The ‘special relationship’ between the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States of America (US) refers to the particularly close economic, political, and security relationships that exist between the two countries. Although the ‘special’ nature of the relationship has its roots in the Second World War, the ties between the two countries go back many centuries by virtue of the legacy of the UK’s imperial past. The fact that both countries have tended to possess a similar set of preferences on such matters as trade and foreign policy, as well as a shared language, has created a climate conducive to close relationships. The relationship has, however, been subject to periods of tension, while there have also been broader questions about the extent to which both countries have viewed the special nature of the relationship in a similar vein.
Citation:Blair, A. (2016) Special Relationship. In: G. Martel (ed.) Encyclopedia of Diplomacy. Wiley