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Thomas Robb

The chapter begins with an overview of the main foreign policy aims of each country and an analysis of how foreign policy was created in each capital. From here, this chapter demonstrates the evolving nature of the US-UK relationship within the context of Britain’s application to join the European Economic Community, and American efforts to institutionalise détente with the USSR. It is shown throughout this chapter that the Nixon administration grew increasingly concerned that British membership of the EEC would permanently undermine the US-UK relationship, or, worse still, encourage the creation of a competitive power bloc that would be opposed to US interests. It is further highlighted how the détente policies of the Nixon administration caused apprehension within British policy-making circles in that superpower cooperation could lead to superpower condominium that would leave British interests severely undermined.

In spite of such areas of difference, this chapter does highlight the continuing political, military and diplomatic cooperation between the two sides, and thus acts as a balance to interpretations that emphasise only conflict within the relationship. Thus, we have discussion about US-UK cooperation in the realm of nuclear weapons, intelligence collection, British support for Nixon’s Vietnam policies, and Cold War diplomacy.

in A strained partnership?
Open Access (free)
US–UK relations in the era of détente, 1969–77
Author: Thomas Robb

This is the first monograph length study that charts the coercive diplomacy of the administrations of Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford as practiced against their British ally in order to persuade Edward Heath’s government to follow a more amenable course throughout the ‘Year of Europe’ and to convince Harold Wilson’s governments to lessen the severity of proposed defence cuts. Such diplomacy proved effective against Heath but rather less so against Wilson. It is argued that relations between the two sides were often strained, indeed, to the extent that the most ‘special’ elements of the relationship, that of intelligence and nuclear co-operation, were suspended. Yet, the relationship also witnessed considerable co-operation. This book offers new perspectives on US and UK policy towards British membership of the European Economic Community; demonstrates how US détente policies created strain in the ‘special relationship’; reveals the temporary shutdown of US-UK intelligence and nuclear co-operation; provides new insights in US-UK defence co-operation, and revaluates the US-UK relationship throughout the IMF Crisis.

Open Access (free)
Thomas Robb

Chapter 4 charts the conduct of US–UK relations following the return to office of Harold Wilson in March 1974. Wilson sought to re-establish closer US–UK relations and hoped it would engender a level of influence on US policy and that, in turn, it would allow the British to play a more decisive and influential world role. Wilson, however, was ultimately unsuccessful because his continual defence cutbacks to the UK military weakened the utility of Britain as an ally for the US, and the Cyprus crisis of 1974 demonstrated that British policy-makers had limited influence over US policy. Wilson’s defence cuts would be a constant irritant to Washington and again the intelligence and nuclear relationship between the two countries was utilised as a diplomatic tool by Washington to convince Wilson to limit the scope of his defence cuts. Ultimately, such efforts proved rather ineffectual. Yet, this chapter balances such judgments by demonstrating that political cooperation between the two sides remained remarkably close. Wilson continued to support the main currents of US international policy, and, even though threats were made about its cancellation, the nuclear and intelligence partnership continued.

in A strained partnership?
Thomas Robb

Chapter 3 shows how the Nixon–Heath relationship deteriorated to such an extent that both Nixon and Kissinger would declare that the special relationship was over. Indeed, both intelligence and nuclear collaboration between the two sides were suspended on a number of occasions at Washington’s behest. This chapter highlights that US–UK relations had assumed a virtually antagonistic agenda because of differences surrounding what Henry Kissinger termed the ‘Year of Europe’. It is also in this chapter that the Nixon-Kissinger notion of coercive diplomacy, as usually associated with their diplomacy towards the USSR, Red China and North Vietnam, was also applied to their handling of the US-UK relationship. Therefore, in order to encourage Edward Heath to take a more positive attitude towards the ‘Year of Europe’; to persuade him to support the US’s Middle East diplomacy, and to convince the prime minister to side with the United States at the Washington Energy Conference, the United States, largely under the direction of Henry Kissinger, suspended nuclear and intelligence cooperation with their British ally and made a number of threats regarding future security commitments to Europe and to the world economic system. As shown, this had the desired effect upon London and resulted in Heath changing policy course.

in A strained partnership?
Simone de Beauvoir and a Global Theory of Feminist Recognition
Monica Mookherjee

This chapter critically assesses the ability of Nancy Fraser’s status model of recognition to foster an international, or ‘cosmopolitan’, feminist theory of recognition. Fraser’s tripartite account of recognition, redistribution and political representation supports women’s empowerment as cosmopolitan agents of their own needs, rights and choices world-wide. However, Fraser’s objectivist understanding of misrecognition as status subordination fails to acknowledge the importance of lived experience of social suffering and injustice. The chapter therefore turns to Simone de Beauvoir’s ‘ethic of ambiguity’ to counter these problems and to reformulate our understanding of recognition. This approach emphasizes the tension between the human freedom to choose and the body, materiality and circumstances that perpetually constrain this freedom. Arguing that Beauvoir’s account of lived, embodied social suffering comprises two distinct ‘moments’ of gender misrecognition, namely the ‘suppressed potentiality’ and ‘resistance within commonality’ moments, the chapter argues that her philosophy sheds more light than is commonly thought on the way in which diverse women experience globalization today. The chapter concludes that Beauvoir’s emphasis on ambiguity points to cosmopolitan hope that consciousness of our essential ambiguity as human beings will form the basis for solidarity with those who exist beyond liberal rights or struggles for cultural recognition.

in Recognition and Global Politics
Robbie Shilliam

This chapter traces the radical non-recognition of persons by the powerful. What, it asks, if there is absolutely no chance of being recognized as a person by those who wield the power of law over you? I address this question by making us face a Black plantation worker in British Guyana who, during the invasion of Ethiopia by Italy in 1935, identifies himself as an Abyssinian General. How can this General by recognized by the colonial authorities? Facing the Haitian Revolution, wherein Africans authored and executed their own liberation, Hegel can provide no answer to such a question. For European enlightenment thought did not engage with enslaved Africans except as ‘slaves’, humans in biology only, tragically devoid of reason and agency, especially what Hegel would call ‘world-historical’ agency. Working through Frantz Fanon’s critique of the excisions and exclusions in Hegel’s dialectic of recognition, I turn to African-American ethnographer Zora Neale Hurston and Jamaican author Erna Brodber in order to elaborate some of the practices of self-meaning and self-valuation undertaken by descendants of enslaved Africans who have been denied recognition. Returning, by way of these authors, to the Abyssinian General, I pose the question: with what creative matter would it be possible to cultivate a new humanism – not the thin particular of European philosophy that masquerades as a universal, but a thick decolonised humanism that propels liberation? What might it look like to re-recognise one’s own personhood communally, drawing on spiritual resources to redeem a collective self?

in Recognition and Global Politics
Open Access (free)
Evil, Genocide and the Limits of Recognition
Patrick Hayden

This chapter explores the possibility of formulating linkages between theories of recognition and the problem of political evil by paying particular attention to the world, rather than the self or the other. The main point of departure for this analysis revolves around distinguishing between evil and non-evil harms, given a shift in emphasis from dyadic interpersonal relationships to triadic intermediations with the worldly contexts that enable recognition. I first examine some of the key features of contemporary recognition frameworks that attempt to make sense of human vulnerability and harm, and outline how these frameworks, in contrast to Hegel’s philosophy, stop short of the phenomenon of evil. I then move on to discuss how Hegel’s insight into evil as the annihilation or ‘voiding’ of a shared world at the limits of recognition opens up an alternative paradigm, informed by Hannah Arendt’s thinking, that moves recognition outward toward the third term of a common world. I finish by considering some of the ways that genocide can be said to constitute a special type of harm, appropriately considered evil, which aims at and results in the irretrievable loss of plural human worlds.

in Recognition and Global Politics
Fiona Robinson

In this chapter, I address the problem of paternalism in the ethics of care through a consideration of the idea of recognition. Discourses and practices of ‘care ‘ in international politics have been used regularly to justify paternalistic acts of domination through the use structural and physical violence – in the treatment of indigenous peoples, the ‘protection’ of women and children in warfare, and in the practices of contemporary humanitarianism, including humanitarian interventions. This suggests the need to ensure the ‘other-regarding’ nature of care involves not only acting to address the needs of the other, but acting to recognize the other as a person in her own right. I argue that, in contrast to much of the literature on justice as recognition, which emphasizes the need for powerful or dominant voices to ‘recognize’ the ways of life of marginal groups, ‘recognition’ in the context of globalized relations of care must involve an unsettling of the categories of those who ‘bestow’ care and recognition, and those who receive them. I develop an approach to transformative recognition that involves sustained analysis of the politics of representation – or what Narayan calls the ‘accounts’ that are given of the interdependencies and relationships – which are so crucial to an ethic of care.

in Recognition and Global Politics
Tarik Kochi

Within political theory the concept of recognition has been generally drawn upon to develop a particular form of ethical theory. The concept has been deployed in debates over culture, feminism, multiculturalism, individual and group rights, and as a means of conceptualising colonialism. A less dominant contemporary line of inquiry is the use of the concept of recognition to think through modes of pre-capitalist and capitalist accumulation. Much of the early philosophical radicalism contained within the concept of recognition has been lost via its subsumption within liberal political theory. Against such a liberal ‘flattening-out’ of recognition this chapter builds an alternative interpretation which focuses upon the relationship between recognition and accumulation. This is done by way of examining how questions of economic power and accumulation were central G.W.F. Hegel’s theory of recognition. In this light, the chapter develops an understanding of recognition as a ‘hinge concept’ – one which links economic relations, the juridical form, moral claims and political struggle. By focusing upon its antagonistic basis, as struggle, a concept of recognition gives us a useful way of thinking about both historical and contemporary modes of global capitalist accumulation.

in Recognition and Global Politics
Critical encounters between state and world

Recognition and Global Politics examines the potential and limitations of the discourse of recognition as a strategy for reframing justice and injustice within contemporary world affairs. Drawing on resources from social and political theory and international relations theory, as well as feminist theory, postcolonial studies and social psychology, this ambitious collection explores a range of political struggles, social movements and sites of opposition that have shaped certain practices and informed contentious debates in the language of recognition.