IA Events


Publication date: Mar 7, 2014 10:18:44 AM

Start: Mar 20, 2014 6:00:00 PM
End: Mar 20, 2014 8:00:00 PM

Location: UCL-Institute of the Americas, 51 Gordon Square, London, WC1H 0PN

Lecture: The Anglo-American ‘Special Relationship’ in Jeopardy: US-UK relations since 1945


*****We are sorry to inform our guests and other interested members of the public that this event has now been cancelled, due to unforeseen circumstances beyond our control. This lecture will be re-scheduled and advertised later in the year. We apologize for the inconvenience and disappointment this may cause you. ******

Professor Alan Dobson (St Andrews) - The Anglo-American ‘special relationship’ continues to generate discussion and controversy almost seventy years after the phrase was first made famous by Winston Churchill in his ‘Iron Curtain’ speech delivered at Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri, in February 1946. In this lecture, Professor Dobson confronts the issue of just how special the ‘special relationship’ has been since the end of the Second World War and examines the main threats to Anglo-American harmony in that time. In so doing, he pays particular attention to the role of economic issues in Anglo-American relations rather than to better known diplomatic rows such as the Suez Crisis of 1956.

Scholars invariably regard the Suez Crisis as the most dramatic rift in post-war Anglo-American relations and in some senses it was. However, it was not the most threatening to the health and well-being of the Special Relationship. Indeed, within a few months fences had been mended and the two countries embarked upon paths that led to further intensification of their close relationship; not least important in this respect was the 1958 Mutual Defence Agreement. A stronger candidate for the most potent threats to the Special Relationship arose from economic differences that threatened to connect with issues of power, identity and status and thus to develop into ideologically damaging differences. That occurred on three occasions: 1946; 1949; and 1976. In examining these three crises, spawned by economic relations, an assessment of just how threatened the relationship became will emerge as something more dangerous than the Suez Crisis.

Alan Dobson is an honorary Professor in the School of International Relations, St. Andrews University and was Professor of Politics at Dundee University from 1999 to 2011. He is editor of the Journal of Transatlantic Studies and the former Chair of the Transatlantic Studies Association, both of which he founded. He has published extensively on Anglo-American relations including his well-known work Anglo-American Relations in the Twentieth Century: Of Friendship, Conflict and the Rise and Decline of Superpowers (London: Routledge, 1995). Recent publications include (with Steve Marsh) US Foreign Policy Since 1945 (London: Routledge, 2006); FDR and Civil Aviation (New York: Palgrave, 2011); and, co-edited with Steve Marsh, Anglo-American Relations: Contemporary Perspectives (New York & London: Routledge, 2012).

Lecture starts at 18:00, to be followed by a drinks reception at 19:15. Attendance is free of charge, but registration is required.