Losing an Empire, Finding a roleAuthor: David Sanders Category: Books (Others), Books at the Centre Publisher: Springer Published: December 11, 2023
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.