What was britain's “east of suez role”? reassessing the withdrawal, 1964-1968

David M. McCourt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although often considered an objective fact, Britain's “East of Suez role” was actually a rhetorical construction. As such, it was dependent on the continued ability of Britain to “make” that role and other important players to “cast” Britain into it. But the Wilson government's initial support for East of Suez had the paradoxical effect of bringing its coherence into question. Without a British future in Aden, East of Suez was increasingly linked solely to the Far East, where, with the end of Confrontation in 1966, the argument for staying lost much of its force. Other interested Powers were also increasingly unable to cast Britain into the role: the nationalist tide and the United States' tribulations in Vietnam being primary factors. The article thus shows that thinking through the implications of this realisation provides a better understanding of the withdrawal than by resting on economic or domestic political factors alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)453-472
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Phytoremediation
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Plant Science


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