Bell and others had a dramatic impact on politics in both states, it was the ‘revolutionary year’ of 1958 that brought Baghdad, Riyadh and Tehran together, facilitated this time by the US. The presidency of

in Saudi Arabia and Iran
Anglo-American ironies under Clinton, Blair, and Bush
David Ryan

Halberstam , War in a Time of Peace: Bush, Clinton, and the Generals ( New York : Scribner , 2001 ), 306 . 12 Oliver Daddow , ‘“ Tony’s War”? Blair, Kosovo and the Internationalist Impulse in British Foreign Policy ,’ International Affairs , 85 : 3 ( 2009 ), 550 ; Clare Short , An Honourable Deception? New Labour, Iraq, and the Misuse of Power ( London : Free Press , 2005 ). 13 Daddow, ‘“Tony’s War”?’ 14 Tony Blair A Journey: My Political Life ( London : Knopf , 2010 ), 211 . 15 Michael Kammen , Mystic Chords of Memory: The

in Culture matters
Conditionality and unity
Robert Mason

central place in the UK's desire to spread the cost of development spending, especially where interests on forging stability converge, such as in the cases of Afghanistan, Syria and Yemen. Following Brexit, the UK has made global anti-corruption sanctions a key area of British foreign policy, but in the Saudi case sanctions have been applied against only a few individuals, and this is bound to have been coordinated with the US and European allies, as well as with the Saudi government, in order to minimise any political, economic or diplomatic fallout

in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates
Constructing the Danube
Joanne Yao

). 10 The increase of British trade passing through the Danube delta highlighted its increasing importance for British foreign policy. Increasing trade on the Danube created access to markets and the potential for vast material wealth. However, this is not a simple story of interests driving foreign policy. The promotion of free trade was linked intimately with civilizational discourses. In a speech before the House of Commons in 1842, Lord Palmerston advocated for the repeal of the Corn Laws by laying out this liberal

in The ideal river
John Callaghan

, these delegates would also oppose any attempt to transform an essentially defensive war into a war of conquest. In so doing they sought a justification for supporting the war compatible with their record 244  Labour, British radicalism and the First World War of criticism of secret diplomacy, militarism and imperialism, and their support for democracy and even ‘the peaceful Federation of the United States of Europe and the world’.12 In effect Labour argued that Germany’s bad behaviour outweighed ‘the contributory negligence of British foreign policy in consequence of

in Labour, British radicalism and the First World War