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Title: Cold War at the centre : liberalism and the politics of Euratlantic strategy, 1945-1990
Author: Martill, Benjamin
ISNI:       0000 0004 6061 3423
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2015
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Patterns of domestic political contestation in international affairs often see the centre aligned against both the left and the right of the ideological spectrum. This is observable in a range of issues, from democracy promotion, intervention, international law, European integration, free trade, globalization and the creation of international regimes. Why centre-periphery ideological competition occurs is an interesting puzzle, given the challenge it offers to the idea that partisanship is an inherently left-right phenomenon. Yet the role of the political centre in foreign policy has not been subjected to systematic analysis. This thesis studies the nature and effects of the foreign policy position of the political centre. It argues that the centre is distinguished from left and right by its embrace of distinct elements of liberal ideology. The liberal view of international politics differs in thee important respects from its socialist and conservative competitors: It is particular, rather than pluralist, when it comes to questions of sovereignty and international legitimacy; it views interdependence, rather than independence, as a natural and desirable condition of the international; and it views deterrence, rather than diplomacy, as the best means of achieving security. To test the validity of this thesis I discuss the role of ideology in explaining variation in relations between four Euratlantic states (Britain, France, West Germany and Canada) and the United States during the Cold War. This is a hard case given the intensity of global threat at the time. The thesis tests the claim that the strength of Euratlantic-American relations is a function of the relative influence of the political centre at the time. To do this it outlines a mixed-methods research design that combines in-depth case studies with a quantitative analysis of Euratlantic-US relations. The results from both elements confirm the validity of the theoretical proposition.
Supervisor: Snidal, Duncan Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: International relations ; Cold War--Diplomatic history ; Ideology ; European Union countries--Foreign relations--United States ; United States--Foreign relations--European Union countries