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’, he wrote, ‘It is unable – and has, apparently, no great wish – to picture the details of the postwar world. It speculates relatively little about the end of the war.’2 But official inertia did not prevent reconstruction from becoming an issue of debate, none the less. Beginning as a low profile discourse, mainly in intellectual and academic circles, reconstruction dramatically took centre stage with the publication of the Beveridge Report in December 1942, thereafter becoming the leading issue in domestic politics and potentially a significant influence on popular

in Half the battle
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of the poor within the imperial formation, and provides a more satisfactory explanation of their chronology and nature than those focusing exclusively on domestic politics and social policy. In the following I wish to explore the workings of this symbolic process. To understand the active construction of racial identities in this period, we need to go beyond the convention of identifying

in The other empire
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be pushed too far. The ebbs and flows in transatlantic closeness tend to reflect interests rather than sentiment.’ 17 Nigel Ashton hones the functionalist orthodoxy by emphasising the importance not only of national interest but also of factors such as ‘ideology, culture, bureaucracy, domestic politics and public opinion’. He suggests that the Anglo-American relationship in the early 1960s was highly complex and subtle: ‘To understand this

in A ‘special relationship’?

derived less from a real concern about possible American rashness than domestic political considerations, given Labour’s thin majority in the Commons and the corresponding need to maintain Party unity. Bruce noted the intense ‘restiveness here, especially in the House of Commons, over the British Government not seeming to play a more active part in trying to induce negotiations over Vietnam’. 25 Wilson, said Bruce, was ‘under

in A ‘special relationship’?

domestic political scene; i.e., his “peacemaking” efforts are pointed primarily at maintaining ascendancy over his political opponents within and without his own party’. 71 A State Department analysis also attributed questionable motives to the British: they were eager ‘to participate with maximum personal visibility in bringing peace to Vietnam – in early February alone Wilson proposed travelling personally both to Washington and

in A ‘special relationship’?
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Harold Wilson and Lyndon B. Johnson: a ‘special relationship’?

this field, and, as Kennedy’s vice-president (1961–63), he made numerous trips abroad. However, with his vision of creating a ‘Great Society’ – helping to heal the racial divide and to eradicate poverty – the President was more interested in domestic politics than international affairs, and certainly had little commitment to close ties with London. As a Foreign Office analysis noted in May 1965, Johnson did not have ‘any

in A ‘special relationship’?

posture. However, his claim to David Bruce, US Ambassador, that he needed to see Johnson to deal with Labour Party criticisms over Vietnam did not impress the Americans. They disliked the idea of foreign politicians visiting Washington for patently domestic-political reasons, and so denied Wilson his hoped-for transatlantic excursion. The White House knew that only a large bail-out might save sterling, but Britain’s prior cuts

in A ‘special relationship’?
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The new Europe takes shape

spite of grave misgivings held by France and other countries. Yet the policy worked, both commercially and among domestic political opinion. Separated families could establish contact and even see each other. Dissidents were brought to West Germany against government payment. Détente was given a first, tangible expression. At this time, the question could be asked: who was and would be strongest, the Six of EFTA led by the United Kingdom, or the Six of the EEC led by France and the Federal Republic of Germany? The decisive factor was West Germany. With West Germany in

in Destination Europe

be toted through fourteen London marginal constituencies in an open car with Macmillan beside him’. The issue of Anglo-American relations featured in British domestic politics: Wilson told Johnson that Edward Heath, the new Conservative leader, 3 was ‘now attacking our defence review on the grounds that it drives us too closely into relations with you’. In a similar vein, Heath’s predecessor, Alec Douglas-Home, had called

in A ‘special relationship’?
British women in international politics

US women’s movements could have nothing to learn from one another. When the issue of peace work was raised at the 1899 Congress it was widely accepted as a worthwhile principle, yet when the ICW tried to transform argument into practical work, it met with considerable opposition and inertia at national levels. In addition to disputes over if and how such work could be practical, member 144 british women in international politics Councils tended to prioritise other issues, such as domestic politics, over foreign concerns. Particularly during periods of

in ‘The truest form of patriotism’