The "Anglosphere": A Genealogy of an Identity in International Relations
Principal Investigators: Srdjan Vucetic
The Bill of Rights. Trial by jury. Presumption of innocence. A man's home is his castle. A man's word is his bond. These are among the ideas that scholars who argue for the existence of the "Anglosphere" believe are taken for granted in a group of states that share the values and institutions associated with the historical experience of England.
How did the Angloshere become possible and what effects does it have on international politics? Srdjan Vucetic sets out to answer this question in his dissertation, which tells the story of how Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States came to share common expectations of dependence and cooperation in the area of international security.
Vucetic argues that relations among nations in the Anglosphere are seen as "special" and therefore exempt from the standard rules that govern international conflict and cooperation – practices such as sovereignty and intervention, alliances and coalitions, defection and punishment, appeasement and reciprocity, power-seeking and face-saving.
Using a theory of foreign policy based on the concept of national identity, Vucetic shows how English-speaking states have affected global security and prosperity for more than a century. Beginning with an analysis of the "great rapprochement" between the United States and Britain in the early 20th century, Vucetic examines the politics of international security cooperation among Anglosphere nations in Korea, Suez, Vietnam and Iraq.
Vucetic then explores alternative explanations of the Anglosphere drawn from theories that stress more traditional causes such as rising military threats, common commercial interests, and shared regime type. He concludes with a discussion of policy implications and a post-colonial critique of Anglosphere discourse.
With funding from the Mershon Center, Vucetic was able to complete archival work in London by conducting research at the National Archives in Kew, the British Library at King's Cross, and the British Library Newspapers at Colindale. This was compiled with his previous archival work in Ottawa, Canada, and Canberra, Australia.
A paper drawn from Vucetic's dissertation was awarded honorary mention at the 2007 International Studies Convention. He hopes to turn his dissertation into a book during his upcoming junior research fellowship at the University of Cambridge.