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“The Quality of the Ordinary”: Anglo-American Diplomacy and the Third World 1975-1980

Whitford, Andrew

The recovery of the Anglo-American relationship in the late 1970s took place in the Third World. The “Special Relationship” between the United States and Britain reached its post-World War II nadir in the decade between 1964 and 1974. Simultaneous to this decline in the relationship was the growing power and influence of the Third World in international institutions. By the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, both the United States and Britain were suffering political and economic turmoil brought about by increased oil prices, labor unrest, and inflation. The two countries worked together to navigate a broad array of problems to include the Third World’s increasing hostility to Israel and calls for a New International Economic Order in the United Nations, a growing refugee crisis in southeast Asia, the spread of the Cold War to southern Africa, and questions about decline and disorder at home. In the United States, neoconservatives began to assert a greater role in international affairs by questioning both the future of British socialism and the wisdom of appeasing the Third World. Within these constraints, British and American statesmen acted to end white rule in Rhodesia to contain communist expansion, care for refugees while upholding international law within real fiscal constraints, and free American hostages held in Iran. Through both their actions and their improved mutual understanding, intellectually and politically diverse statesmen such as Henry Kissinger, Anthony Crosland, Andrew Young, and Peter Carrington established a balance in the Special Relationship that allowed the United States and Britain to cooperate in the Third World while respecting the other’s independence.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
History
Thesis Advisors
Pedersen, Susan G.
Degree
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
September 15, 2015
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