International Relations

Anglo-American ironies under Clinton, Blair, and Bush
David Ryan

David Ryan assesses the ways in which the Western military interventions in Kosovo (1999) and Iraq (2003) were influenced by Anglo-American efforts to manipulate collective memory. Explaining how narratives of the special relationship employed by British prime minister Tony Blair and US presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush were augmented by civilizational discourse and memories of past Anglo-American partnership, Ryan demonstrates how strategic concerns, foreign policy, and domestic politics were shaped by systems of meaning that had the ability to both empower and constrain, and bind or blind, British and American leaders.

in Culture matters
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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.

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Anglo-American realities and relations
Dana Cooper

Dana Cooper assesses the cultural power of television in her analysis of Anglo-American narratives within the PBS series Downton Abbey, which became a financial success as well as a cultural phenomenon following its launch in 2010. Pointing out that the show’s aristocratic central family is inspired by the historical ‘dollar princesses,’ the hundreds of wealthy American women who married British men between 1865 and 1945, Cooper scrutinizes how the fictional characters, their dialogue, and their biases reflect American perceptions of themselves and their cultural cousins, and vice versa, and questions just how Anglo-American identity differences transitioned over time from sources of tension to sources of popular entertainment.

in Culture matters
Cultural and economic relations between the British film industry and Hollywood
Jonathan Stubbs

Jon Stubbs engages with the complex relationship between the British and American film industries on multiple levels, demonstrating their dynamic but highly asymmetrical interaction through history, the resulting energetic cultural dialogue between the two nations, and the ways in which economic interests and government policy have influenced cultural representation. By examining the ways in which the national film industries grew intertwined in the interwar period, the impact of the First World War on Anglo-American film relations and alliance politics, and the postwar protectionist policies and internationalization of the movie business, Stubbs analyzes the ways in which the long unequal relationship between the US and UK film industries has nevertheless left the nations financially and culturally entangled.

in Culture matters
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Robert M. Hendershot and Steve Marsh

The introduction contextualizes the substance of Culture Matters in three sections. The first section locates the book within important debates about the history of the special relationship and illuminates why an expanded consideration of culture is important to the field. The second section introduces the main ideas and benefits of the ‘cultural turn’ in diplomatic history and international relations, which has operationalized culture as a key to understanding the behavior of states in the global system and inspired diverse analytical approaches. Finally, the third section explains the volume’s structure and central themes as well as introduces the individual chapters, which illuminate the mosaic of cultural connections that have simultaneously influenced elite decision-making and sculpted popular attitudes toward and expectations of the special relationship.

in Culture matters
Steve Marsh

Steve Marsh explores political culture by foregrounding the contribution that diplomatic pageantry has made to official representations of Anglo-American relations. Through analysis of bilateral summit meetings between presidents and prime ministers, the informal ambassadorship of the British royal family, and the forthcoming 400th anniversary of the Mayflower voyage in 2020, Marsh demonstrates that such events are designed and choreographed to assure elite, media, and popular attention. His work illuminates how the official deployment of a selective narrative of Anglo-American relations serves to (re-)legitimize the concept of the special relationship and enhance its ability to adapt to changed circumstances.

in Culture matters
P. G. Wodehouse, transatlantic romances in fiction, and the Anglo-American relationship
Finn Pollard

Srdjan Vucetic builds upon his previous work on the cultural infrastructure of British society by examining the meanings of America embedded in British school textbooks published throughout the period of the special relationship. As textbooks directly shape, and are shaped by, the discourses of national identity, this source material is fertile ground for the assessment of representations of the United States, and by extension Anglo-American relations, which exist in the British national consciousness. Vucetic employs an inductivist discourse analysis of textbooks to identify three ‘master images’ of the United States that have been mostly positive, exhibit impressive continuity over time, and have the ability to influence the cultural underpinnings of the special relationship.

in Culture matters
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transitions and challenges
Stanley R. Sloan

This chapter opens by examining the dramatic end of the Cold War, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and then the Soviet Union and reunification of Germany. It studies the challenges posed by the Balkan conflicts and how those struggles affected relations among the allies. It looks at the questions facing the allies concerning the future of the alliance in a new European security environment and then examines in detail the process of NATO enlargement begun when former Warsaw Pact allies of the Soviet Union pleaded to join the West through accession to NATO and the European Union. It assesses how this dynamic affected the West’s relations with Russia and its attempts to maintain cooperation with Moscow even while accepting countries with which the Russians had only a few years before shared either membership in the Warsaw Pact or status as Soviet Republics. The chapter also traces developments in relations between NATO and the European Union, which had been formed out of the European Communities in the 1992 Treaty of Maastricht.

in Defense of the West (second edition)
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turbulent transatlantic ties
Stanley R. Sloan

This chapter opens by focusing on how the unilateralist approach of the new George Bush administration in the United States threatened alliance solidarity. This focus was quickly overtaken by the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. The chapter reports on invocation of NATO’s collective defense provision—Article 5—for the first time in alliance history. It contrasts allied support for the United States in the Afghanistan War with the profound differences among the allies about the Iraq War, which led to more general tensions in transatlantic relations between the United States and the European Union. The chapter also focuses on the deteriorating relationship with Russia, as the Bush administration sought to push Georgia and Ukraine toward NATO membership and Russia intervened militarily, initially in Georgia, to prevent that happening. The chapter closes with the allies welcoming the end of the second term of the Bush administration and hoping for policies from the successor more in sync with European preferences.

in Defense of the West (second edition)
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new tasks, new traumas
Stanley R. Sloan

This chapter opens with the positive notes for the alliance of Barack Obama’s ascent to the US presidency and France’s return to NATO’s command. A worldwide “great recession” cast a dark cloud over the West. But with the uncertainties surrounding the Bush administration’s commitment to the alliance gone, the allies set about preparing a new strategic concept. The 2010 Lisbon concept adjusted NATO’s mission to reflect new realities, including preparing for more non-Article 5 crisis management contingencies. Possibilities for improved relations with Moscow were dashed in 2014 by Russia’s seizure of Ukraine’s Crimea region and intervention in the eastern parts of the country. The West responded at the Wales Summit with new sanctions and commitments to increase defense spending. The chapter looks also at NATO’s awkward intervention in Libya, helping remove Muammar Gaddafi from power but leaving the country in chaos. The chapter concludes by examining the traumas that confronted the West in the middle of the decade including a general tendency toward illiberal politics in many NATO and EU nations, Turkey’s drift away from the West, the British decision to leave the EU and, most prominently, the shock of Donald Trump’s antagonism toward Europe, NATO and the EU, autocratic inclinations, and friendship with Russian President Putin.

in Defense of the West (second edition)