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La puissance britannique en question / Challenges to British Power Status

Diplomatie et politique étrangère au 20e siècle / Foreign Policy and Diplomacy in the 20th Century

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Edited By Claire Sanderson and Mélanie Torrent

Cet ouvrage est consacré aux transformations de la politique étrangère et de la diplomatie britanniques dans le temps long du déclin impérial, de l’intégration européenne et des relations transatlantiques. De la Royal Navy de l’amiral sir John Fisher à la politique nucléaire contemporaine, les auteurs analysent la capacité d’adaptation des pratiques internationales de la Grande-Bretagne, ses moteurs, ses limites et sa signification, à travers des cas d’étude centrés sur des archives nouvellement ouvertes ou des aires parfois marginalisées. Ils démontrent l’influence des individus, le poids des réseaux, l’évolution des processus de consultation et de prise de décision, en contexte de crise comme dans la gestion quotidienne. Considérant tour à tour les échelles locales et globales, bilatérales et multilatérales, l’ouvrage offre une perspective critique sur les pratiques culturelles et les courants intellectuels qui sous-tendent la politique étrangère et la diplomatie britanniques au 20 e siècle, de Bruxelles à Washington, du Canada au Pacifique, des Malouines à l’Afrique, des Nations Unies au Commonwealth des Nations.
This study addresses transformations in British diplomacy and foreign policy through the long-term perspectives of imperial decline, European integration and transatlantic relations. From the Royal Navy of Admiral Sir John Fisher to contemporary nuclear policy, the authors analyse Britain’s capacity to adapt its international practices, and the driving forces and constraints behind them. Using case studies based on newly available archives and including regions that tend to be marginalised, they show the influence of individuals, the importance of networks and the evolution of the consultation and decision-making processes, in contexts of both crisis and daily management. On a local, global, bilateral and multilateral scale, the book offers a critical perspective of the cultural practices and intellectual trends underlying British diplomacy and foreign policy in the 20th century, from Brussels to Washington, from the Falkland Islands to Africa, from the United Nations to the Commonwealth of Nations.

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Laurence Cros The Canadian Constitution, adopted with the Confederation in 1867, stated that external affairs were to remain in the hands of the imperial authorities: only internal autonomy was granted to the young Dominion. But the proximity of the United States had long encouraged Canada to defend its interests in Anglo-American relations, and Canada’s control over its external relations did not simply begin with the creation of the Department of External Affairs in 1909. However, it was really in the 1920s and 1930s that Canada began to press for total diplomatic autonomy, when the Department of External Affairs developed under the Liberal Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King and his Under-Secretary for External Affairs, Oscar D. Skelton. Partly acknowledged during the First World War, Canada’s external autonomy was fully accepted with the imperial conference of 1926 and the Balfour Declaration. As this evolution was negotiated, Canadian and British diplomats redefined imperial relations and the links between the metropole and the Dominions. Richard Davis This chapter analyses the debate on Churchill’s ‘three circles’ theory and what this debate tells us about the nature, the conduct and the objectives of British foreign policy since 1945. What does it tell us about the way in which successive British leaders have seen Britain and its place in the world? Secondly, how convincing has this theory been in practice and how has it has stood up as an analytical tool of British policy? That Britain has simultaneously operated within the ‘three circles’ is clear. So...

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