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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

Losing an Empire, Finding a Role

British Foreign Policy Since 1945

Edition 2nd Edition
ISBN 9781137357151
Publication Date January 2017
Formats Hardcover Ebook Paperback 
Publisher Palgrave

Informed by Winston Churchill’s famous metaphor, successive British governments have shaped their foreign policy thinking around the belief that Britain’s overseas interests lie in three interlocking ‘circles’: in Europe, in the Commonwealth, and in the ‘special relationship’ across the Atlantic. Recent administrations may have updated the language in terms of ‘bridges’, ‘hubs’ and ‘networks’, but the notion of Britain as somehow at the centre of things remains a vital idea. In this updated edition of a classic text, David Sanders and David Patrick Houghton examine British foreign policy since 1945 through the prism of these three circles.  Taking account of major developments from the ending of the Cold War, through 9/11 and the so-called War on Terror, to Britain’s historic decision to leave the European Union, it provides a masterly account of Britain’s changing place in the world and of the policy calculations and deeper structural factors that help explain changes in strategy.

Combining chronological narrative with careful consideration of the main theories of foreign policy analysis and international relations, this book provide a reliable and comprehensive introduction to the evolution of British external policy, including economic and defence policy, in the postwar period.  Characterized by its accessible style and depth of analysis, and now fully updated in line with twenty-first century developments, Losing an Empire, Finding a Role will remain an invaluable guide to British foreign policy for students of international relations or foreign policy at any level.

Reviews

Reviews of 1st edition:
'...[M]asterly and successful... a sophisticated survey of British foreign policy between 1945 and 1988 on a number of levels, combining narrative and theory in a stimulating way, well-structured, full of telling little insights, and written with great clarity.' - Bernard Porter, Political Studies
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