Britain, Detente and Changing East-West Relations by Brian White

By Brian White

There is little systematic research to be had of Britain's contribution to East-West relatives due to the fact that 1945, and specifically of Britain's contribution to East-West detente. normally, British makes an attempt to behave as mediator among East and West were considered as ineffectual, and a slightly determined try to turn out that Britain may possibly nonetheless wield effect at the international stage.

In this new contribution to the examine of the evolution of post-war diplomacy, Brian White argues that Britain's contribution to detente can't so simply be pushed aside. via narrative and research, he examines the continual topic of Britain's makes an attempt to guide East-West family in a co-operative path. In doing so, he has supplied either an enormous revaluation of Britain's position within the post-war global and a useful case research in overseas coverage formation and execution.

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Breaking off contacts and being unwilling to negotiate seriously is an aberration from the norm of traditional diplomacy and should be avoided. The greater the threat posed by other states, the more necessary is the maintenance of diplomatic intercourse. As Northedge and Wells argue, this almost constituted an ‘elementary rule—the more dangerous to peace a state is, the more important it is to be in diplomatic contact with it’ (Northedge and Wells, 1982, p. 127). From this perspective, the nature of the regime being dealt with, however odious, is irrelevant.

Attlee’s visit may not have been crucial in preventing a nuclear war in Asia, but it did dramatically illustrate the extent of British concerns about both the direction of American policy and the state of East-West relations as a whole. This concern was not restricted to the Labour government. By 1950, Bevin was beginning to despair about the possibility of a diplomatic solution to East-West problems. But the general election campaign at the beginning of that year brought Winston Churchill to the stump on this issue, sensing perhaps that Bevin was becoming too identified with the Acheson line (Barker, 1983, pp.

This suggests that a broader framework, which also highlights political and economic factors, is needed. Détente as prelude to entente is also rather contrived but, more important, like détente as illusion, it is explicitly normative in orientation and therefore problematic for analytical purposes. Détente as policy and process If détente as condition is difficult to use effectively for analytical purposes, the existing uses of détente as policy and as process provide a basis for developing and applying this concept at two conventional levels of analysis: the international system and the state.

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