Anglo-American Relations: End of a Special Relationship?

Alan Dobson (Lead / Corresponding author), Steve Marsh

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    17 Citations (Scopus)


    Obama's election in 2008 as the United States' first self-styled Pacific President drew a hearty round of 'end of the affair' editorials about Anglo-American relations. His first term was littered with 'snubgates', serious irritations in policy areas regarded as being core to the special relationship, and indications of an accelerating US departure from Europe with his premier foreign-policy strategy declared to be a pivot to Asia. His return for a second term in 2013 augers a continuation of first-term adjustments in US foreign policy and greater domestic focus given a divided Congress and a bitterly split and war-weary United States with domestic priorities to the fore. Doomsayers - or so-called terminalists - have been repeatedly gainsaid by the Lazarus-like quality of the relationship in the past but can the Anglo-American special relationship survive in the Obama environment? This article suggests it can and sets out the author's rather unfashionable argument in four parts: the weight of history; the canons of international-relations theory; the importance of considering interest and sentiment in explaining the special relationship's resilience; and a relativist argument that suggests the United States still really does have no better ally than the United Kingdom.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)673-697
    Number of pages25
    JournalInternational History Review
    Issue number4
    Early online date15 Jan 2014
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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