British policy towards socialist countries in the 1970s: trade as a cornerstone of Détente

Romano, A. (2017) British policy towards socialist countries in the 1970s: trade as a cornerstone of Détente. In: Fisher, J., Pedaliu, E. G.H. and Smith, R. (eds.) The Foreign Office, Commerce and British Foreign Policy in the Twentieth Century. Palgrave Macmillan: London, pp. 465-485. ISBN 9781137465801 (doi:10.1057/978-1-137-46581-8_21)

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Abstract

This chapter assesses the relationship between Commerce and Foreign Office with regard to UK policy towards socialist countries in the long 1970s. The decade was characterized by the deepening of contacts, exchanges and mutual obligations between West European capitalist countries and East European Socialist states, a process known as détente. This new pattern lasted well into the 1980s, despite renewed superpower confrontation. The chapter first explores the role assigned to trade in the UK policy towards the Socialist bloc countries; it then assesses what the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) could do to promote British firms’ interests, and takes into consideration the views expressed by the latter at the time. In its conclusions, the chapter highlights the main driving forces in the relationship between commerce and the FCO in this area and It argues that the juncture described above created a perfect match between the interests of British business and the FCO’s aims: business inevitably required government assistance and backing when trading with Socialist countries and the Foreign Office saw trade as a valid means to nourish relations with the East and promote détente.

Item Type:Book Sections
Status:Published
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Romano, Dr Angela
Authors: Romano, A.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Politics
Journal Name:The Foreign Office, Commerce and British Foreign Policy in the Twentieth Century
Publisher:Palgrave Macmillan
ISBN:9781137465801

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