DOI 10.17721/2521-1706.2023.16.5

Nazarii Lutsenko,

Ph. D. student (History), Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Kyiv, Ukraine

ORCID logo

Abstract. The aim of this article is to shed light on the phenomenon of «special relations» between the United States of America and Great Britain. Despite the fact that the topic gained considerable attention in the academic literature and the term «special relations» is applied to different states and regions, it is necessary to understand its origins. The purpose of the article is to investigate the phenomenon of American-British relations, to analyze the historical and political view of the problem, and to formulate the characteristics of the relations between the United States and the United Kingdom. Chronological limits are determined by the first mention of the term in 1946 and the presidential term of D.Trump, who managed the office in 2017–2021.

Methodology of the article. Hypotheses were tested through historiographical analysis and the historical-comparative method were used to analyze published studies on the history of «special relations».

The scientific novelty of the study consists in determining the peculiarities of relations between the United States and Great Britain during the tenure of Donald Trump. Therefore, the «special relationship» is a unique historically formed complex of interaction between the USA and Great Britain, which is manifested in various spheres of public life: political (to have an opportunity for better implementation of their own foreign policy), military (the USA and the United Kingdom have an unprecedented level of mutual trust and cooperation in the field of intelligence and nuclear programs), cultural (the historical memory of both nations makes American and British society sensitive to the problems of their «English-speaking neighbours»).

We consider it necessary to highlight the following features of American-British relations:the long-term historical interaction that brought the two nations closer together and laid the foundation for relations between the United States and Great Britain; the common ideology of liberalism; cooperation provides an opportunity to better implement one’s own foreign policy; close relations between political figures of states; relations are characterized by periodic «approaching and distancing», which create new challenges for the allies.

Each of these features is traced in the relations between the USA and Great Britain and during the administration of Donald Trump. Both states faced a number of challenges in international politics, due to the crisis state of the modern system of international relations. The governments of the United States and the United Kingdom have demonstrated the ability to compromise in critical situations, that proves the uniqueness of such an alliance.

Key words: USA, Great Britain, «special relations», Donald Trump, Theresa May, Boris Johnson.

Submitted: 24.07.2023



  1. Bolton, J. (2021) The room where it happened. (G. Pshenichna, L. Yakym, E. Korotyaeva, N. Derevyako, Trans.). Kharkiv: Vivat. [In Ukrainian].
  2. Dudko, I. (2023). Trump’s foreign policy course in the conditions of the formation of a new world order. Political life, 1, 62–68. [In Ukrainian].
  3. Yelcheva, Y. (2022). Foreign policy of Great Britain in the 21st century. Socio-political studies. Scientific almanac, 6–32. [In Ukrainian].
  4. Pyk, S (2017). Special relationship of the USA and Great Britain in the intelligence Bulletin of Lviv national university. International relations, 42, 117–122. [In Ukrainian].
  5. Baylis, J., Roper, (2007). The United states and Europe: Beyond the Neo-Conservative Divide? London: Routlege. [In English].
  6. Bernstein, L. George. (2013). The Myth of Decline: The Rise of Britain Since 1945. London: Pimlico. [In English].
  7. Burk, K. (2018). The Lion and the Eagle: the interaction of the British and American Empires 1783 London: Bloomsbury Publishing. [In English].
  8. Colman, (2004). A special relationship? Harold Wilson, Lyndon BJohnson and Anglo-American relations «At the summit» 1964–1968. Manchester: Manchester University Press. [In English].
  9. Danchev, A. (1996). On Specialness. International Affairs, 4, 737–750.[In English].
  10. Dobson, A. & Marsh, S. (2013). Anglo-American Relations: Contemporary Perspectives. London: Routlage. [In English].
  11. Dumbrell, J. (2004). The US–UK «Special Relationship» in a world twice transformed. Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 17(3), 437– [In English].
  12. Elie, J. (2005). Many times doomed but still alive: An attempt to understand the continuity of the special relationship. Journal of Transatlantic Studies, 3, 63– [In English].
  13. America Demografia. (2023, January). English Ancestry in United States. [In English].
  14. UK Parliament. (2018, June19). Indispensable allies: US, NATO and UK Defence relations. Eighth Report of Session 2017–2019. [In English].
  15. Name Census. (2023). Number of British people in the United States. [In English].
  16. Trump White House. (2018, July13). Remarks by President Trump and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in Joint Press Conference. [In English].
  17. Reynolds, D. (1985). «Special Relationship»? America, Britain and the International Order Since the Second World War. International Affairs, 1(62), 1– [In English].
  18. Reynolds, D. (2021, July19). The end of the special relationship. Wall Street Journal. [In English].
  19. Schuker, A. Stephen. (1976). The end of French predominance in Europe: The Financial Crisis of 1924 and the adoption of the Dawes plan. University of North Caroline press, 1(10), 73–77. [In English].
  20. Shipman, T. (2020, January 12). Ben Wallace interview: We can’t rely on US. The Times. [In English].
  21. Swanson, A. (2015, June 19.) Amazing map shows where Americans come from and who we really are today. Washington Post. [In English].
  22. (2018, July13). Trump detonates Brexit bomb in Britain visit. [In English].
  23. Wallace, W. & Phillips, C. (2009). Reassessing the special relationship. International Affairs, 2(85), 263 – [In English].
  24. Winston Churchill. The sinews of peace (Iron curton speech). (1946). International Churchill society. [In English].
  25. Wintz, M. (2010). Transatlantic diplomacy and the use of military force: The Anglo-american Experience. London: Palgrave Macmillan. [In English].
  26. (2023, April24). World military expenditure reaches new record high as European spending surges. [In English].