Living Up to a New Role in the World:The Challenges of “Global Britain”


Theresa May promised a new role for the UK in the world, dubbed “Global Britain”. But what challenges and contradictions arise from being supposedly more open to the world while decoupling from the EU? To answer this question, it is necessary to explore how far the UK can live up to the expectations stemming from the move to celebrate a new, unabashedly global posture. An examination of the rhetoric of British foreign policy since 1945 is juxtaposed with the emerging language of global openness after Brexit to illustrate what change in expectations this move is likely to create among the UK’s partners for trade, security, and global governance. To evaluate the strategic benefits of using the rhetoric of globalism after EU withdrawal, we examine the British state’s capacity to find the combination of administrative resources, public expenditure, and elite consensus necessary to redefine the country’s position in world affairs. Overall, this approach reveals numerous challenges for establishing a new framing of Britain’s role in international politics. It also demonstrates the serious contradictions arising from the fact that the language of domestic politics during and after the EU referendum is very much at odds with the spirit of globalism. The political expediency of devising a new role cannot be faulted, but the strategic value of “Global Britain” appears limited in the light of this analysis.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities
College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities > Aston Centre for Europe
College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities > Politics, History and International Relations
Additional Information: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Global Britain,Brexit,UK foreign policy,European Union,anto-globalism,Political Science and International Relations
Publication ISSN: 0030-4387
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2024 07:27
Date Deposited: 03 Jul 2018 07:35
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: https://www.sci ... 03043871830070X (Publisher URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2018
Published Online Date: 2018-09-01
Accepted Date: 2018-07-01
Authors: Glencross, Andrew (ORCID Profile 0000-0001-8320-9181)
McCourt, David

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